🌺 Chapter 14🌺
I put a plate of fettuccini carbonara on my tray even though I don’t have any appetite for today’s lunch. However, Mom has always pressed the importance of taking my meal properly — she once had a gastric problem due to an unhealthy diet, so she doesn’t want me to experience the same thing.
That’s why I’m at the cafeteria now, ignoring people’s eyes on me.
People whispering bad things about me behind my back always feels worse than them acting like I don’t even exist in this world.
While I’m looking around the cafeteria to search for an empty table — usually at the corner of the room — Max’s voice startles me.
“Hey, Luna!” he calls, locking his gaze on me from across the room.
I see him sitting alone, his food already placed on the table. He’s not sitting with his football teammates like the last time I saw him here, and that makes my heart sink.
I glance at Tyler’s table, where he sits with the rest of the team. Max’s loud voice has definitely caught the entire room’s attention, including them, but Tyler only pays attention for a second before returning his eyes to his plate.
Still, I catch sight of the irritation on his face. His friends, however, stare at me longer before turning away and saying something to their captain.
I swallow and walk toward Max, holding the food tray in my hands, but I only manage to make three steps before I feel something hinder my ankle.
A small scream escapes from my lips as I land harshly on the ground, my tray clattering on the floor, my food scattered all over around me. I wince from the pain on my scraped knee, trying to sit up and get back on my feet.
When I look up, my heart freezes as I see a very angry Max standing up from his seat, toppling his chair as he does so.
He approaches me with full strides, and all heads are turned toward us, the room suddenly becoming dead silent. My heart beats rapidly as I abruptly push my hands on the floor to help myself stand up.
When I do, Max is already standing close to me, but his eyes are locked on whoever person it is behind me that has tripped me and made me fall.
“Max.” My voice is shaking when I stop him, placing my hands on his chest to prevent him from confronting the person — attacking the person, precisely, with how Max is seething right now. “Max, please,” I say, urgency and fear in my tone.
Max clenches his jaw, P@ŋting. He looks very much pissed, but I beg him with my eyes that I don’t want him to make a scene.
I turn around and stare at the person who just stretched his leg on purpose to trip me. He still has the audacity to laugh with his friends sitting at his table.
I know this guy — curly-haired and wearing glasses. He used to have a crush on Rory, and judging by how he acted just now, he clearly still has a crush on her.Maybe he just wants to punish the girl who made Rory bashed in front of the whole school at her own birthday party.
Anger builds up inside me as I see a smirk curved on his lips.
My jaw tightens before I grab a bottle of water sitting on his table and splash it right onto his face, causing all his friends’ laughter to die in an instant.
The guy’s eyes widen in shock as water drops from his hair and chin.
He should be thankful that I only ruined his drink, while he just ruined my entire lunch.
Still, what I’ve done doesn’t change the fact that my heart is racing inside my chest. I can’t believe what I did.
Oh God, what has gotten into me?
Without waiting for the guy’s response — he still looks dumbfounded, anyway — I grab Max’s hand and stomp out of the place.
🍂Max POV 🍂
Did I just witness Luna Klein taught that guy to not mess with her? That guy’s expression was priceless — the idiot couldn’t look more idiot than he already was.
I bet that he didn’t see that coming, because neither did I.
When Luna finally halts, making us stop in our track in the middle of the hallway, all I can focus on is our connected hands. Yes, she has just held my hand.
I don’t know which one makes me more taken aback — what she just did back there, or this . My eyes are still locked on her fingers wrapping around mine.
Not that I’m complaining.
Slowly, she turns around, her chest heaving up and down, giving me the idea that she’s still trying to calm herself down. When she notices what she’s doing to me, she abruptly pulls her hands away, as if my skin would burn her.
“I got carried away.” Her cheeks turn crimson.
I run my fingers through my hair, something I would do every time I feel…
OK. Forget it.
“Don’t worry about that. I don’t mind.” I shrug.
Luna looks at me with a lost expression before looking away. “I mean…” she falters. “What I did back there to the guy in the cafeteria.”
My intelligence seems to have dropped significantly whenever I’m around her. Fůçƙ. That’s something that I should fix.
“That’s not as bad as you think,” I blurt, trying to get into the topic again. “Some punches, broken nose and bloody lips would have been more fitting.”
The way Luna stares at me tells me that she can’t imagine doing those things to someone, while that’s exactly what I would have done if she hadn’t stopped me earlier.My knuckles were itching to feel that stupid guy’s blood even though that might not be the best idea, considering the bloody scene would ruin everybody’s lunch appetite.
Speaking about that, an idea pops up in my head.
“Do you want to grab some burgers?” I ask.
Luna’s brows furrow. “Burger?”
“Come on, we didn’t get our lunch.”
Without waiting for her answer, I turn around and walk away, knowing that she’ll follow me, and when she does, I can’t help the smile on my face.
“Wait.” She rushes behind me, trying to catch up with my speed. “But we have Mrs. Smith’s class after the break. We can’t be late.”
“We won’t,” I assure her as both of us walk to the parking lot. “We’ll be back before she arrives. Even if we’re going to be late, I’d rather have detention than risk both of us starving,” I mutter, making her chuckle.
Damn. She should produce that kind of sound more often, because it sounds hella good.
Once we reach my motorcycle, she stares at it like before. I know that she’s still not used to it, but I’m going to fix that soon. I toss my black jacket to her, since she’ll need it more than me — she’s only wearing a short sleeves blouse.
I hop onto my motorbike and start the engine, waiting for her to settle behind me, and when she does, she’s still clueless, grabbing the sides of my shirt.
“You know, putting your arms around my waist would be preferable in this situation,” I say.
“What?” I hear her faint whisper, but then she quietly obeys, slowly dragging her arms around me from behind.
I’m trying to hold back my laughter, because she doesn’t even dare to rest her arms around me comfortably.
Did she forget how tightly she was holding me when she was crying in my arms?
As I rev the engine, the bike is pushed forward, and that makes Luna yelp, tightening her hold on me. I let out a chuckle, a smirk crept on my lips.
“Double cheeseburger,” I say to the waiter jotting down our orders.
He turns to Luna, who’s still scanning the menu with a determined look.
She licks her lips, eyes focused on the pictures. “I’ll take the mushroom one,” she finally says before biting her bottom lip.
God, I’m Fůçƙing hungry.
Once the waiter leaves our booth, I cross my arms on the table, while Luna rests her chin on her palms, a soft smile on her lips.
“Fast food. Fast serving,” I say. “Since someone is so afraid of Mrs. Smith, I can’t let her down. Remember how she deducted your mark before?”
Luna laughs, shaking her head, and I realize that this is the first time I see her laugh. Smile, yes. But laugh, never before.
“Thank you for your consideration,” she says.
“I had a part on that too.” I shrug.
When she stares at me with a questioning look, I sigh.
“You didn’t think that I knew it all along? You purposely walked slower so that no one would see us around.”
She turns silent, looking down. “I know. That’s silly.”
“You were that scared of them, huh?” I ask, tilting my head as she looks back up at me. “Isn’t that why you always acted distant when we talked in school? You’re afraid that they would mock you because you’re talking to a guy?”
It frustrates me how they $lüt-shame her, because she’s far from one. The $h|t that Rory has lied to everyone about her must have been nasty. Had I known better about Luna, I would have done something differently. Luna Klein is so much more than meets the eye.
“I wasn’t scared,” she says in a small voice.
“I was worried.”
That sentence makes me frown, but before I can ask her to elaborate on that, she beats me.
“What’s your favorite food?” she suddenly asks.
I squint at her. Why is she randomly asking me about what I like to eat?
“Besides cheeseburger,” she adds.
Staring at her chocolate eyes that are now glinting with a hopeful expression — as if it’s a new goal for her to figure out this fact about me — I answer without a single doubt, “Cookies.”
I watch as she listens intently to my answer even though she looks slightly doubtful.
“I Fůçƙing love cookies.”
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