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C2 Chapter 2

Elena Sergio.

He was . . . beautiful. I never knew a guy could be beautiful. I mean I always knew that there were some handsome guys, like Chris Evans or Chris Pratt, but his looks were ethereal.

I stared in awe, the world around me seems to have shrunk to a dim speck, at the guy that had just walked into the class after Mrs. McCarthy.

To say he was beautiful would be an understatement even, he was breathtaking. Literally. Stole my breath away the moment he walked through the door, and from the looks of it, he seemed to have stolen everyone else's breath away, both girls and boys alike because for the first time in like never, the entire class was silent. The jocks weren't hooting about everything and anything, and Anabel and her barbie clique of three weren't giggling at the silly jokes like their lives depended on it. The class was so silent you could practically hear a pin drop.

I let out a shaky breath, finally able to close my mouth as my eyes gulped in his features and embedded them in memory at an alarming rate. The mysterious tall first off, he was standing at over six feet if I was correct. And he wasn't the lanky kind of tall. No. He was tall and evenly muscled. He looked like he had probably been a jock in his previous school.

Having light brown skin, his eyes were the same color. Light-brown, sleepy yet sexy eyes that could make your knees go weak with just one sweep, and to make things even better, he had long lashes too. Lashes no boy deserved.

Life is unfair, huh. I thought as I silently admired the length of his lashes.

His nose wasn't snub. It was straight, pointy. And his lips. If I was told I could stare at his lips, their luscious exterior and the graceful dip of his Cupid's bow, how pink they were, like the under of a newborn's foot, all day just to pass a test, I would gladly, gladly do so, and I would wish for that test never to end.

"Class!" Mrs. McCarthy's naturally and normally high-pitched voice pulled me out of my trance-like admiration.

Ever hear someone's voice and you know that person isn't yelling, but it just seems like it and you can't for the life of you stand the irritating nature of the voice? That was exactly what Mrs. McCarthy's voice sounded like; annoying, irritating, ear grating. And I know she didn't mean for it to sound that way but I just hated hearing it.

"KJ here will be joining you all, starting from today!" She wasn't yelling, trust me, it just sounded that way. She turned to the guy and said, "Introduce yourself to your new classmates, would you?" And then she turned away, walking over to her desk.

Until she sat down, the guy remained silent, not exactly seeming nervous but not looking at ease either.

"Well!" Mrs. McCarthy urged. "Go on."

Only after she told him to go on did he finally let out a deep breath.

"Uh," he began with an odd accent, running a hand through his dyed brown hair, "my name's Kadjiri. Kadjiri Dave Dayo, but I go by KJ, uh, most of the time."

His voice. I could practically melt. Being all that good-looking, I partly expected his voice to be not so great. Maybe his one physical flaw, but it wasn't. It wasn't horrible like I'd thought. Not at all. It sat on the fence between bass and alto—tenor. And it was amazeballs!

"I'm an, uh, international student, not transfer," he continued, his gaze moving fleetingly from one person to another. "My parents are interracial, so I previously lived in Nigeria with my dad, but we had to move because of my mom's job and family here. Nice meeting you all, I guess."

I wasn't sure why but the uncertainty in his tone made him seem even nicer. Less cocky.

"Thank you, Mr. Dayo." Mrs. McCarthy stood up as soon as he was done, surprisingly pronouncing his foreign name the exact way KJ did.

"You can have any of the vacant seats." She gestured around the class at the number of empty seats around.

It was only after KJ had walked around the classroom to the back where there were a couple more empty seats did I realize one thing. His gaze had never met mine while he was talking. He looked at every other person in the class but me. I wasn't certain our eyes didn't lock because I'd have known. The sudden flush in my already pale skin would've been a sign.

And then I remembered. I had my hoodie up and my hair almost covering my face, and to top that off, I had my glasses on. That must be why. I resisted the urge to slap my hand on my forehead.

Mrs. McCarthy did a routine roll call of the members of the homeroom before she began the English lesson on how were used properly.

For the first time, my focus and attention weren't on what the teacher had to offer, instead, it constantly drifted in and out the thoughts of the impossibly handsome and hot new guy. This wasn't like me. I would never. Elena would never. I mean, I wanted my dream guy alright and in the manner, he had come in, but I never thought I could be mesmerized just in the first couple of minutes, let alone day. It was freaking insane.

Before I knew it, the English period was over, the alerting peals of the bell signaling the end of class ringing out across the school.

"I could not believe how much you were staring!" Matthews slammed down his textbook on my desk even before I had a chance to pack up my things. And to make it worse, he wasn't being quiet about his words.

He was practically screaming, almost as if he wanted everyone to hear it, especially KJ.

"MATT!" I whisper-yelled, my face beet red, swatting at his arm that was propped up by his hand on my desk. "Stop it! Why do you have to yell anyway?"

By now almost the entire class had left, including KJ. I'd sneaked a peek at him as he walked out the door, his bookbag slung over one shoulder, a hand in his left pocket, and a chattering girl beside him.

"Why do you have to stare so much anyway?" Matthews stood to his full height and crossed his arms as I shoved my books into my bag and hurriedly stood up. My next class was history and I was about to be late.

"Don't lie that you didn't stare too." I crossed my arms and gave him a fixed look.

His facial features contorted into a mild frown. "I'm not gay, Lee. I have eyes only for you."

He knew I hated the name Lee and he very much seized any opportunity to rub it in. One day he'll get him, that was for sure.

"I mean for the first few seconds he walked in." I finally slapped my forehead.

"Well." Matthews hesitated. "Yeah, I guess."

"Aha!" I exclaimed. "I won, you lost. Sucks to be you!" And then I dashed out of the class.

"Hey, wait up!" He called, close behind me.

"I'm late already, Matt!" I yelled, running up the stairs.

I wouldn't have wasted that much time if I knew my history teacher wasn't a latecomer. But he was, and he did it every time, so by the time I got to the class on the third floor, I wasn't surprised to see he wasn't there yet, although I became so when he walked in right after I did.

"Get to your seat, Elena," he said, in a curt tone. "Quickly."

I was doing just what he said, weaving my way through the rows of already occupied joined desks, heading for my own in the middle of the class when abruptly I stopped.

Why did I stop? Because right there, in the middle of the class, sitting at my desk was KJ. Freaking KJ. Beside him was my seat. He was sitting on the seat my partner would've been on if I had a class partner in the first place.

"Elena, can you please sit down already?" Mr. Bandman said, his void strained. Like he was holding himself from yelling.

Don't you dare use that tone on me, old man, I thought, as I gingerly walked up to the seat beside KJ and sat down. Not in front of K-freaking-J.

The moment I sat down, the fragrance of his perfume filled my nostrils. Not the raw, musky type that irritated your nose and made you either very uncomfortable or gave you a sneezing reaction, not cologne, but the type that was sweet, almost like the taste of a watery fruit. He had good taste, I could tell already.

His broad mass beside my small frame was a sight for laughs if someone happened to walk in and spot us. And he leaned back into his chair most of the time, his arms crossed, accentuating the muscles in his biceps and chest.

He hadn't said a word to me since the first twenty-five minutes of the lesson, which I wasn't paying attention to, by the way, began. I wasn't planning on saying a word either. I wasn't that type of girl. The Anabel type. I could have a huge, massive crush on you and still not say a word to you throughout high school unless you initiated the conversation yourself.

"Has, um, there been any homework so far?"

Not sure I heard right, I jerked my head up from the back of my hand where it'd been resting at once. Blinking rapidly, I turned my head to look at KJ.

Had he . . . just spoken to me?

All of a sudden, he began talking again, but whatever it was he was saying was dwindling to my senses I couldn't comprehend any other thing aside from how nicely shaped and sensual Kj's lips were.

I came to when he was saying his last statement. "So, I can make up for it."

"Homework!" I perked up, saying it a little too loudly. Fortunately, I didn't draw any unwanted attention.

"Uh." My voice was notably shaky. "No. I mean it's been only two weeks so nope, but he was saying something about wanting to assign us projects. You could ask him about any other thing you're not sure of after school. He's always ready to help and very welcoming. He even . . ."

Somewhere in the back of my mind, I was aware that I was blabbing now. And if I didn't stop I was going to make a fool out of myself in front of KJ. Quickly, I put the brakes on my train of thoughts the moment I made my last statement, killing the engine to my mouth as well.

"Oh," he said, as soon as I stopped talking. "Okay. Thanks, maybe."

"No, it's totally fine." I waved and pushed my glasses up my nose.

"I was wondering earlier," he began all of a sudden, fixing his light brown gaze on me. I couldn't stand the intensity of it, his gaze, so I looked away most of the time he talked, keeping unsteady eyes out of sheer coyness. Yes, he was so gorgeous it was embarrassing.

"Is this your desk?" He went on.

"Oh, yeah," I nodded.

"I thought as much. Sorry if I invaded your seat."

"You don't need to be and you didn't take my spot or anything." I waved it off. "I'm sitting right where I should be. I used to have a partner before, but she transferred schools and the seat you're currently on has been empty ever since."

"Transfer, huh." He uncrossed his arms and leaned forward on our joined desk. Then, with a side look at me, his right eyebrow raised, he said, "I guess we're partners now."

All that was left was a wink and a sparkling smile to know that all these weren't real. That KJ wasn't talking and flirting with me, and it was all just a lucid dream, but there was none of those. No wink, no sparkling teeth, only a mild smile.

"Elena and the new student," Mr. Bandman called all of a sudden. "Would you be so kind as to let us in on a little bit of your conversation, since ours here is of no interest to you?"

"It's KJ, sir," KJ informed him. His voice was loud enough so he didn't have to yell.

"That's right. KJ, tell us what you've been discussing since the class began," Mr. Bandman said. "Family affairs?"

I looked up at once, the blood draining from my face in embarrassment.

"No!" I blurted.

"Well then, pay attention!" With that and a frown, Mr. Bandman turned back toward the board.

I looked back down at the book before me. For the second time today, my face was flushed, beet red, the blood underneath looking quite rosy through my pale skin.

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