Chapter 16

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He pulled back and smirked at me with the confidence of a conqueror. This seemed to be the first sign of anything like an emotion. This guy must have been dropped on his head when he was a kid.

Everything played out in front of my friends. Tex just blankly stared at Nate as if he could not grasp any coherence from the exchange he just witnessed. Tex scratched the back of his head in confusion, and did what comes naturally to him and blurted out exactly what everyone else was thinking. "Ok, Dude! I don't know you well, but I'm starting to sense that you are seriously troubled. So if you can just let go of Corrine, we can all just pretend this never happened."

My intelligent mind had not returned so I just nodded along, because everything Tex said was a great idea and honestly, Nate hadn't any other choice.

However, Nate had other thoughts. He turned to Tex and asked, "What if I... say, no?"

My expression was full of disbelief.

Tex's face showed something between horror and disbelief, while Vic appeared happy with the possibility of a having to wrestle Nate to the ground.

"I think you've messed with them long enough Nate." A strong voice came as a shock from behind us. Everyone snapped around in surprise, Candy even gave a small squeal.

The lineup that stood right behind us was the list of the most privileged students on the roster. Here stood Nate's posse, Ashe, Neil and Eliza from Literature class, each looking like models on the cover the magazine I had been reading.

Candy looked at them, her eyes wide, "When did you guys get here?"

Ashe shrugged, scratching the side of his head lazily. "Five minutes ago, we wanted to see who would strike first, but we decided that we didn't want this situation get out of control right, Nate?"

I glanced up at Nate from the corner of my eye. He seemed to be silently in tune with Ashe's thoughts, and suddenly he released my hand. He shoved his hands into his pockets, walked by Ashe and said, "Do you enjoy blocking my fun?"

Ashe smirked, slapped Nate on the back, "That is my main job, Kronus, my main job."

We all watched them walk away while I rubbed my wrist, feeling the heat dissipate. The skin where he had touched me seemed a different color, darker but not quite bruised somewhat shinny. Vic noticed and took my hands, and examined my wrist. He spoke softly as he asked, "What is your relationship with that guy?"

It stung when he touched the tanned ring around my wrist. I gave Vic a look of disbelief. "I do not have a relationship with that guy!"

Bethany chimed in from the sidelines. "She really doesn't. I mean they're just partners for this project in class. Honestly, she was avoiding him from the beginning."

"Oh really?" Candy asked, as she brought over our bags. "I thought that was because you liked him."

Fed up with Vic's poking, I jerked my arm out of his hand, and covered my wrist with my shirt sleeve. "Unlike the majority of girls in this school, I'm not obsessed with those Babes. Seriously, I mean I'm the one that calls them Babes most of the time!"

I retrieved my bag and pulled my jacket on. Tossing my backpack over my shoulder, I asserted that, "I will handle this clown. Did you hear him? He is playing a game." They all gave me worried looks and did not offer confidence. "C'mon it's nothing," I said uncertainly. "Besides if it gets serious you guy's will help me out, right?"

They all nodded, but they all wore very concerned expressions.

Over the weekend my friends stayed close and kept an eye on me, for which I was both thankful and irritated. It wasn't that serious. I mean I hated to point it out, even to myself but I didn't get the vibe that Nate wanted to hurt me. Honestly, it felt more like the babe wanted a new toy and I happened to be the item of choice.

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