CHAPTER 5: PAWS AND CLAWS

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Two weeks had passed since my conflict with Joanne, and I was still avoiding both my mothers. I knew I was hurting them, but I needed time to accept their choice of keeping me in the dark, and to forgive their lies. Laurent kept appearing from time to time, when I was in class or when I was working at the grocery store. We chatted a bit sometimes, but it was difficult to size him up. He was very mysterious, and by the way he acted, I felt that he was different. Strangely, I was glad to know he was close. He made me feel safer, and well, he was pleasant to look at.

I was sitting in the cafeteria with Sarah, like we did every Thursday at lunch. We were studying physics when a guy sat beside me, startling me. I turned my head and noticed that he was grinning in my direction, completely ignoring Sarah.

''Hi, you're Jade Desrosiers, right?'' he asked with a confident smirk.

The guy looked about my age, with blonde hair and large shoulders. Sarah winked at me and stood up, pretending that she had to go to her class. She really wanted me to get laid. I widened my eyes at her, trying to make her understand that I wanted him to go away, but she just left. Such a great friend.

''Yeah, that's me'', I answered lazily.

I was never shy with boys. Or at least not since I was about fourteen. However, I have always preferred taking the first steps, it made me feel in control. I had had a lot of relationships throughout high school, which made some girls call me a slut and some would still call me that now. I hated that term, because the fact that I was comfortable with my own sexuality at a younger age than most did not make me a bad person, and the fact that I did not want to engage in long-term relationships now was my personal choice, they should not judge me on it. My priority were my grades, but I still had natural needs.

''We had a class together last semester, and I always wanted to ask you out, but I never had the courage'', he laughed, embarrassed. ''So, I am doing it now.''

The guy was cute, but seriously, I had enough problems right now, and dating was not going to make it better. I could not add any stress to my life until my situation with my father was over, but I felt bad to turn him down. He was nice, and I disliked disappointing people.

''Oh, what class did we have together? I'm sorry, I have a bad memory with faces'' I wondered sheepishly, attempting to change the subject.

His eyes widened at the question, as if I had asked him trick question. He seemed nervous under his self-assured façade, which I found cute.

''Uh, it was uh, Philosophy'', he stuttered, scratching his hair.

''Yeah, with Mr. Martin?'' I said, feigning to remember him not to hurt his feelings.

''Yeah, exactly'', he agreed with a large, flirty grin. ''I'm Dylan.''

I nodded at him awkwardly, playing with the pen in my hand. I was figuring out how to turn him down nicely, when Laurent Eastwood appeared to my left with his famous dark expression. I wondered why he had to come here now, especially when I was chatting with someone. At least, his interruption would maybe save me from rejecting Dylan.

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