Lunch

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"How was your first session?" Dex asked as he handed her a tray and made room for her in the lunch line.

"Oh, fine—except I was almost electrocuted." She tried to keep the quiver out of her voice. Sir Conley stopped the lightning from hitting her, catching it in a tiny fluted vial at the last possible second. But the hairs on her arms still stood on end. Especially since she'd also botched the class assignment, and she caught Sir Conley making notes about it.

She had taken his class before, so why was she this bad at it?

"That's elementalism for you," Dex said. "Wait till they make you collect your first tornado. They're not easy to catch."

She followed Dex through the line, grabbing whatever food she found appetizing. She was so glad she had saved Dex from detention, she'd actually have someone to sit with besides Jensi.

"I wanted to thank you for earlier." Dex began as they walked out of the line. "You saved me from embarrassment and quite possibly detention."

He grabbed a drink and turn to her, "Look, I don't exactly sit with anyone here. I usually go to the library or a classroom to work on projects. My parents are a bad match so people don't really talk to me."

Sophie's heart hurt for him. She had never thought about his life before being friends with her and the rest of them. "We could sit with Jensi...."

Right on cue, Jensi rushed to her side. "Hey, my friends and I have a table—it's only guys—and most of them are pretty lame—but you guys can totally sit with us." He looked at Dex as if he wasn't expecting him to be there.

"Thanks, Jensi." She followed him over to his table.

If Jensi's friends were human, they would've been skinny, with acne and braces. Since they were elves, they were fairly good looking—or they could've been if they hadn't slicked their hair into greasy ponytails. They stared at her like they'd never seen a girl up close before. One of them even drooled.

"Sorry," Jensi mumbled, setting his tray down with a bang. "C'mon, guys. I said be cool!"

"Sorry, dude," they all said in unison, and went right on staring at Sophie.

Jensi sighed. "So, how was the E?"

Sophie shrugged and sat down next to Dex. "Pretty good, except I was almost zapped by lightning."

"She practically almost died." Dex chimed in.

Jensi rolled his eyes. "Anyway—what do you have next?"

"The Universe."

"Don't you mean the U?" the drooly one asked with an exaggerated wink. The other guys giggled.

"Oh, come on. I know it's not called that." Sophie have them a glare. She didn't appreciate them trying to mess with her.

"Sorry, dude," they mumbled.

"Enough with the 'dude'—you guys are killing it!" Jensi yelled.

"Sorry, dude."

Jensi looked ready to explode. Sophie covered her laugh with a cough.

"Thanks for taking care of her, guys, but I'll take it from here," a girl's voice interrupted.

All the greasy ponytails stared and drooled again as a pixielike girl grabbed Sophie's tray and motioned for her to follow.

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