Authors: Stella Wilkinson
must never kiss again. Though that shouldn’t be a problem as he had already
said they were both supposed to forget it had ever happened. As if! Mmm, she
closed her eyes and relived it for a moment, as she had done several times
since the first kiss. But it was just lust, right? She didn’t have any real
emotional feelings for him, did she? No, definitely not. Whatever he said, they
were NOT friends. She was just attracted to him against her will.
to this conclusion she began to stomp her way back to the school building.
So why was
she so annoyed that he also seemed to be attracted
against his will
wanted him to like her unconditionally. It wasn’t
family that had
tortured and murdered people! Also it would really help if he wasn’t so nice.
How could she dislike him if he continued being friendly and funny and bloody
there was the issue of Diana. He hadn’t been completely upfront about her. But
Leo wasn’t thinking of Diana when he was kissing her. She smiled viciously,
thinking of how saying that to Diana would give her great satisfaction. The
feeling only lasted a second before she ticked herself off. What a horrid thing
to think. Diana didn’t have many friends; she didn’t want to take Leo from her,
just because Diana was a cold, emotionless, stuck up cow. Rose began to laugh
at herself for her even thinking it.
Ok, so they
kissed; and they were going to pretend it never happened. On the one hand, this
was very good. His mates wouldn’t know, it wouldn’t be spread all over school,
her family wouldn’t find out and be upset, things could stay the same. On the
other hand, it was very bad. It meant she couldn’t tell Grace or Sophie, they
would never be able to keep it to themselves, and she badly wanted to talk to
someone about it.
She would just pretend it never happened. She wasn’t madly attracted to him.
She didn’t like him anyway. He wasn’t good-looking and he wasn’t nice. And he
hadn’t given her the most lovely present…
fingered the necklace again. She was already dying to kiss him just once more.
get back to the school, it was nearly time for the six course lunch in the
upper school hall followed by presents in front of the log fire lit next to the
huge Christmas tree in the library.
to the library, where everyone was meeting. Armchairs had been laid out in
front of the fire and the lamps had all been covered with red shades to create
a warm glow.
on the floor, playing with a small black kitten. Her face was shining with joy.
from Mum and Dad. Isn’t he wonderful?” She enthused as Rose went down onto her
knees beside them.
agreed Rose rubbing him behind one ear. “What will you name him?”
Ellie said laughing, “Because he’s been sticking his nose into absolutely
name.” Rose agreed as the kitten’s head disappeared under her jumper and he
tried to investigate her belt.
to greet her aunt and uncle who had arrived while she had been outside.
swear you’ve grown even more beautiful since the summer.” Her aunt Nora pulled
her into a bear hug. “I’ve put your main present under the tree but I saw this
jumper just yesterday and couldn’t resist buying it for you. I thought it would
look perfect with your hair.” Aunt Nora fingered Rose’s auburn hair. “Why don’t
you run and put it on so we can check it fits, I can always change it if you
don’t like it.”
a thank you, talked briefly with her uncle, exchanging news on her parents,
then took the package up to her room.
off her white jumper and pulled on the new one. A perfect fit. It was a mossy
color and really brought out the green in her hazel eyes. She brushed her hair
so it gleamed like freshly spun rich copper and for good measure she added a
little bronze lip balm to her mouth. She considered changing her jeans; they
were kind of a snug fit. She turned trying to see her bum in the mirror
wondering if looked ok, and decided she would have to pass on Christmas pudding
if she didn’t want her stomach to pop out. She would start a diet tomorrow she
vowed, before bouncing back down the stairs leading to the hall.
already seated at the near end of the table with several others and Rose had to
walk right past him to the far end where Alex was waiting. She deliberately
didn’t look at him as she went past. But even with her head down she couldn’t
help the warm feeling that washed over her at being so near to him. She just
hoped the heat didn’t reach her face as it really didn’t suit her when she
passed in a jolly way with lots of banter and silliness. The Falcons and the
Parkhursts were especially exuberant, but apart from uncle John saying “Now,
now,” at one point, no one bothered to restrain their high spirits.
laughed loudly and placed a paper crown on her head from out of her cracker,
she happened to glance down the table and caught Leo looking at her.
quickly looked down, grinning at her plate. She felt so aware of him. She could
still feel his eyes, she concentrated hard on the plate. It was daft but it
made her feel wonderfully happy just because he winked at her.
you smirking at?” Alex leaned over to examine the plate she had been staring
smirking!” She replied still trying not to look at Leo.
are, like the cat that stole the cream.” Jack joined in from across the table.
be ridiculous!” She really didn’t want to draw any more attention to herself.
Bloody Leo. Perhaps she should get him back later somehow. At that moment
Sherlock the kitten caused a distraction by jumping on the table to try and
catch a spinning top. Bending her head again to her food she allowed her hair
to swing in front of her face, disguising her expression as she began to smile
Ok, so what
would be the harm in a little flirting? Rose watched Leo from under lowered
lashes as he lounged in front of the fire that evening. Her aunt and uncle had
gone home and she was sat with Toby and the Parkhursts around a game of Risk,
while he sat alone near the fire with a book open in his lap.
have to be his girlfriend or anything. They didn’t even have to be friends. But
it would be fun to flirt with him a bit.
Grace were always flirting with boys. She could practice some of the moves she
had seen them constantly use to get boys to notice them.
more quiet and intellectual of the two, would develop the hobbies of those boys
who took her interest. She would learn all about the subject and be able to
impress if necessary. She would arrange ways to constantly be bumping into the
boy until he thought destiny kept throwing them together. Rose would tease her
that it was tantamount to stalking but it did actually seem to work with
alarming regularity and Grace was regularly asked on dates. However Grace found
fault easily and tended to dump every boy after one date. Rose sometimes
wondered what Grace was holding out for.
more outgoing and used a lot of loud laughter and hair flicking to attract boys
to her side. Sophie said she enjoyed the game of flirting so much that she went
off a boy as soon as it actually seemed to be going anywhere. However Rose knew
that this was really because the only boy she was remotely interested in was
Jack and all the others were just practice till the day he noticed her.
about the two techniques. She already shared his main interest of art. She was
passionate about art and spent a lot of her spare time in the school art
studio. It was only now, as she was thinking about it, that she realized so did
he. Other than that, she couldn’t think of any thing else he did regularly in
his spare time. Reading perhaps, could she see what he was reading? She tilted
her head sideways to see into his lap. Oops! He caught her looking at him, and
not at his face! Damn. She pretended she had been bending down to pick up a
piece of fluff from the floor. She would swear he had that smug smile on his
face again though. She could feel it from several feet away. She tried to look
focused on the board game.
could find out what book it was later, and maybe get a copy and read it as
well. What else could she do that Grace would do? Run into him more often. Well
they were already in the same school house so they already had a lot of lessons
together. How could she mastermind doing that if it already happened anyway?
Hang on though, didn’t that mean she’d already got that one covered? Perhaps
she could see him more in the Common Room, maybe first thing in the morning,
before anyone else was about, he was an early riser. But everyone knew that, so
wouldn’t it be a bit obvious if she suddenly started getting up early and
hanging out in the Common Room? Hmm, stalking was harder than it looked!
She had her
turn, tried to invade Canada and lost about fifty troops. She really ought to
be paying the game more attention.
pondered on what Sophie would do. Ok, that was easier, it didn’t require
anything but him being in the same room. She wound a lock of hair round her
finger as she had seen Sophie do when flirting. She played with it for a while
slowly. Was he looking? She couldn’t check or he might see.
At that moment,
Alex made a funny comment about Jack’s intentions towards Poland as Jack
amassed a huge force in Germany. Rose laughed loudly at Alex’s joke and tossed
her hair back.
bound to be looking over now. What should she do next?
Sophie’s ‘I’m interested in you too,’ double glance. There was a masterpiece of
body language, which she well remembered Sophie teaching her.
was to look up, see a boy looking at you, and then look down and smile. If you
looked to the left or right then you were saying: “I’m not interested”, so it
was important to look down. Hold the eyes down and smiling pose for two seconds
then look back up at him again. Hold his gaze for maybe three seconds, which is
too long for it to be meaningless, and keep smiling to make yourself seem
friendly and approachable. Then turn back to your friends, more laughing and
hair flicking, then time about five minutes for him to get the nerve up to come
over. Sophie swore it never ever failed.
up. What were you supposed to do if he wasn’t looking at you?
As if he
felt her eyes, he did suddenly look up, only to catch her looking at him. Damn
damn! She was doing this all wrong. She smiled and looked down. One – two. She
looked back up just as Diana came into the room. Leo was looking at Diana.
dropped onto a cushion at Leo’s feet and leant back against his chair. He put
his hand on her shoulder and rubbed it.
For goodness’ sake
, thought Rose.
They should just get a room.
What on Earth was she doing, trying to
flirt with him anyway? He was a Flanagan, not to mention an annoying git.
to focus on the game again.
watched Rose laugh and play with her family, he longed to go over, to be a part
of their easy-going group.
had always been nice to him. Not over-friendly, but perfectly nice. They hadn’t
invited him to join the game, but then he had never done much with them
socially. If he went over to the group he was sure they would welcome him to
down at Diana. She looked like she had been crying again. He sighed and stayed
where he was.
nearly midnight when the family games came to an end. Ellie was asleep in her
chair and Toby was getting grumpy with tiredness, which was never fun. Everyone
else had gone to bed ages ago. Christmas was over. Rose waited for the others
to go up to their dormitories then poked her head into the West Tower Common
Room. She glanced towards Leo’s favorite chair but it was empty.
wasn’t totally empty. His book was lying in the chair. This would be a good
opportunity to see what he was reading. She walked over and picked it up.
moment Leo walked in from the stairs to the boys dormitories. Wearing only
her mouth drop.
She had felt up his arms when they kissed and she had seen him in a wet shirt
after playing sports in the rain, but never had she thought his chest would
look so amazing. She had seen her dad’s chest, lots of hair and a bit of a
tummy. Alex still had a pretty skinny frame, his chest almost concave. OK, so
Jack had filled out and looked good without a shirt, but most of the boys her
own age were fairly unimpressive. But Leo had muscle definition. His muscles
moved when he walked.
remember him when they had started Compass Court, he had been shorter than her
then. Not any more.
did weights in his room? He must be really vain. But even as this thought
crossed her mind, Rose dismissed it just as quickly. Leo wasn’t vain.