“Why is it so hard to imagine that I could put the needs of
the band before my own? You might hate my guts, but you can’t deny you know me.
I love band, James. I’ll do anything to make our senior year successful.”
Silent laughter dances in his eyes. This is not the reaction
I was hoping to get from calling him James again. “You mean, you’ll do anything
to make your senior year successful.”
He never denies hating my guts. That’s noteworthy. Or not.
“It’s no secret or surprise every one of us wants the head
drum major spot for ourselves. You, me, and the other guys are all going to be
trying to get the votes. Don’t make it out to be some sort of covert operation
that only I’m participating in.”
Only I am. And so are they.
Screw being an attorney. I should be a spy. I actually think
I just said all that with a completely straight face.
“Is that right?” James nods, his gaze sweeping over my face
like he’s trying to play hide-and-seek with all the lies piling up between us
in this room.
“Yes, that’s right.” I struggle not to nod and raise my
voice to the liar, liar, pants on fire octave.
“Okay.” James crosses his arms over his chest without
stepping back, nearly knocking me off-balance. “Prove it.”
“Prove what?” That physical move was meant to reinforce this
mental one. “That I love band?”
“Prove that we’re friends now.” He swings his finger in the
miniscule distance between us.
Distance that feels stifling all of a sudden. Did the AC
break down? Maybe I am dehydrated after all. I’m sweating while chills skitter
down my spine.
He rolls his eyes up and sticks his tongue in his cheek,
making a big show of pretending to think about it when it’s obvious he already
has a suggestion waiting to pounce out of his throat like a bloodthirsty tiger.
When he focuses his intense blue eyes on me, a sneery sort of smile creeps
along his lips until he looks like a lopsided Joker. It’s turning into a
freaking circus in this tiny, tiny room.