Chapter 15 - "Why I do favors for people is beyond me."

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A high pitched giggle cut through the noise of the cafeteria, making Carter wince and Donovan flex his jaw in irritation. The owner of the laugh leaned closer to him, her hand coming to rest on his bicep. Donovan glanced at Carter, who fought to keep her amused grin in check. Beyond his expressionless face, she read his annoyance in the slight tightening around the his dark blue eyes. He shifted but the girl kept her hand latched onto his arm.

The cafeteria was buzzing with voices and movement, as boys jumped tables to flirt with girls. The sky outside was clear and poured bright sunlight into the room. Haggard lunch ladies stood behind the counter, serving food and ignoring the comments of the rich and spoiled.

Link sat on Carter's other side, making stunted conversation with Maddy, the cafeteria and Donovan's annoyance lost to him. The girls that sat at the opposite side of the table from Donovan chatted brightly with each other, though their laughs and looks were aimed at him. The girl beside Donovan laughed again, the source of her amusement her own dull story.

"So there I am lost in the museum and they announce they are about to close," the girl said, stroking Donovan's arm with a manicured hand.

Donovan's eyes flicked to Carter, with a look that she read as a request for help. In return, Carter rested her head in her hand and continued eating from a bag of chips. His eyes narrowed imperceptibly and she grinned.

"I was so nervous, I could barely think," the girl said, giggling.

Donovan kicked Carter under the table and she scowled. His expression was blank, the smirk hiding away in his eyes. Carter glared at him but turned her attention onto the girl. The girl continued talking and Carter stared at her, her face a mask of intrigue. The girl glanced at Carter and faltered in her story. Carter gestured to her.

"Please, go on," she said, her voice dripping with sincerity, "Your story was truly riveting. I need to know how it ends or I might die of curiosity."

The girl opened and closed her mouth, her words choking her as a blush raced into her cheeks.

"Okay," Carter said. "If you can't finish it, just nod and let me know that you got out the museum alive. That is all I need to know."

The girl's blush deepened into a look of anger and she turned away. Carter looked at Donovan and shrugged.

"I guess we will never know if she made it out alive. It's truly tragic."

The faintest touch of a smile curled Donovan's lips.

"Took you long enough," he whispered.

"You ruined my entertainment. Now what am I suppose to do?" she asked.

"Anything that doesn't involve my arm being stroked," he said.

Carter cocked her head. "Wait? That bothered you?"

A teasing grin swept over her face as she reached for Donovan's arm. Before she could touch him, Donovan shot his hand out and held her wrist. Carter straightened and retaliated, pulling back his thumb with her free hand. Donovan went to counter her move, but Link's voice stopped them.

"Guys?" he said, looking at them.

Carter and Donovan's released each other and they looked at him. Carter's expression was one of innocence and Donovan's blank.

"Maddy was just wondering if we want to work on the history assignment together today, during free period."

Carter scoffed. "I already finished that."

Link's face tightened and Carter smiled instead.

"I mean sure," she said.

Link grinned.

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