25: Quartet

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'Actions have consequences'

Kayden waves at me sarcastically as soon as our eyes meet and I refrain from an eye roll before I blatantly ignore him and focus my attention on the top of our table.

"God help me," I mutter under my breath, having a gut feeling that they are going to blow all of this out of proportion.

"What's wrong?" Daniel asks, worry lacing his words. I sigh.

"Don't freak out, but my step-brothers are heading our way as we speak," I caution him while trying to avoid any eye contact with the two.

"Oh-okay," he replies. "Wait, I didn't know you have siblings," he remarks once realization sets in.

"I don't, my mum's remarrying," I explain and he nods in understanding.

"So wh--"

"Hey Liv, fancy seeing you here," Kayden acknowledges, his demeanor a bit too cheerful in my opinion, but there is an underlying aura of intimidation to him. I shrug in response.

"What, aren't going to introduce us to your little friend here?" He asks feigning offense, all while Enrique stands as a silent observer in the background, putting Daniel and me under scrutiny under his impassive gaze.

I bit back nervousness. "Daniel this is Kayden," I acquaint by motioning towards Kayden with my hand. "And that's Enrique," I motion towards Enrique.

"And guys this is Daniel," I add, masking just how nervous this entire situation feels under a cloak of monotonousness.

They each shake Daniel's hand firmly, Kayden taking the liberty of being more than just firm gauging from the pained expression that Daniel is quick to mask and the twitch of his hand as he pulls back from Kayden's grip.

"So what are you guys doing here, instead of being at school?" Kayden inquires casually, while he and Enrique drag two vacant chairs and join us. I send Daniel an apologetic smile.

"The dance was pretty pathetic," Daniel shrugs.

"And we were hungry," I add.

"So where are the rest of your friends? Weren't you in a group, with that boy...Graham was it?" Kayden presses crossing his arms against his chest and raising a brow at me. I shrug in response, unsure what to say.

I couldn't really tell them that Graham, Mercy, and Mason are at the beach getting wasted while I decided to come here to grab a bite 'cause I didn't fit in, now could I?

And taking me by surprise at the fact that not so long ago Kayden didn't like the very mention of Graham's name and now all of a sudden he's annoyed that I'm not with him?

"What are you guys doing here anyway?" I ask, trying to change the subject and void further interrogation.

"We were actually working late at the office and decided to grab dinner," Kayden replies.

"Imagine our surprise when we saw you here a good fifteen-minute drive from where you were supposed to be tonight," Kayden adds as an afterthought, his cheerful demeanor slowly conforming into a prominent persona of intimidation.

'This isn't the Kayden I have grown accustomed to'

This entire situation causes my cheek to heat up in embarrassment as I look toward Daniel discreetly from under my lashes. 'He probably thinks I'm some dork who is constantly monitored by her family'

"We were about to head back actually," I remark, trying to save myself from any further embarrassment at the hands of Kayden in front of Daniel.

"Of course," Enrique nods before Kayden can say anything else, making me inwardly sigh in relief. "We'll discuss this more at home," he adds causing my heart to drop.

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