Jess slammed her chemistry book and glared. “You know we have a science project due soon, right?” Of course I did. She’d been on my case all week. “So what?” “So I think we should plan a time to meet up,” she said, her lips pressing into a white line. “We need to work on it.” “Why would we want to do that?” I asked, scanning over our current, and painful, lab. She tied her curls into a ponytail so aggressively I was surprised the hair tie didn’t snap. “Because we have to finish this project,” she said, tapping her nails. The sound was deafening. I cringed. “Why don’t we work on it now?” “We can’t,” she said, leaving her mouth hanging open.
“We’re in the middle of a lab.” “So what?” “So we can’t work on our project right now.” Her blue eyes turned to slits. “The project is homework—meaning we do it out of school.” Her attitude made me smile. No one talked back to me. I hated to admit I was impressed, but I was. I laid my chin on my hand, covering up my grin. “I do homework in class.” Or not at all. It wasn’t like I’d get to graduate if I was dead. Jess blinked, her face reddening. “Well, I do it at home.” I shrugged. “Then whose problem is this exactly?” She gripped the table with her tiny hands. “Look, Eric—” I laughed. “You call me Welborn, remember?” She groaned and laid her forehead on the black desk.
“This is impossible.” “Welcome to high school,” I said, and she pushed her chair backward, scraping the metal legs against the tile floor. Goose bumps crawled over my skin, and I turned away. “I’m busy outside of school anyway.” With a girl. I also had a meeting with the elders tonight. I didn’t have time to worry about my human life. I needed to prepare to deal with Luthicer and Eu, two of the fiercest Dark elders. They expected a lot from the first descendant, yet I had nothing to show them. “Maybe I’m busy too, Welborn,” Jessica said, leaning over to catch my gaze. She was persistent. “Did you ever think of that?” My lips pulled into an uncontrollable grin. “I can’t take your anger seriously.” She hit the table and stood up. “Whatever, Welborn,” she said, collecting her bag. “If you stop being a selfish prick, I’ll be with Crystal and Robb.” This time, I was the one to glare. “So you can ask them more questions about me?” I asked, knowing I was revealing my eavesdropping.
She paled. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I rolled my eyes, ignoring her denial. “I’d prefer you ask me about my problems instead of gossiping,” I said. “It isn’t a good look on you.” She froze, but she didn’t redden. Instead, she raised her brow and leaned down, whispering. “And being an asshole isn’t a good look on anyone.” Then, she turned and walked away. I watched her sit next to her friends, struck with the peculiar urge to stop her. I’m not an asshole. I wanted to say it, but it was too late. She was gone, and I couldn’t even distract myself with our science lab. I was already done.