“She’s hot,” I observe, nodding my head toward the blonde walking through the hallway.
Max checks her out then flashes me his signature smirk. “She looks...opinionated.”
I roll my eyes and stare at him in disbelief. “Opinionated? Seriously?”
Can a girl look opinionated? Is this a thing?
“I’m opinionated, and you love me,” I point out, pursing my lips together. The things this guy comes up with sometimes…
“Yeah, as my friend,” he says, wrapping an arm around me. “I’d never date you though. You’d drive me fucking crazy.”
“You’re an asshole,” I grumble, but then shake my head and smile to myself. Max has lived next-door to me ever since we were five. We’ve been friends ever since I can remember, and although people I tell the story to like to romanticise it, there’s no way in hell we’ll be anything but friends at any point in our lives.
“Yet you love me anyway, true friendship right there,” he comments distractedly, gaze following a blonde. He points at her. “Now her, though…I’ll be right back.”
I laugh and glance down at my class schedule. Today’s the first day back at school, and in true Max form, he’s spending his morning checking out all the new girls the school has to offer. I, on the other hand, am more interested in making it to my classes on time and staying on top of my workload from day one. I’m almost at my English class when I hear a voice say, “What the fuck are you wearing?”
Curious, I look to the right to see a pretty girl standing there in a short denim skirt and a tight black top. Sure, the skirt is pretty short, but not unlike what most of the other girls at school wear on a daily basis. She’s beautiful, I notice, with jet-black shoulder-length hair that’s straighter than I could ever get mine, and clear blue eyes.
“Don’t embarrass me,” I hear her reply through clenched teeth.
“Go home and change,” the guy growls at the poor girl. I look at him from behind. Tall, very tall. A mop of dark hair, and a nice build. Broad shoulders covered in a white t-shirt, and jeans showing off his narrow hips. But still, no girl should put up with that from her boyfriend, no matter how good he looks from behind.
“Now, Sierra,” he says, crossing his arms over his chest. “Or I will drag you home myself.”
“Hey, don’t talk to her like that,” I blurt out, unable to keep my mouth shut. Yeah, I can be impulsive like that. I also don’t like seeing men intimidate women, and worse, women accepting it.
The boy turns around, and for a second, I’m taken aback by the colour of his eyes.
Framed in thick, dark lashes, I’ve never seen eyes the colour of his in my life.
And he’s hot.
Tanned skin, full lips, high cheekbones, and a straight nose.
Yeah, this guy is blessed in the looks department.
Why are the jerks always hot?
“Mind your own business, little girl,” the boy says to me, snapping me out of my lust-filled daze, his spectacular eyes narrowing on me.
I look at Sierra, who is currently giving me an odd look.
“Come on, you don’t need to listen to this,” I say to her, giving the guy a disgusted look.
She steps forward, coming to stand next to me, and flashes the boy a triumphant look. He scowls, shakes his head, and then walks off in the other direction.
“Thanks,” Sierra tells me, smiling. “If you didn’t interrupt, he actually would make me go home and change. My brother can be so overprotective sometimes.”
That kind of changed things.
“I thought he was your boyfriend,” I admit, grimacing and walking next to her down the hallway. “And I’m Viola, by the way.”
She laughs, her lips quirking upwards. “Nice to meet you, Viola. And no, he’s my older brother. He thinks I shouldn’t give boys the wrong impression by wearing revealing clothes.” She pauses. “And that it will attract the wrong type of guys.”
I chew on my bottom lip, asking myself why I had to open my big mouth. When we arrive at my class, Sierra says bye and heads to her own class, hips swaying in her short skirt.
So much for me being a hero.
“There you are,” Max says, coming to stand next to me and handing me a red liquorice stick. “What classes do we have together, other than English?”
I hold my hand out to look at his schedule. He passes it to me, the paper sticky from the candy he’d been eating. “Eww, Max.”
I wipe my hand on my jeans while I scan the paper. “English and human biology, it looks like. Only two classes? That sucks.”
“They’re probably still holding a grudge after last year’s math test fiasco,” he points out, licking his fingers.
I hand him back the paper and smile as I reminisce. The teacher had left out a copy of our final exam, and Max had taken it, photocopied it, and passed it out to everyone in class. When everyone got perfect scores, they didn’t know who to blame and had no proof, but somehow Max and I were the ones held under suspicion. They were right about Max, of course, but I was just guilty by association.
“They need to let that go,” I say, walking into class and looking around for a seat. I take one in the middle and Max sits next to me. I know he’d prefer to sit in the back, but unlike him, I want to get my work done. We compromise with the middle. I make him do some of his work, and he makes me laugh with his jokes, which makes the classes go quicker. Max saying hello to someone has me raising my head.
Violet eyes scrutinize me as the boy sits down on the other side of Max.
“Dashiel, this is Viola,” Max says, nodding his head in my direction. “Vi, this is Dash. We play basketball together. Today’s his first day here.”
I lean forward to see him over Max. “Hello, Dashiel.”
“This is your girl?” he asks Max. “I never thought you’d choose someone so…”
“Opinionated?” Max offers, laughing to himself. I slap his arm and throw him an unimpressed look, which only makes him laugh harder.
Dashiel smiles, and holy hell—he has dimples.
Deep, delicious, twin dimples.
I stare at them without blinking or breathing for longer than I’d like to admit.
“Exactly,” he continues, ignoring me and pulling out a pen from his bag.