Picking up her highlighter, Selene tried, yet again, to concentrate on her reading. She’d completed about a chapter when a male voice drew her attention, “Excuse me.”
Selene sighed at yet another interruption and looked up to see a boyishly handsome face. Offering a polite but distant smile, she tipped her head enquiringly to the side and asked, “Can I help you?”
The boy glanced over his shoulder briefly and then back at her. Selene leaned slightly to the side to see where he was looking and found a group of boys watching them.
Keeping her amusement well hidden, Selene moved her gaze back to the boy.
“My name is John. I’ve noticed you here studying the last few days,” he paused briefly to think of his next line. “You’re really hot, you know that?”
Selene took a second to reply, tucking her more immediate and sarcastic response of , My what a lovely compliment, away in her head, and instead limiting herself to a simple, “Thank you.”
“Would you like to go out Friday night?” John asked, apparently emboldened.
Keeping her mask of generically polite niceness in place, Selene looked right at John and lied through her teeth. “That’s really nice of you to ask me. But I already have a boyfriend.”
“Ah, come on,” John wheedled, taking a step closer. “My bros are watching. You don’t really have a boyfriend. Give me a chance?”
Selene hid a sigh of impatience. “No, really. I do have a boyfriend,” she tried one more time, wanting to allow him save face in front of his friends.
“I’m calling bull,” was the reply.
Selene shifted in her seat. No one in the Vyusher had ever spoken to her like that. Not even Gideon. She was trying to decide how to respond when voice from behind her mirrored her first thought and drawled, “Wow, what a gentleman.”.
The tiny hairs on the back of her neck stood up. Selene recognized that deep voice, currently dripping in sarcasm.
“Who are you, man?” John puffed out his chest, posturing arrogantly.
“I’m not your man, dude,” the owner of the voice was now standing directly behind her. Selene just barely stopped herself from jumping when his hands gently swept aside the silky fall of her pale hair to land softly on her shoulders, his thumbs gently massaging the tense muscles there, “I’m hers.”
Selene’s stomach clenched at the blatant lie, her heart pounding triple-time in her chest. To hear that claim of connection coming from Griffin’s lips too closely aligned with her own hidden desires for Selene’s peace of mind.
John stared hard over her head at Griffin for a moment, contemplating his next move. Finally he glanced away, looking back at Selene who simply shrugged, both communicating an I told you so to the boy in front of her, but also effectively shrugging off Griffin’s hands. They disturbed her equilibrium too much to allow the hypnotic motion to continue.
With one last glare at both of them, John stalked off, returning to his friends. Selene, meanwhile, held her breath, her eyes on the book in her lap, though she didn’t really see the words on the pages. All of her senses were attuned to the man who was making his way around the bench.