Chapter Fourteen

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Thursday

After West left last night, Alyse came over and spent the night. Her mother left yesterday morning, so I offered for Alyse to stay with Toby and I; as she usually does when her mother leaves randomly. Toby and I left to pick her up from work at ten last night, and the two of us didn't get to sleep until midnight.

Of course she interrogated me of everything that happened. I explained that West offered to help me write my songs lyrics, and that he offered to sing them for me before I turn them in. Him and I ended up getting more than halfway through with the lyrics for my latest song, and I have to admit that I was impressed. The lyrics we came up with together are far better than anything I could write on my own, but I would never tell him that.

His ego is large enough.

Now I'm walking out of music with Alyse, listening to her blab on about how they sent home her favorite singer last night on American Idol.

"First of all, the judges suck. Second of all, James was the best singer out of them all. And third, I'm seriously pissed!" She yells, stomping her foot on the ground.

I stop by my locker and chuckle. "I totally agree."

I have no clue what she's talking about.

"Anyways, I gotta head to see Mr. Peterson before lunch. I'll see you at the table." She says, sighing before walking away.

I shake my head at her and exchange my books for the ones in my locker. I balance the books on my arm and shut my locker, and that's when everything falls out of my arms from complete surprise.

West is standing there, his arms crossed and a lazy smirk planted to his features. I try to calm my breathing and place my hand over my rapidly beating heart.

West's smirk falls once he sees my books on the floor and he bends down with me to pick them up.

"Didn't mean to scare you that badly, Sunshine." He says, handing me my final book.

I scowl at him and go to stand back up.

"I swear I never see you alone in the hallways." He comments, placing his hand out for me.

My eyes stray to his tattoo for a split second before he takes my hand and pulls me my feet. I blink from how gentle his grip was; I was expecting his hand to feel calloused and to squeeze my own to the point of breaking, not to feel like a soft blanket draped across my skin. I disregard the familiarity of his hand in mine, and when I stand up straight I pull it away.

"Thanks." I sign, adjusting my books.

He nods and we start to walk down the hall together.

"Why are you bringing your books to lunch, anyways?" West asks, glancing down at the two textbooks cradled in my arms.

I adjust them so I can respond. "Tyler needs help with history, lunch is the only time I can help him."

He squints at my hands. "Only time you can...?"

I sign it again, this time a lot slower. It's a good thing I'm a patient person, or else teaching West sign language would have taken a turn for the worst.

When he comprehends his lips form into an 'oh.' "You must be some sort of saint, helping all us lost fools out." He comments, causing me to chuckle.

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