Sky shakes her head and lays her fork down. “I just lost my appetite, Daniel. Thanks.”

“You’ll have your appetite back by dinner tonight,” I say.

Sky shakes her head. “Not with you and Val there. You’ll probably be sucking face next to my food. If you drool on my chocolate cake you aren’t getting any.”

“Sorry, Cheese Tits,” I say. “But Val won’t be at your dinner tonight. I’ll be there, though.”

“I bet you will,” Breckin says under his breath.

I glance over at him and he looks at me challengingly.

“What’d you just mumble, Powder Puff?” He absolutely hates it when I call him Powder Puff, but he should know I only give nicknames to the people I like. I think he does know that, though, because he doesn’t really give me too much shit about it.

“I said I bet you will,” he repeats louder this time. He turns to Sky, who is seated right next to him. “Six, right?”

Sky nods. “Six or six-thirty.”

“I’ll be there at six,” Breckin says. He looks back at me and smirks. “I bet you’ll be there at six, too, right, Daniel? You like six? Is six good for you?”

He’s on to us. Fucker.

“Six is perfect,” I say, holding his stare. “My absolute favorite time of day.”

He smiles knowingly, but I’m not worried. I have a feeling he’s going to have just as much fun with this as I am.

“All cleared up?” Sky asks Six when she returns to the table. Six nods and takes her seat. Her hand brushes across my outer thigh when she adjusts herself. I press my knee against hers and we both pick our forks up at the same time and take a bite of food.

Having her here just inches from me and not being allowed to touch her is complete torture. I’m beginning to think I’d rather just lean over and kiss her and take Holder’s ass beating than have to pretend I don’t want her.

Since the moment she disappeared into her house last night I’ve felt more restless than I’ve ever felt before. I’ve been fidgeting all day. I can’t stop tapping my fingers and shaking my leg. It feels like I want to scratch at my skin when she’s not around, like I’m coming down from a high.

That’s exactly what this feels like. Like she’s a drug I’ve become immediately addicted to but I have none in supply. The only thing that satiates the craving is her laugh. Or her smile or her kiss or the feel of her pressed against me.

God, it’s so hard not to touch her. So hard.

She begins laughing loudly at something Sky said and the craving becomes almost intolerable because of the intense need I have to catch that sound with my mouth.

I drop my fork onto my plate and lower my head into my hands and groan. “Stop laughing,” I say quietly.

She’s obviously laughing too loud to hear me, so I turn toward her and say it again. “Six. Stop laughing. Please.”

Her jaw clamps shut and she turns to look at me. “Excuse me?”

About that same time, Holder kicks the shit out of my knee. I scoot back and immediately pull my leg up and rub the spot he kicked. “What the hell, man?”

Holder looks at me like I’m clueless. “What the hell is wrong with you? I told you not to be mean to her.”

Ha. He thinks I’m being mean? If he only knew how nice I want to be to her right now.

“You don’t like my laugh?” Six says. I can tell in her voice she knows how much I like her laugh, but she’s enjoying the fact that Holder is clueless to what her laugh does to me.

“No,” I grumble, scooting back toward the table.

She laughs again and the sound of it causes me to wince.

“Are you always this grumpy?” she asks. “Do you want me to go get your girlfriend and bring her back to the table so she can put you in a better mood?”

“No!” Sky and Breckin yell in unison.

I look at Six. “You think my girlfriend could put me in a better mood?”

She grins. “I think your girlfriend is a pathetic idiot for agreeing to date you.”

I shake my head. “My girlfriend makes incredibly wise decisions. I can’t wait until tonight when I get to show her just how smart she was when she decided to lay claim to me.”

“I thought you said she wasn’t coming to dinner,” Sky says, disappointed.

Six’s hand slips under the table and she begins to gently rub at the spot on my knee that Holder just finished kicking.

“Jesus Christ,” I mutter, leaning forward. I put my elbows on the table and run my hands up and down my face, attempting to appear unaffected by the fact that it feels like Six just crawled her way inside my chest and is wrapping herself around my heart.

“Is lunch over yet?” I say to no one in particular. “I need to get out of here.”

Holder looks at his phone. “Five more minutes.” He looks back up at me. “Are you sick, Daniel? You’re not being yourself today. It’s starting to freak me out a little bit.”

Six’s hand is still on my knee. I casually lower my hand and slide it under the table, then place it over hers. She flips her hand over and I lace our fingers together and squeeze her hand.

“I know,” I say to Holder. “I’m just having a weird day. Girlfriends. They have that effect on you.”

He’s still looking at me suspiciously. “You seriously need to make up your mind when it comes to her. It’s past the point that any of us feel sorry for you, because now it’s just irritating.”

“Doesn’t help that she used to be a slut,” Six says.

“Six!” Sky says with a laugh. “That was so mean.”

Six shrugs. “It’s true. Daniel’s girlfriend used to be a big, fat slut. I heard she had sex with six different guys in just over a year.”

“Don’t talk about my girlfriend that way,” I say. “Who gives a shit what she did in the past? I sure as hell don’t.”

Six squeezes my hand, then pulls hers away and brings her hand back up to the table. “Sorry,” she says. “That wasn’t nice. If it helps, I heard she’s a good kisser.”

I grin. “Phenomenal kisser.”

The bell rings and everyone picks up their trays. I notice Six isn’t in any hurry, so I take my time as well. Sky kisses Holder on the cheek, then walks off with Breckin toward the exit. Holder picks up both their trays and lifts his eyes to mine. “I’ll see you tonight,” he says. “And I hope to hell the real Daniel shows up, because you aren’t making a whole lot of sense today.”

“I know,” I say, pointing briefly at my head. “She’s got me all screwed up in here, man. All screwed up. I’m losing my mind.”

Holder shakes his head. “That right there is exactly what I’m talking about. You seem more affected by Val today than you ever have. It’s just weird.” He walks off, still looking confused. I feel sort of bad for lying to him, but it’s his own fault. He shouldn’t try to tell me who I can date, then I wouldn’t have to hide it from him.

“That was fun,” Six says quietly. She begins to pick up her tray, but I intercept it. I take a step toward her and look her hard in the eyes.

“Don’t you ever insult my girlfriend again. You hear me?”

She tightens her lips to hide her smile. “Noted.”

“I want to walk you to your locker. Wait for me.”

Her smile becomes harder for her to hide as she nods her head. I take both of our trays and place them on the tray pile, then walk back to the table. I glance around us and don’t really see anyone paying attention, so I quickly lean in and kiss her briefly on the lips, then pull away.

“Daniel Wesley, you’re gonna get caught,” she says with a grin. She turns and begins walking toward the exit, so I discreetly place a hand on her lower back and walk next to her.

“God, I hope so,” I say. “If I have to sit through another lunch like that, I’ll lose my shit and you’ll end up on your back on top of the table.”

She laughs. “What a way with words you have.”

We exit the cafeteria and I walk her to her locker. It’s on the opposite hall from mine, which couldn’t be more inconvenient. We don’t have a single class together and I won’t even see her in the hallway while we’re at school. I know I haven’t even been dating her for an entire day, but I already miss her.

“Can I come over before dinner?” I ask her.

She shakes her head. “No, I’ll be helping Karen and Sky prep. I’m going over there right after school.”

“What about after dinner?”

She shakes her head again while she switches her books. “Sky crawls through my window every night. You can’t be in my room.”

“I thought your window was out of commission.”

“Only to people with penises.”

I laugh. “What if I told you I didn’t have a penis?”

She glances at me. “I would probably rejoice. My experiences with people who have penises never end well.”

I shake my head. “That’s not something my penis wants to hear you say. He has a very sensitive ego.”

She smiles and shuts her locker, then leans against it. “Well, maybe you should go home after school and stroke his ego a little bit until he feels better.”

I cock an eyebrow. “You just made a masturbation joke.”

She nods. “So I did.”

“I have the coolest girlfriend in the world.”

She nods again. “So you do.”

“I’ll see you at dinner.”

“So you will,” she says.

“Can we sneak off and make out while everyone’s eating?”

She squints her eyes as if she’s actually contemplating it. “Don’t know. We’ll play it by ear.”

I nod and lean my shoulder against the locker next to hers. We’re just a few inches apart and we’re staring at each other again. I love how she looks at me like she actually enjoys staring at me.

“Give me your phone number,” I say.

“As long as you aren’t planning to text me pics of your ego stroking after school.”

I laugh and clutch at my heart. “Dammit, Six. I love every single word that comes out of your mouth.”

“Cock,” she says dryly.

She’s evil.

“Except that word,” I say. “I don’t love cock.”

She laughs and opens her locker again. She takes out a pen, then turns and grabs my hand. She writes her phone number down, then puts the pen back in her locker. “I’ll see you tonight, Daniel.” She begins backing away. All I can do is nod, because I’m pretty sure her voice just hardcore made out with my ears. She turns and disappears down the hallway just as something appears in my line of sight.

I look to the eyes that are now glaring at me.

“What do you want, Powder Puff?” I ask him, pushing off the locker.

“You like her?”

“Who?” I ask, playing dumb. I don’t know why I’m trying to play dumb. We both know who he’s referring to.

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