He Makes a Move

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          It took only a few more days for the transfer student to establish a reputation as the most disagreeable girl in school. By the end of the week, her status had been promoted to a demon’s.

            As Elizabeth walked to Homeroom with her nose buried in a battered paperback, girls whispered some highly creative rumors about her to whoever would listen.

            “Sold marijuana in-”

            “Eats ketchup with-”

            “Got suspended for-”

            She smirked and, straightening her back, briskly walked off to the classroom. When Elizabeth opened the door, her classmates’ mild chatter descended into low muttering and contemptuous looks.

            “Well, it’s not like I don’t, you know, like her,” a doe-eyed girl told a group of boys. “I just wish she wasn’t so mean. Like, even if you’re smart, you shouldn’t brag about it so much, right? What she did at Orientation was so not cool. It was just, like, mean, you know?”

            “I do apologize for speaking my mind,” Elizabeth casually said in passing. “Maybe if I was, like, as nice as you, then maybe I’d get to fool all the guys, too.”

            She fell into her seat with a smirk.

            “Like, what a shame.”

            A few onlookers started to snicker, but quickly assumed indignant expressions when they saw who was walking in.

            “Hey, that was really mean!” they loudly protested as Vincent entered the classroom with an awestruck teacher trailing behind him.

            Ms. Palena was a young woman –only twenty-seven and a half, mind you- who dreamed of gorgeous men by the boatload. She, of course, would never consider her own student as a potential love interest. But apparently there wasn’t any harm in sneaking a peak or two, either.

            The school celebrity smoothly got into the desk next to Elizabeth’s. It was school tradition for students to be assigned to classes and then seated by their academic ability. An idiotic tradition, Elizabeth thought to herself as Vincent greeted her with the usual smirk.

            “Morning, Liz.”

            “Please,” she smiled, venom oozing from each clipped word. “Call me Elizabeth.”

            “Alrighty class, let’s get started,” Ms. Palena trilled. “As you know, the Autumn Festival is coming up, and I need you to get in pairs of two: one boy, one girl. You get five minutes to find a partner. Knock over anything and I’ll pair you up with someone you don’t like.”

            The entire class shifted its gaze to Elizabeth, even Palena herself.

            “Now remember to choose your partners wisely,” the teacher resumed. “Once you write your names down, that’s it. No trading after that.”

            Vincent’s hand shot out and yanked Elizabeth up by the arm.

            “She’s mine.”

            Everyone went rigid.

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