08 Aug Trace’s POV: Detention Scene
BONUS SCENE FROM BOOK 1 OF THE MARKED SAGA
This is Trace’s point of view during the detention scene.
*May contain spoilers if you haven’t completed book one*
“Welcome to detention. As much as it would give me pleasure to sit here and squander the next hour away with you, I have a prior engagement that requires my immediate attention—”
A knock at the door cuts Mr. Gillman off. I look up and see Jemma walk in the room, unassuming like she’s afraid of it. Like she isn’t the prettiest girl in school. My stomach takes a dip.
“You’re late, Miss Blackburn,” says Mr. Gillman, and Jemma’s cheeks turn bright pink. “Surely you appreciate the irony given your current circumstance.”
“Sorry,” she says and grabs a seat at the front of the class.
Mr. Mouthpiece goes on with his speech, but I don’t hear a word of it. I’m staring at her again, and I want to kick myself in the shin for it. I know I need to stay away from her—you know, prolong the inevitable—but it’s getting harder and harder for me to do that. Like the other night at All Saints; the way she looked at me; the way she asked me to sacrifice my life without even knowing it. It was scary how close I came to doing it. Shit, I’d probably run myself into a sword if it meant I could have her look at me that way again.
She peeks over her shoulder and her eyes find me. She makes a face like I’m making her sick or something and puts her head down on the desk.
Forget her, man. Getting close to her is only going to get me killed. I need to get my shit together. I need to stay focused on my plan. People are depending on me—Linley’s depending on me. One wrong step and everything falls apart. Let her go. She’s just a girl.
I stretch back in my chair, resolved. Two seconds later, I’m up on my feet, walking across the room to her like I have no control over my legs.
I grab the seat behind her and poke her on the back. She turns around and looks at me with those crystal gray eyes and I swear my day is instantly better.
“Hey,” I say like a lovesick tool.
“Look at you, breaking all your own rules again.”
I bury my smile along with the urge to let her know that I’d break them all for her if she asked me to. “What are you in here for?” I ask, mostly to keep from confessing my weakness for her.
“Oh, you know, the usual. Started a gang, beat up a few kids from Easton. You?”
She laughs and I turn away, trying to focus on something else besides her beautiful lips, or how bad I want to kiss them.
“Heard you’re going to the dance with Caleb.” It makes me sick to even say it. That little shit doesn’t deserve her. No one in this Realm does.
I like the sound of that but knowing Caleb, that’s doubtful. “Does he know that?”
“Of course he does.” She pauses. “I mean, I think he does. Why? Did he say something?”
“Not really.” I don’t bother mentioning his illicit crowing in the locker room today. “He just likes to get under my skin.”
“Under your skin?”
“Yeah,” I answer without thinking it through.
“Nothing. Forget it.”
“O-kay…So, um, who are you going to the dance with?”
“I’m not,” I say and watch her eyebrows pull together.
“You’re not going?”
“Nope.” I inspect her face to see if there’s any disappointment there.
“Why not? I mean, isn’t this thing supposed to be sort of a big deal around here?”
“You’re spending too much time with Taylor.” She laughs again and it throws me off my game. “Besides, the girl I wanted to take is already going with someone else.” Way off.
“That’s too bad.”
“It’s probably for the best,” I say, staring at her lips again.
“Yeah,” she agrees like she knows what a bad idea we are. “Probably.”
We’re probably the worst idea since Romeo and Juliet drank the poison. I need to stay far away from her. Then again, what’s a couple of hours going to hurt? It’s all about the dose, right? “I’ve been thinking about that trip we talked about the other day.” I wait for her to catch on. “I decided to take you.” I watch her eyes round out in excitement and realize I could spent my life trying to recreate that look.
“But what about the um…obstacles?” she asks.
“I’ve got it covered.”
“I’ve weighed them out.”
“Are you for real?” she asks with a smile that sets my damned life on fire.
I nod because it’s all I could do.
“I was thinking Friday night.”
She looks at me like she’s annoyed with me, like she knows what I’m up to. “Very funny. Friday night is the dance.”
“Why Friday?” she asks, needling me with those beautiful, curious eyes.
“Why not Friday?” I counter.
“Are you trying to stop me from going to the dance with Caleb?”
“Maybe,” I admit, and then instantly regret it. “Or maybe I’m just available that night.”
She moves away from me and runs her eyes all over my face, interrogating me. “Is that really the only time we can do this?”
Her face twists in agony and I hate myself for causing it. I don’t want her to have to make a choice. Making a choice means having to give something up, and I want her to have it all.
“How about tomorrow?” I fold like a cheap lawn chair. As much as I don’t want her going to the dance with Caleb—as much as I’d like to rearrange his face for even asking her—I can’t stomach the look she’s giving me.
“Tomorrow’s good,” she says. The smile is back and it lights up her face like the angel that she is. “Tomorrow’s perfect.”
In that moment, I know I’m royally screwed. There’s no going back. I’m sealing my fate like the lid on a coffin. And the scary part is, I don’t even care.