"Hey!" I called, marching up to Rian determinedly. He was leaning against the wall outside our classroom, and didn't even spare me a second glance. I stopped a few feet away, trying to sort through the whirlwind of emotions I'd just endured. "You—"
Before I could extract any information out of him, Prof walked out of the class and interrupted me. "You're late," he said to both of us, frowning in disapproval.
Rian straightened immediately. "I apologize for that, Professor. I was a little distracted by something, but I can assure you," he paused, his voice cold enough to give me frostbite, "it won't happen again."
I raised my eyebrows in disbelief, my ire morphing into outrage. Was he for real?
Prof nodded curtly, turning to face me. "And what's your excuse?"
Still giving Rian the stink-eye, I crossed my arms. "I happened to run into somebody that I used to know," I said testily, keeping my gaze trained on the humanoid block of ice to my right. "We had a quick chat, but unfortunately—and pardon my french Prof—it seems like they've become a complete and utter asshole."
Prof blinked in surprise. He glanced between the two of us: me, glaring relentlessly at Rian, and Rian stubbornly refusing to pay me any attention. "Uh . . ." he began, with uncharacteristic awkwardness. "Did something happen between the two of you?"
"No!" we both declared simultaneously.
Prof scratched his head in discomfort. I felt a bit bad for him, but my guilt was overpowered by the indignant anger that—that pisse-froid had made the calamitous mistake of rousing.
"Well, if there's no problem," Prof said slowly, "why don't we move the conversation inside?"
"Fine by me!" I announced, marching past Prof into the room. Rian also headed into class, of course without uttering a single word.
Prof cautiously closed the door and headed to his desk. I sat on one of the tables near the front, huffing scornfully as Rian casually leaned against the wall to my left.
"The reason I called you here today," Prof said carefully, proceeding as though he was navigating a minefield, "is to hammer out a schedule for the next few weeks. The Evaluation Competition is coming up, and we need to be ready for it."
Crossing my arms again, I stared straight ahead resolutely. No matter how mad I was, we'd still have to work together for the ecomp. My apprehension from before was gone, swallowed up by a burning desire to force the truth out of that walking lump of stone. Rian had no idea what he was in for.
"Actually," Rian interjected coolly. "I'm afraid I'll have to withdraw from the contest. I can no longer stay on as the class AC, either."
Oh no he fucking didn't.
My eyes shot to his, narrowing at the dark glimmer of self-satisfaction I saw there. "Pardon me?" Prof asked him, totally blindsided, but I knew what he was doing. His promise from earlier echoed in my ears: if you won't tell me, then I suppose I'll have to take manners into my own hands.
I hopped off the desk, advancing on him with white-hot fire in my veins. "You're going to back out just like that?"
Rian turned to me unconcernedly. "That's right."
"And leave the whole class hanging."
He shrugged, unaffected. "You're all talented enough. You'll be able to handle a few weeks by yourselves," he paused, coldly enunciating each word, "fetching your own kitchen supplies."
I scoffed in disbelief. "Do you even know what ACs do? How important they are?"
"I don't have to—or did you miss the part when I said I'm leaving?"
YOU ARE READING
He brushed his lips against my jaw, his dark hair falling over his brow. "Open your eyes," he commanded. "Look at me." I followed his orders and looked into the raven-black depths before me. I saw my entranced gaze reflected in his glaring one. "Tel...