When Brian and Jordan get to school, they are greeted by Marissa, who is furious with Brian. Jordan tells her to get over herself, and channel the energy into working through her problems with Chase.
Brian planted a soft kiss on her forehead. They tried to avoid too much intimacy at school, but he couldn’t keep from touching her. “Have I told you lately just how incredible you are, Jordan Barrett?”
“Nope. Slacker.” She grinned up at him, making a kiss face at him.
She opened her locker as he fiddled with his. There was a note in his locker, his name written in scraggly, black pencil. He didn’t touch it, examining it with his powers first. Determining that it wasn’t something tainted, he flipped it open with a pencil.
“I’m watching you,” it said. That was all.
“What’s that? Fan mail?” Jordan asked, ducking under his arm.
“No idea. See anything?”
He said see in such a way, she knew what he meant. Examining it with her own powers, Jordan sensed something, but couldn’t pinpoint what.
“I think this is just some garden variety weirdo. Doesn’t mean that it’s not something to watch.” Pulling her sleeve to cover her fingers, she plucked the note from the locker and put it in a clean Ziploc bag she had in her purse.
“You always come prepared with evidence bags?”
Jordan giggled. “No. Just happen to have one today.” She sealed the bag. “And isn’t it handy that I did? Put that in your backpack and we’ll have Mom look it over later.”
“No problem.” She popped it in the pocket of his backpack and they walked to class together.
The storm intensified around noon, making the lights flicker unpleasantly. Marissa wasn’t in any of their classes, as she should have been. They found out later she’d gone home before school started. Chase wasn’t around either. Brian hoped that meant they were together, working it out. He felt uneasy about it, but he had quizzes all day and didn’t have time to stop and worry.
The bell rang to end school. He and Jordan met up at their lockers. She had drama and he had speech and debate. She’d talked him into joining the speech team the year before. Finding he had a facility for it, he’d continued in their senior year. He walked her to the drama room and wandered to the debate coach’s room, two doors down. The coach, Mr. Wymore, was talking to a couple of dark haired students. Their features, especially the eyes, pegged them as Asian. A boy and a girl, they looked so close to identical, Brian figured they were twins.
The girl smiled when he walked in. She was very pretty, in a China doll sort of way. Her brother was handsome, but he wasn’t a smiler. Instead, he glowered, pulling a face when Mr. Wymore introduced them.
“Brian, meet Lien and Jian Fēng. They’re new to school this year and are thinking about joining debate.”
“You are good at debate?” Lien asked, tossing her waist length hair.
“I’m learning. Won’t say I’m the best, but I hold my own.”
“He’s being modest,” their teacher said. “He’s quite good and came in second at the state competition. We’re expecting first from him this year. No pressure, or anything.” He chuckled.
Mr. Wymore was in his early thirties. Also the tennis coach, he was tall and lean muscled with brown hair and blue eyes. He looked like he’d stepped out of the 1970s because he sported full sideburns, his hair brushed his shirt collar and he wore vintage bell bottom pants a lot. Today’s were an eye-assaulting dark mustard yellow and pond scum green. His shirt was dark red and he wore a hemp necklace with ceramic beads and shells on it. Since he was one of the smartest men Brian had ever met, he figured the guy was entitled to his eccentricities.
The rest of the team arrived and the twins were introduced all around. Lien seemed taken with Brian and stayed close to him the entire time. It made him somewhat uncomfortable, because she was very touch oriented. He knew that Jordan would sense it, but he didn’t know a good way to tell Lien to back off. Her brother was sullen and kept to himself, glaring frequently in Brian’s direction. Determined not to start the year off badly, Brian decided to talk to him after practice. Lien was talking to some of the girls, so Brian approached her brother.
“Did I do something to insult you, Fēng Jian?”
The Asian boy was surprised by the formal address. He tilted his head, meeting Brian’s gaze with his own. He was several inches shorter, but Brian sized him up as having more muscle to him than he seemed.
“Why would you ask such a thing?” Jian countered.
“Because you’ve been giving me the ugly eye since I walked in. I’m not in the habit of insulting folks, so I wondered if I’d done something by accident, or if you just didn’t take a shine to me, Jian.”
Jian’s lips twitched and a shy smile flickered. “My sister has a way of making friends instantly. She’s never met a stranger. Walk in a group like this, she’s everyone’s best friend when she leaves. She instinctively attaches herself to the alpha male.”
“And you think that’s me.”
© 2018 Dellani Oakes
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