A high school student finds a grimoire that shows how to make magical disguises.
|Previously: "A Game You Can't Win"
Sure, whr meet? you text Leah. She suggests home plate on the baseball field, and figuring out where to go from there.
* * * * *
"So, thanks for helping set up my x2z thing," you tell her as you settle up against the wall of the Agricultural Annex, where you can look across the baseball field. It's a good spot to eat, being behind the school but away from the portables and the Music Annex, where a rougher crowd likes to gather. In fact it's not that far from the corner of E wing where you and Caleb and Keith often eat, and you cast an anxious eye in that direction, in case they're over there and they spot you. (You told Caleb you had to conference with someone, so wouldn't be able to eat with him and Tilley.) The air is unseasonably warm for a day in late September, and the sun shines brightly in a clear sky, so that you have to squint, and Leah puts on her sunglasses.
"Sure," she says. She sounds a little distracted as she unpacks her lunch. "So you didn't have an x2z account before?"
"No, Jack set it up."
"Let me see it." She puts out her hand. You feel strangely reluctant—more reluctant than yesterday—to hand your cell to her. With a sandwich in one hand, and your phone in the other, she thumbs her way through your account.
"What are you looking for?" you ask.
"Just double checking some things." She takes a bite from her sandwich, and chews thoughtfully. "I can add some more names to your contact list, if you'll let me. Huh," she says. "That's weird."
"Double account or something. Someone showing up twice. Here, I'll fix it for you." Her thumb dances over the screen. "So can I add some people to your contact list?"
"You added most of them yourself."
"So I can add some more?"
"Do whatever. I'm not sure I'm going to talk to most of them, though."
She turns her head slightly, to look at you from behind her sunglasses. "Don't you have any friends, Will?"
"Sure. I haven't added them, though. Probably won't, 'cos I don't think Caleb and Keith are on x2z. Carson and James might be, but—"
"They won't bite you, you know."
"People." She grins. "Unless you ask them too."
You feel yourself blushing slightly. "I'm sorry about yesterday," you tell her. "Poking you like that."
"Don't be," she says. "It's why I wanted to have lunch with you."
"Really?" You feel your hair starting to stand on end.
"Sure. You see what I mean? People won't bite. You can poke at them, and they won't bite you back. Unless you ask them, and, uh, you haven't asked me to bite you yet."
You swallow and stare. "Uh ..."
"Go ahead." Her smile widens. "Try poking me in the nose."
You stare at her. Her smile widens even more. "Try it," she urges you. "Just be careful. Slow."
A lump forms in your throat, and it pulses in time with your heart. Your shoulder seems to creak with the strain as you lift your arm. You curve your fingers into a loose fist, and extend your index finger. You guide it slowly toward her face.
Leah opens her mouth before you can touch the tip of her nose, and bites down gently on your fingertip. Your cock flares to life.
She works her way down your finger, biting gently a few millimeters at a time, until she has reached your middle knuckle. Then she closes her mouth entirely around the end of your finger, and sucks at it.
She releases it. "Nice," she says.
"Yeah," you breathe, and find you can't lower your arm, so that you're stuck pointing at her. "That was, uh—" You swallow.
"So I don't know anything about you," she says. She jams her sandwich into her mouth. "Gimme your bio," she mumbles around it.
* * * * *
It doesn't take long, though you stammer a little, to tell her that you live in Acheson with your parents and your little brother, and about which elementary and middle schools you attended, and to give her your class schedule. And you can only shrug when she asks you what you like to do outside of school.
"You need a hobby," she declares. "Or some kind of extracurricular activity. What about joining one of the after-school clubs?"
You make a face. "I've never been into that kind of thing. It's too, I dunno, organized."
"It sounds like you need a little organization in your life, Will," she says, a little acidly. "If you can't find anything to do by yourself."
"So what do you do?" you ask.
"I just have fun, hang out with friends. I'll hang out with you, if you'll let me."
Even after the finger-nibbling thing, this expression of interest comes as a surprise. "I, uh, well—"
"Not that I'm trying to put any pressure on you," she says. "But you can hang out with me if you want a little jazz in your life."
You feel like you've got too much jazz in your life already, but you don't tell her that. "That would be fun," you say.
"Are you going out with anyone? I think I heard Elle talking about how you were going out with Lisa Yarborough."
Mention of Elle's name almost gives you a heart attack, but you only mumble something about being "broken up" with Lisa.
"That's good," Leah says. "I guess. Maybe. Depends, right? But it sounds like Elle was just confused." You say nothing, for you feel like you're going to be sick. It must have shown in your face, for she asks, "Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine," you babble. "I'm just ... uh ... I dunno." You start to feel flushed. "What time is it?"
"Good question," Leah says, and she gets to her feet. "I have to go do a few things before next period. Thanks for having lunch with me. Oh, and, uh, come find me after school."
"Where will you be?"
"Just go find Jack. He'll help you find me."
"Okay, but where's—?"
"He has a physics class last period." She jogs away, backwards. "You said you have Astronomy last period? You can find him in the science wing!" She turns and dashes off before you can reply.
* * * * *
She's left you in a daze, so that you can hardly pay attention in math class, and during your study hall you slump in the back of the library, staring at the wall.
Is it really possible that there could be so many girls out there who are interested in you? (Assuming they are.) How come you never noticed them before?
Maybe the better question is, Why didn't they ever notice you before? Because Leah has more or less suggested an answer: You haven't been putting yourself out in public where you can be seen by them.
You can't help shivering with excitement at the implications. Apparently you're a lot more attractive than you ever gave yourself credit for. And maybe your so-called friends—who themselves don't hang out with many girls—have been holding you back. Getting in with Jack and his group might be the best thing that has ever happened to you. Suddenly, your senior year looks a lot more cheerful.
Well, if you discount the fact that you might already be two-timing Elle Moore without meaning to. You get another hard twinge of nausea when you think again of the other night, and your failure to follow through with her. On an impulse, you take out your phone and shoot her an x2z DM: Hey its Will can we gt tgtrh n talk?
Her reply is fairly swift: Cnt talk n class but sy whre when
You've already promised to look for Leah (and Jack, and presumably some others) after school, but you want to talk to Elle alone. Still, if you see her with them, you can maybe set up a time then to talk with her. So after chewing your lip awhile, and consulting an online map, you text her a large, carefully thought out block of text:
Hanging out w jack n others afterschool I thiink so we can make plans thre if ur w them. If u busy thn, mayb bike n meet at south creek park by lake tnite. After sending it, you consult the map again, and amend your text with a follow-up: or drive n meet at lake. It's quite a ways from McKinley Elementary to Acheson or even to South Creek, so she must have really gotten lost the other night to wind up all the way down close to your house.
She said she was in class, so you're not expecting a reply, but you do get a short one: Whr r u now You text back a one-word reply of your own: Libary.
Then, instead of falling back into a reverie, you take out your schoolwork and for once try to get ahead on your homework.
* * * * *
But you are still feeling giddy, like your guts and head both have been filled with helium, when you go to your last class of the day. You keep an eye out for Jack, but you're not sure which classroom he is supposed to be in, and don't spot him before reluctantly slipping into Mr. Cash's classroom for Astronomy.
You're sighing contentedly to yourself when a skinny figure drops into the desk in front of you, but your mood sours when he turns around to grin at you. It's Jamie Rennerhoff, one of the dirtbags who plays hyena to the worst lowlifes at the school.
"Hey," he says, and unfurls a psychotic, almost Joker-like grin at you. "What was in the coffin?"
Next: "Signals in the Dark"