Skylar's POV

"Why aren't you eating?" Alex asked, eyeing my lunch tray.

Normally, food would've been my only desire, aside from sleep of course. But right now, just the sight of it made me all queasy.

I glanced at my tray once more before muttering, "I got a C," With a frown, I looked him straight in the eye. "Again."

I picked up a fry and chewed on it hoping to obtain my appetite again. It worked for all of five seconds before flashes of my Physics's test paper and a big red C on it appeared right before my eyes. I had to accept the fact that I was definitely not eating lunch today.

A small snicker escaped his lips before he gave me the most sincere apology, "That sucks."

I glared at him and he put his hands up in surrender. Sometimes I wonder how we even managed to become friends in the first place. It's not like Alex didn't care about his grades, they were decent, but they also weren't his first priority. On the other hand, I cared a lot about my grades. And you couldn't blame me. After all, I had lawyer parents to live up to.

"Mom will freak out when she sees my report. It's the third time, Alex. Why is this even happening to me?" I rambled with wide eyes. I was concerned for my own self.

To be honest, I'm not a total nerd. I didn't study every night and hugged textbooks wherever I went, I didn't even like studying. But I still got acceptable grades.

All except for Physics. I had sacrificed my sleep for this test, I had spent the entire night memorizing each and every one of my notes, so much so that I was completely sure that I'd ace it. But when the test papers were passed out, I'd forgotten everything almost immediately. My mind had just went blank.

"Don't be too hard on yourself, Sky. You'll have another test, what, next week? Another bright chance for you to ace it." He reassured me. I furrowed my brows at him. "You'll do great."

"Was that supposed to make me feel better?" Because it didn't.

You would expect him to dodge the topic off like this. Like I said, he didn't care about his grades unlike me. But then again, his strong suit was sports whereas mine was academics. At least, I'd like to believe that. Aside from that, I wasn't really good at anything else. No hidden talents or even just talents in general.

I shot him a disapproving look. His parents focused more on his athleticism and only worried about grades when he was on the brink of losing eligibility.

With my parents, it was all about the GPA.

"Is there anything that could cheer you up? Perhaps a chocolate cupcake?" He suggested as if he hadn't deceived me earlier.

I eyed him cautiously, "Depends," I scooted away a little, "do I have to go to the boy's washroom again?" Do not even ask, I was desperate at that time.

"No, of course not. It's not quite that drastic." He replied, his gaze flickering away from mine every few seconds. "I mean, it's just a small task."

Did he think I was that stupid?

I let out a laugh. "I'm sorry, Alex, but I don't want to be a victim of the school's social media again. Last time one of those pictures went viral, even the Principal saw it."

I did love cupcakes but I preferred my dignity over them. I wasn't going to be that stupid again.

"I promise it's not that bad, Sky." He said. "I'll even buy you a jar of Nutella after this."

I narrowed my eyes at that. Nutella certainly wasn't over my sleep, but it was a close second. Unfortunately, Alex knew that and he always manipulated me with such things.

And that wasn't even the saddest thing. The most upsetting thing was that I gladly let him manipulate me if it ever came to Nutella.

"I'll take that as a yes," he said when I didn't answer. "All you have to do is talk to Caden."

It took me a while to register what he just said. "And why the hell do you think I would do that?" I asked. There was no way I was talking to that idiot.

Alex looked at me in disappointment. "Because I can't. And if I don't, Coach will probably give me another lecture on all those responsibilities and shit."

That was the truth. Alex wasn't one to care about responsibilities.

"Why can't you talk to Caden yourself?" I asked.

"Because I hate his guts."

I took a sip of my milkshake. Our school cafeteria didn't have one of those delicious milkshakes, but it worked.

"And why do you hate his guts?" I asked him. Even though almost everyone hated Caden at some point, except all those girls who totally adored him, I still needed to hear a legit reason from Alex.

Alex rolled his eyes at that question, seeming almost irritated. "He tried to flirt with Stacey. And I don't think I can look him in the eye without wanting to punch his face." I'm sure it would've been Stacy who flirted first. She's one of those girls who throw themselves at almost anyone. And besides, I don't think Caden Miller ever flirts first.

If he ever flirts, that is.

"And who is Stacey?" I asked, pretending not to know.

He looked very irritated by now. "My girlfriend?'' He made it sound like it should've been obvious.

"And you didn't tell me about that because?" I continued the interrogation.

I already knew the answer to that, Stacey was one of the cheerleaders. Name any one of them and there's a ninety-five percent chance that Alex has already dated them. Not a long term relationship though, Alex never did that.

"God, will you stop that?" He asked exasperatedly.

I decided to think over it for a minute.

"No. I won't talk to Caden," I denied his previous request. "I swear to God, this was the fifth time he was running in the hallway, not even caring to help me get up from the floor when he made me fall down." I made sure to emphasise on those last few words. Because that was true, at least bits of it.

"You're exaggerating. It only happened twice." He corrected with another eye roll.

I passed him a glare at that. "Okay? But did he give me hand when I slammed into him and fell down on my butt?" I didn't wait for his response. "No, he didn't."

Caden was a douchebag. He wouldn't even care if he crashed into an old lady. That's what he was so popular for, his hostile and temperamental attitude.

He was also famous for skipping classes almost everyday. I didn't know why he even bothered coming to school in the first place. Along with his attitude problems, he also got into a lot of fights, rarely getting into trouble for that because of his dark and mysterious ways. He never got suspended for it and that was terribly suspicious.

People like me tried to do everything to stay away from him, and really, all I ever saw him was in the hallways when he was in a rush.

"What if I throw in another jar? Two big jars of Nutella?" Alex negotiated.

I looked at him for a moment, weighing my choices.

"The things I do for you." I groaned, giving in.

Well technically, for Nutella. If it weren't for that, I would've ditched Alex a long time ago.

He was my only source.


So here I was.

Sacrificing my only free period to talk to the most unwelcoming person on the planet. I would've chosen any other period for this but my craving for Nutella had gone unsatisfied for too long.

I sighed and headed for the other side of the school where I knew he'd be. Caden was usually seen around one person only and that was Shane Perez –another senior here in Crestmont High, who I sometimes spotted in my Biology class, and Caden's supposedly best friend– the only person he seemed to go along with.

Once again, I found myself wondering why Caden even cared to come to school? Maybe one part of him actually cared? Unlikely.

Maybe it was because of his parents? I didn't know who they were, but according to the rumours, they were just as sketchy as he was.

I looked across the grounds, trying to spot him. He wasn't in his usual spots like the bleachers by the football field or the trees that surrounded the tennis court. I didn't find him, not even in the parking lot.

He was heading towards the parking lot earlier when we had collided into each other. Maybe he left after we crossed paths?

Feeling happier with that thought, I turned around and headed back inside the school. Alex would just have to deal with the fact that Caden wasn't here for me to speak to him. And since I did in fact have honest intentions to talk to Caden, he would still have to buy me my long overdue Nutella.

Unintentional, but it still sounded like a great revenge plan.

I had almost entered one of the hallways again when I caught an unmistakable figure in the corner of my eye. He was leaning against one of the pillars in his classic black leather jacket, with another guy who was none other than Shane himself.

It was in times like these that I wished my social skills were better than my social life. I had never tried to talk to him or his friend ever in my life. This was making me nervous.

I would say it was just jitters, but this was Caden Miller. He gave the jitters, jitters.

But I walked towards them anyway, mentally regretting every life decision I'd made up until this point.

It looked like they both were in a serious conversation, and as much as I wanted to eavesdrop, I didn't. That was mainly because of the tense atmosphere around them, or maybe even Caden's threatening aura.

You can't blame me though, I wasn't the only one intimidated by him. I didn't see him around that often and when I did, he was either in a fight or deciding to rush out of school for some unknown reason.

After much contemplation, I stopped few feet away from them in case I needed an easy escape. I cleared my throat, figuring that it was a much more appropriate move than actually speaking words. But instead of gaining Caden's attention, I only caught his friend's.

Caden, on the other hand, didn't even look in my direction. He had a paper in his hand and there was this murderous look on his face which almost, almost made me back off. I wanted to say as little as possible and leave as quickly as I could.

"Hello, beautiful. You must be Stacey." His friend's gaze lingered over me with a smirk. I would've been lying if I said he wasn't hot. Because he was.

"Um, no. I am not...Stacey." I said, a frown slowly forming on my forehead.

How come he even thought I was Stacey? She was a cheerleader with an unforgettable face, a girl who had looks. Not to forget her blonde hair. I, on the other hand, was rocking the no-makeup look with the dark circles under my eyes and my brunette hair.

Was Stacey really supposed to meet Caden here? Wasn't she Alex's girlfriend? Oh gosh, was she cheating on him?

I mentally laughed at that. Alex really needed to be here.

Shane looked confused, but kept a smile on his face. It made him look cute.

I stopped ogling him and jerked my head towards Caden. "I have a message for him." I avoided any eye contact with Caden himself, who looked like he wanted to stab the paper repeatedly.

If only looks could kill.

What was on it that was making him so angry? I was aware of the fact that he had certain anger issues, but still, there must be a reason behind it.

"Sure. I'll leave you two alone." Shane took his leave and I stared at his retreating figure in disbelief. How could he have left me with someone like Caden all alone?

Had he never heard about something called 'stranger-danger'?

I mean, he was also a stranger. But he looked like an approachable one, and Caden did not. I wasn't exactly scared of Caden, it was just that the situation didn't seem nice enough to have a small talk with him. Especially when he looked like he might just kill someone. And since Shane was gone now, I didn't like the thought of being killed.

I plucked up all my courage and called out his name, "Caden?"

He didn't do anything to acknowledge my presence except for raising an eyebrow, with his focus still on that paper. A bit offended, I wanted to snatch it away from his hand just so he'd actually pay attention to what I was here for.

I didn't think talking to him would be so awkward. Why did Alex have to trap me in this awful situation and not do it himself?

"If you're going to talk, talk then." He still didn't look at me, "I don't have all day."

I eyed him unbelievably, a lot more offended than before. This was exactly why I never liked social interactions. Some people were really mean.

"Right," I muttered, "You must know Alex from the football team." I waited and he actually cared to give a brief nod.

"Well, Alex, from the football team, asked me to pass on a message that he couldn't have told you himself because-" I stopped once again before I could've blurted out the next few words. What was I even about to say? "Never mind. The coach wants you to go to practice tomorrow."

Hoping that I had made it clear, I took a small step back, ready to leave when he looked at me. And I mean, he actually looked at me, right in the eye. For the first time since I joined this high school.

I never made eye contacts in general, only because it was so awkward. But right now, right here, I couldn't help but look back in his eyes. And surprisingly, his gaze held me hostage, not letting me look away.


The first thought that came in my head was, how in the freaking hell is he so hot?

Just his eyes were enough to make me swoon over him. They were green, the most beautiful green I had ever seen. His disheveled hair almost falling over those same eyes, a shade that exactly matched his black leather jacket.

I had always wondered what it would feel like to be in a position like this, to be staring at someone like this. It felt strange. However, the strangest part was that there wasn't anything to see, no emotion in his eyes. It would've been romantic if the situation was a little different, with probably a different guy.

"What?" He asked rudely, breaking me out of the stupid trance. Of course he was hot, but he was also very extremely rude.

"What what?" I asked back.

"What the hell did you just say?"

Had he just asked me to repeat? I frowned at that, realizing that I should just shorten it up. "Coach wants you to come to practice tomorrow."

I looked at him for a response, but all I saw was a blank expression on his face. Similar to the one a few seconds ago, but somehow having a different energy.

"Do I look like I give a shit about the Coach?" He asked.

Before I could've replied, he crumpled up the paper in his hand and walked away, leaving me speechless.

"No," I murmured, a little taken aback as I watched him leave. "I guess you don't." 

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