Chapter 8 -"I never pegged either of you as the skittish type."

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Carter slouched in her chair, watching as Mr. Philips paced back and forth in front of the white board.

"Some would say he was foolish for taking the career choice he did," her history teacher said. "But I believe, if you asked him if he could redo it, would he choose differently, he would say that he would have done the same thing."

Mr. Philips stopped pacing and looked at the class, his arms crossed.

"So speaking of careers, let this be a lesson to you as career day approaches. The work you choose will become your life, for good or bad. Remember that when you decide what field you will go into."  

The bell rang.

"Chapters 23 and 24 tonight. Don't forget the essay due this Friday," he said.

The room burst into motion as students stowed their notebooks away and left. Carter shouldered her bag and followed the flow of traffic exiting the classroom. She paused outside, leaning against the wall. A second later, Link and Donovan stepped out. She fell into step beside them. Link glanced at her, smiling.

"You know," he said, "if you keep hanging out with us people will assume we are friends."

"You should feel so lucky," she said.

"Lucky, or afraid how people will see me?"

"You're the smart one here, you tell me?" she said.

They pushed their way past clusters of dawdling students. Halfway down the hallway they came up short when a blonde girl stepped in front of their path. As she closed the distance between herself and Donovan, arranging her features into a mask of concern, Carter recognized her as the girl from the library. 

"Donovan, were you sick this weekend?" she asked.

Carter frowned and shared a puzzled look with Link.

"No," Donovan said.

The girl cocked her head.

"Really?" she asked. "Because I didn't see you at my party. I figured that would be the only reason you didn't show up."

Carter snorted. The girl flashed her a confused look.

"That's ironic," Carter said. "I thought people usually go to your parties and come back with a disease."

The girl's face contorted with rage. She stepped over to Carter, her red painted lips curled into a snarl. Carter looked back with a bored expression, her arms crossed.

"How dare you..." The girl looked lost for words, her anger stealing away her thoughts. "You think that you are so....smart. Everyone is just..."

Carter nodded and moved her hand in a motion that said 'get on with it'.

"Yes," Carter said. "Still waiting for a full sentence. I know it's usually hard for you with such a small brain but I'm pulling for you."

The girl's face took on a deeper shade of red that reached to the dark roots of her hair.

"You b-"

Carter put her finger to her lips and shushed. The girl was struck dumb before the word could slip out.

"How about this," Carter said. "You collect your thoughts and in three days, when you've finally managed to think of something really cutting to say, come find me and I'll pretend to be insulted. Right now we have places to be. Good luck. I suggest a dictionary. It's the heavy book with no pictures in it."

She moved around the girl and continued down the hallway, Link and Donovan keeping stride.

"Do you enjoy lording your intellect over people?" Link asked.

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