Chapter 2

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Tate narrows his eyes. "What was what," he says slowly.

"You know damn well what I'm talking about," I sharply say, taking a step towards him. He turns on his heel and continues walking away from me. I have to practically jog to keep up to his long strides.

"No, I actually don't know what you're talking about."

"Stop!" I grab his arm firmly and pull it to turn him around. "How did you get her to do that?"

"Is everything alright here?" We both quickly turn to see Principal Myers standing across the hall, looking suspiciously at us.

Tate coughs and I smile. "Yes, sir. Just talking about our English project due next week." Principal Myers nods distractedly and continues on his way down the hall, in the direction we'd just came from.

"Okay, very well, very well," he mutters as he walks away.

I'm still staring after him when I feel Tate shift underneath my tight grasp. I look down at my small hand wrapped around his tan muscular arm so tight that my knuckles are turning white.

"Let go," I hear Tate firmly tell me.

His brown eyes are guarded and wary when I look up into them. Quietly and subtly I ease myself into his head, finding the cracks in his defenses and slipping through them. He barely notices I'm there, and I hear my voice through his ears as I say, "Not until you tell me how you got her to change

your grades."

With that, I am violently shoved out of Tate's mind. I quickly try to reenter but his walls are back up, stronger than before, even. I gasp and falter on my feet as I am physically, literally repelled from Tate's body.

Tate shakes his head and looks confused. He shoves his hands into the pockets of his jeans, and pulls out a cigarette.I roll my eyes, wondering if he's really stupid enough to light up in the middle of the hallway. "What do you mean? I just asked her to do something for me and-"

"No you didn't 'just ask' her," I snap, still confused and disjointed from the previous moments. I swat the cigarette out of his hands and shove it into my leather jacket pocket. "Do you have any idea what you did, Tate?"

"Fine!" He says exasperatedly. "I insisted that she do something for me! It's whatever, I guess people just have a hard time saying no to me."

"No, you asshole- you didn't just insist to her! Goddammit, you-"

But I am interrupted by a commotion coming from behind me. Scuffling noises, sobbing and yelling approach nearer and nearer. Looking over my shoulder, Tate's eyes widen and he looks stunned. I turn around.

"Let me go! Let me go for God's sake-I'm not finished! He needs A's! I'm telling you, he needs A's!"

Ms. Lee's cries and pleas are broken by sobbing as Principal Myers and a security guard drag her down the hall, as she violently attempts to pull away. I keep my eyes averted from Principal Myers, although I know his small eyes are examining Tate and I as they pass.

After what feels like an eternity they round the corner. I whip around to Tate. "Do you get it now?" I yell at him. "Do you see what you've done?"

Without waiting for an answer, I turn around and run from Tate, who is left standing in the hall alone, bewildered and confused.

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