Spirit Page 10

“Yes.” He racked his brain for something intelligent to say, but then her eyes lifted from the paper and stole every coherent thought from his head.

Like what you see?

Inexplicably, he wanted to touch her, to feel her heartbeat under his fingertips, to catch some of that scent on his palm.

Now he was glad he couldn’t speak. He’d probably sound like a psycho.

She shifted the bag higher on her shoulder. “You’re big on staring, huh?”

He jerked his eyes away, feeling heat course up his neck. “Sorry.”

“Don’t apologize. Just don’t blame me for staring back.”

He swung his gaze back. Again, he had no idea whether she was flirting. Her tone was so . . . direct.

“I have a theory about piercings,” she said.

“I’d like to hear it.” He could be direct back.

Mr. Beamis, the ancient History teacher, cleared his throat behind them. “Perhaps we could all take our seats?”

The girl didn’t move, so Hunter didn’t, either.

Three empty seats were available in the classroom. One immediately to their left, the desk almost touching the teacher’s. One at the back, directly behind Becca. And one in the third row, two seats over from Hunter.

“Where do you sit?” the girl said.

He nodded toward his seat in the third row. The desks were arranged two-by-two, and he’d been paired with Monica Lawrence for the semester project.

Monica appeared to be examining her hair for split ends.

And a few rows past that, Becca was watching his interaction with the new girl a little too carefully.

Mr. Beamis cleared his throat again, a bit more emphatically. “Sometime today, if you don’t mind.”

The girl turned and surveyed the room as if the teacher’s impatience didn’t matter one bit. Then, without another glance at Hunter, she slipped between the desks and dropped into the chair two rows over.

He made his way into his own seat and refused to look her way.

Beamis turned toward the board and immediately started droning. Hunter could totally sleep through this class—he’d taken World History last year, at his old school, and even though he’d told them that at registration, they’d still dumped him in here. Monica wasn’t the type to care whether he paid attention or not, so he usually used this class to catch up on homework from his other teachers.

Today, he was keenly aware of the new girl sitting a few rows over.

He should be plotting a way to stop Calla. He should be figuring the best angle to approach the Merricks to get their help.

He just couldn’t think past cinnamon and apples and blond hair.

Then he slammed a door on those thoughts. He’d been burned twice now—once by Clare, a girl who’d been using him for his father’s weapons. And once by Calla, a girl who was using him for his father’s connections.

Before their final trip, Hunter’s father had imparted one last lesson, and death had made it stick: Use them before they use you.

He pulled out his essay for Honors French and pretended the new girl didn’t exist.

A folded triangle of paper landed in the center of his notebook.

Normally he’d unfold it discreetly, but Beamis was so clueless that the note could have hit him in the head and he wouldn’t notice.

Loopy script in purple pen. The paper smelled like her.

What’s your #?


Hunter clicked his pen and wrote below her words.

I have a theory about girls who ask for your number before asking for your name.

Then he folded it up and flicked it back.

It took every ounce of self-control to not watch her unfold it.

The paper landed back on his desk in record time.

I have a theory about boys who prefer writing to texting.

He put his pen against the paper.

I have a theory about girls with theories.

Then he waited, not looking, fighting the small smile that wanted to play on his lips.

The paper didn’t reappear.

After a minute, he sighed and went back to his French essay.

When the folded triangle smacked him in the temple, he jumped a mile. His chair scraped the floor, and Beamis paused in his lecture, turning from the board. “Is there a problem?”

“No.” Hunter coughed, covering the note with his hand. “Sorry.”

When the coast was clear, he unfolded the triangle.

It was a new piece of paper.

My name is Kate.

Kate. Hunter almost said the name out loud.

What was wrong with him?

It fit her perfectly, though. Short and blunt and somehow indescribably hot.

Another piece of paper landed on his notebook, a small strip rolled up tiny.

This time, there was only a phone number.

Hunter felt like someone had punched him in the stomach and he couldn’t remember how to breathe.

Then he pulled out his cell phone and typed under the desk.

Come here often?

Her response appeared almost immediately.

First timer.

Beamis was facing the classroom now, so Hunter kept his gaze up until it was safe. When he looked back, Kate had written again.

I bet I could strip na**d and this guy wouldn’t even notice.

Hunter’s pulse jumped. But this was easier, looking at the phone instead of into her eyes.

I would notice.

There was a long pause, during which he wondered if he’d said the wrong thing. Then a new text appeared.

I have a theory about boys who picture you na**d before sharing their name.

Prev Next
Romance | Vampires | Fantasy | Billionaire | Werewolves | Zombies