Chapter 4(:

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  Sorry it's so short but, I'm going to try to upload soon! I have school to worry about and everything else(: Thanks you guys, you always brighten my day. <33

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  Melanie hauled me and Eli into lunch, sitting us down at a table in the back. "Stay." She commanded and went in line. I looked around the large cafeteria, spotting Leo's dark head in seconds. He was staring at me openly. I stared back, before getting embarrassed. I dropped my gaze for a few moments. My cheeks hot, I spared him another glance, he was smirking. Jerk. "Hey, Cora?" My attention shifted to Eli. I pulled my legs up on the bench beside me and hugged them to my chest and tilted my head to the side.
  Eli paused. "Why didn't you learn sign language?" Ahh, I see. I pulled the white board from my backpack and hid it under the table while I wrote on it. I held it up for only him to see. Reasons. "So mysterious," He commented, looking back up. I smiled innocently. Sure, they were my friends now, but that didn't mean I was handing over my every secret. Sign language was useless. Mom would be too upset to every actually try to learn and I wasn't going to weird out Luke and Kaylah.
  I also didn't ever want to lose the very slim chance I had of speaking. I always wanted to hold onto that sliver of light in this dark tunnel. Melanie returned then and I was grateful.

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  The day sped by quickly and soon enough I was sitting in art. I eyed the board and waited as students trickled into the room. Leo came strolling in, accompanied by his buddies and blonde bimbo. She glared at me and I gave her an amused look, it seemed to anger her more. She ran her manicured nail down Leo's chest and muttered something in his ear. He nodded and gave her a player smile. I mentally scoffed as Leo headed towards my table, gaze never faltering.
  I shifted in an uncomfortable way and watched as he sat, directly across from me. "Mystery girl." Leo breathed, eyes searching my face. I tipped an invisible hat and tapped my foot, impatient for the teacher. "She's always late. Now you get to spend time with me." I turned to him with a mixture of surprise and distaste. "What's your name, Angel?" He wore a cocky smile that I wanted to slap off. Better yet, why not quash this romantic atmosphere?
  I lifted my board from my open backpack and he looked at it, curious. Not for long, loverboy. I'm Mute, sweetheart. I spun it around and watched with satisfaction as his expression blanked. I felt a pang in my chest and immediately expelled it. His face turned into something else, understanding, pity, then hilarity. "You called me sweetheart." He chimed. When he noticed I wasn't smiling he sighed. "Look, that doesn't matter. I mean, I don't care. You seem... different. It's nice. Refreshing even." My eyes widened and I shut them, before re-opening them. Yep, Leo was still there. How was I going to get him to go away now? "What? Did you expect me to be all mean and nasty about it? That's cruel." He teased with a dazzling smile.
   My focus shifted to blondie who sat a few rows back, giving me a serious death glare. I rolled my eyes at her and Leo spoke. "Don't worry about her." I looked at him, apprehensive. Who is she?  His Hazel eyes flitted down to my board then back at my face. "Chelsea Young. Head cheerleader. Wanna-be girlfriend." I gave him a puzzled look, as if to ask him for an explanation. "We had a thing but, it ended a few months ago. She won't get the hint. I'm single now." He winked. I scrubbed out my words and changed them. Maybe it's because you flirted up a storm in first period? His cheeks reddened and I gave a silent laugh. "Well, I-I ...Whatever." He dismissed with a wave of his hand. I rolled my eyes at him now. "Oh, and sorry for being a jerk this morning. It was stuff." I watched as he grasped for the words. He must not have apologized often.
  We talked the rest of art period well, I wrote. In fact, we talked the rest of the week, learning about each other. Eli and Melanie didn't hide their surprise but, they were okay with it. I learned that Leopald James Kinderson is head of the football team, loves green, hates peas, and a few more random facts. He was almost as mysterious as me. He seemed fine with the fact I couldn't speak, which pleased me more than it should. Now here I sit, in 7th period on Friday, silently giggling as he tries to draw. I watched as the stick figures grew grotesque and misshapen. I was drawing today's assignment, People.
  "Lemme see yours." Leo commanded, snatching my paper. I silent 'No' formed at my lips. His Hazel eyes widened and his hard jaw went slack. "This is amazing, Cora." He complimented, I looked down. He pushed my paper over to my side and I analyze it. I see a hurt girl, her blond hair is flipped in front of the only eye we see. The depth in her eyes nearly tells a story, her flawless skin is unblemished. You can see a light reflecting from her pupil. I looked back up at Leo, he's analyzing me like I was the picture.
  His dark hair is slightly ruffled and his lips are parted a bit. His hazel eyes are changing emotions so fast it's hard to read them. I stared back at him, just stare. Leo looked down, "Help me?" His voice holds a laugh and I give him a smile. I walk around the table and lean down next to him, inhaling his scent. Axe, Woodsy, and Home. It's delicious, nearly making me melt on the spot.
  I take hold of his hand and pull back when tingles explode in my stomach. He looks up at me confused. I can see the shifting colors in his deep green-ish eyes, so close. SNAP OUT OF IT CORA! My mind shouts and I step back, taking a deep breath. Everything about him screams player. But, he's different.- A smaller voice convinces. He accepted you and didn't think you were weird at all. -It continues. I shake my head slightly and step back towards him, encircling his hand in mine.
  I brush it across the paper, creating the outline of a face. He's staring at me and I try to focus on the drawing. Try to lose myself in it. It's not working! I notice as his stare pin-pricks tingled on my neck and made my cheeks flush. I throw his hand across the paper faster than before, sketching fast. He finally dropped his gaze to the paper and gave a small sound of surprise. The picture was just beginning to come to life when I dropped his hand and returned to my seat, swooping up my backpack. The bell rings out.
  "Hey, Can I walk you out?" I raise my eyebrow at his question, but let him anyway. Leo says a few things here and there and I smiled at an off-handed comment he made as his 'group' approaches. We're near the parking lot now and I try to hold up my courage to not run away. "Hey, guys," Leo greeted them. "You know Cora." He gestured to me, I gave a half-wave and looked down. "Yeah, we do," Chelsea sneered. "How ya doin' Mutey? Told any good jokes?" I recoil from her nasty attitude. What's with her? "Oh I heard a good one. Wanna know the punchline?" Chelsea flipped her blonde hair over her shoulder, leaning close to me. "It's you." She whispered, words dripping in venom. I flinched back.
  What the hell? Her little group laughs. I step away from her, exhaling. "Hey. Leave her be, guys." Leo said, serious. "Are you protecting the Misfit Kinderson?" One of the jocks asked. "Yeah. What are you doing running around with that freak?" Another shouted. A chorus of agreement came from the group. "Well, Who's it gonna be Leo? Us, or the Freak?" Chelsea demanded, stomping her foot. Leo gave me a withering look before switching sides. He now stood next top Chelsea. "Go on, Freak. Scat!" Chelsea ordered with the flick of her wrist.
  Leo flinched before making his face an emotionless mask. The guy I thought I was getting to know disappeared. I reminisced on our times this week as I pulled into my driveway, alone. Mom was away for the weekend and twins went to friend's houses. I remember how he seemed so kind to me, like he cared. I stomped around the house, pulling my hair. God, how did a guy I barely know get to me so much. I've been betrayed before. No biggie. I stopped stomping and went to the living room, dropping onto the couch.
  My eyes drooped and I let them. Hoping for dreams. Hoping for the one place I could be okay. They shut all the way and I felt myself slip away.

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