The Hidden (The Hidden Trilogy) (7 page)

BOOK: The Hidden (The Hidden Trilogy)
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Fuck. Me.

 

I lay in bed that night, unable to sleep. My mind kept going back to
him
. His hair had been a golden mess, almost looking like he’d just come from the beach. And his eyes were still the most exquisite shade of light blue I’d ever seen.

Not that I noticed any of this, of course, because I was still furious with him.

The beautiful son of a bitch acted as if our feud on Monday never happened and we were the best of friends. And the way he’d looked at me during our conversation in class made me uncomfortable. His stare was…personal. Intimate. My skin had burned until I couldn’t keep up eye contact. Then when I’d asked him
why
he’d been staring at me so intently, the dismissive tone of his voice made me shake the thoughts from my head.

I must’ve been imagining things. There was no underlying meaning there. It was just a look–nothing more, nothing less.

However, that hadn’t stopped my traitorous heart from hammering in response, or kept my skin from growing warm as all coherent thoughts vanished. I didn’t like how
one
look from him had that effect on me.

 

Chapter Nine

Thursday, August 27
th

 

With an hour before my biology lab, I met Beth and some of her friends in the courtyard for lunch. The group sat under the shade of a giant oak tree, one of many in the courtyard. Beth leaned against the trunk, with her head tilted back and huge black sunglasses covering the top half of her face.

I plopped down on the grass between Beth and Hayley, a petite girl with long blond hair and big brown eyes. Hayley was in both my English and history class, and she seemed really nice. Andy, a sophomore and Hayley’s boyfriend, sat on her other side. Josh, Beth’s longtime crush, lay on the grass near her feet.

You would’ve thought Beth
wanted
to go to the same school as the boy she’d been in love with since the third grade, but no. She was convinced he only thought of her as a friend, even though she’d never really attempted to find out otherwise. 

I tried telling her that guys could be really obtuse. Sometimes you just had to spell things out for them.

Beth nodded and let out a little grunt as I sat next to her. I guess that was the only greeting I’d get. I pulled out my lunch–a sandwich, chips, and some grapes–and started eating.

Josh lifted his head. “You look hung over,” he said to her. 

I shot him a look. Beth wasn’t blind; I’m sure she knew she looked like hell. The last thing she needed was someone to point it out to her.

“What?” he asked me. “She does.”

Beth groaned and rested her head on my shoulder. “I
feel
hung over.”

I held out half of my sandwich to Beth. “You want some?” 

She must’ve lost, like, five pounds while puking her guts out. And since she was five feet tall and only ninety pounds, those missing five were vital.

She lifted her head and wrinkled her nose. “Ugh, no. I’m never eating again.”

Josh sat up. “I’ll take it.”

Everyone laughed, but I just shrugged. “All right.” I handed him Beth’s half, since I wasn’t really hungry. I usually wasn’t when something bugged me.

That morning–and most of the day before–my brain couldn’t focus on anything but Thomas. I’d replay our conversations over and over, and couldn’t stop picturing his face–it was burned into my memory now. I knew every line, every curve. I knew the lengths of his lashes–how they were full and the lightest shade of brown. I knew the depths of his eyes as their color deepened, and the intensity of his stare. I knew the exact shade of his hair and the way it carelessly fell across his forehead.

But he was a jerk, and I
hated
that I couldn’t stop thinking about him.

Josh ate the sandwich half within just a couple bites, so I relinquished my other half to him too. I pulled out my grapes as he lay between Beth and I, draping his legs over Beth’s and resting his head on my lap.

“You wanna feed me some of those grapes?” he asked.

I popped one into my mouth. “Why?”

“I’ve always wanted someone to do that. It’d be really hot.” He opened his mouth, fully expecting me to feed him.

I rolled my eyes and laughed. “Yeah, right.” I dropped the bag onto his chest. “You’re a big boy, you can feed yourself.”

As he popped a grape into his mouth, smiling up at me like the big kid he was, I saw what Beth liked about him. It wasn’t his all-American good looks, it was his charm.

“Oh. My.
God
.” Beth lifted her sunglasses as her mouth dropped open.

I followed her gaze into the sunny patch of courtyard about forty feet away, seeing Thomas talking intimately with a girl. A
gorgeous
girl.

Her blond hair cascaded down to the middle of her back in soft curls, and her big, dark blue eyes and full lips looked perfect on her heart-shaped face. She must’ve been around six feet tall, because she was only a few inches shorter than Thomas. Even the plain and casual clothes she wore couldn’t hide her supermodel potential.

My heart sank, and I looked away, scowling in response. I was such an idiot.

First of all, I shouldn’t have cared if he had a girlfriend. He was rude, hypocritical, and an all-around
dick
. I should be wishing her luck instead of feeling…jealous? Or was it hurt? Either way, it didn’t feel good.

And second of all, I shouldn’t have been surprised that he had a girlfriend. Of
course
he did. He was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.

Maybe that was why he bothered me so much–I didn’t want to accept that someone so lovely could really be that ugly.

 

Chapter Ten

I dreamed of Emily again last night.

This had to stop. I was a wreck. I couldn’t close my eyes without picturing her face or body. I didn’t want to sleep anymore because I was terrified of what would happen. The dreams themselves didn’t bother me–I just hated waking up alone and realizing
none
of it had been real.

Fortunately, I’d just gotten out of my last class of the day. I’d been useless all morning, what with my newfound ADD and all. Right now, I needed a break and I needed to be alone.

I cut through the courtyard on my way to the student parking lot. As I fished my keys out, I glanced around the sunny quad. Twenty feet ahead, there was a tall blond girl with her back to me, checking out the campus map as she talked on her cell phone. I didn’t think anything of it until she turned around, stopping me mid-stride. Our eyes met, and my stomach plummeted to my knees.

For a moment, Mel looked just as surprised to see me, but the shock quickly wore off. “Found him,” she said into her phone before hanging up.

I had to force my feet to start moving again, slowly walking towards the twin sister I hadn’t seen in four decades. “What are you doing here?” I asked.

Her lips formed a tight smile. “It’s nice to see you too, Thomas. You look well.”

“You shouldn’t be here.”

Her smile tightened. “
Mom
says hi.”

I winced. “Mel, come on. Stop.”

We never used the term “mom.” It was strictly a human term. In our society, parents were called by their first names, and ours were Thayer and Katerina. Kate for short.

This was just Mel’s way of trying to hurt me, and she succeeded.

She raised her voice. “So, college, huh?
Mom and Dad
would be so proud. What are you pretending to be this year–a sophomore? Junior?”

I grabbed her arm and pulled her off to the side of the courtyard. “Stop it.”


You brought this on yourself
,” she hissed. “Maybe if you ever returned my calls or came home at some point within the past
forty
years
, it wouldn’t have come to this.” She looked at the humans walking around us with disgust, like we were surrounded by cockroaches.

Mel was such a hypocrite. She watched their movies, listened to their music, and used their technology, but God forbid she actually have to be in the presence of humans.

“I can’t believe it’s come to this,” she murmured. She looked up at me, her huge blue eyes tinged with sadness. “Were we really that unbearable?” She shook her head and laughed bitterly, wiping away the tears that had spilled onto her cheeks. “We must’ve been, since you prefer the company of humans over your own family.”

And here comes the guilt trip. Shit.

Our kind could be very manipulative. It was part of the reason why I didn’t live among them anymore. I just didn’t have the patience for their head games. And Mel didn’t used to be this bad, but…I guess a lot can change over forty years.

“It’s not like that, Mel. It’s just…it’s better this way.” 

My heart sputtered as I noticed Emily under an oak tree. She was with a group of humans.

“Thomas?”

I blinked a couple times and looked back at Mel. “What?”

She frowned. “I’m trying to have a conversation with you and you keep staring off into…”

I glanced over Mel’s head again, letting her words go in one ear and right out the other. The male that had been at Emily’s feet now had his head on her lap, and he was smiling up at her. It was the same guy from Monday, the one who’d intervened.

My eyes narrowed on them as an ugly feeling bubbled deep inside me. I didn’t like him touching her. I didn’t want him anywhere
near
her. I wanted to go over there and rip him off her, which was ridiculous. Emily wasn’t mine, and I had no right to feel–

Wait a second. Was I…
jealous
?

I’d read about it countless times, but never actually experienced it. I didn’t care much for it. It was quite painful. And it made me want to smack the smile right off that guy’s face.

 

Beth sat her sunglasses on top of her head. “Who is he?” she asked, still awestruck.

Josh sat up to get a better look. “Hey, that’s the guy who–”

“That’s Thomas,” I said, purposefully cutting Josh off. The
last
thing I wanted was to rehash Monday’s ugly turn of events. I opened my bag and dug out my notes, handing them to Beth. “He’s in our sociology class.”


What?
” Beth exclaimed as she took the notes. “Are you sure? Emily, that guy is
sex on a
stick
. I’d remember him.”

I smiled at her choice of words.

Yes…yes, he is.

Hey, just because the guy’s personality sucked didn’t make her statement any less true. “Yeah, I’m sure,” I said. “I sat next to him yesterday morning and on Monday.”

Beth turned to face me, her eyes narrowed in mock anger. “And you didn’t
tell
me about him?”

I popped another grape into my mouth. “What’s there to tell? He’s in our sociology class and I sat next to him twice. That’s it, that’s everything.”

More or less.

I glanced at Josh, my glare silencing him as he opened his mouth.

“Um, hello? He’s gorgeous,” Beth insisted. “
That’s
what you should’ve told me.”

I rolled my eyes. “Sorry. Next time I’ll tell you.”

Beth leaned forward and looked at Andy, who was in the middle of a whispered conversation with Hayley. That didn’t stop Beth from saying, “Andy, do you know who that Thomas guy is?”

Andy frowned when he saw him out in the courtyard. Yes, I would say he
did
know who Thomas was. “That’s Thomas Paige, and he’s just a guy, Beth. He wakes up with morning wood just like the rest of us, and his shit don’t smell any better either.”

Beth smirked. “Someone’s jealous.”

“Maybe I
am
, but so is every other guy on campus,” Andy said. “I bet it’d be nice to be treated like a god and have women constantly throwing themselves at you.”

So he’s an asshole
and
a whore. Lovely.

Hayley elbowed him in the ribs.

“Ow.” Andy winced as he rubbed his side. “What? I’m just sayin’.”

Josh nodded in agreement. “I’m confident enough in my heterosexuality to say that is one good-looking dude. I bet he bags a different girl every night.
I
would if I looked like that.”

BOOK: The Hidden (The Hidden Trilogy)
8.01Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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