Except the boys didn’t see it that way. The brush off only served to irritate them, bruising their tender egos even more. Their facial expressions showed this, even as Johnny reached out and put a hand on her arm, “Maybe you didn’t hear us. We said ‘Hi’ to you.”
A hundred options flashed through Jade’s mind as her senses jumped to high alert. While she was perfectly capable of dealing with the two brash, cocksure young men, it wouldn’t be in her best interests to do so. Immortals and Humans don’t mix. The only reason she attended school at all was to keep up appearances of being human in a world overpopulated with them. Drawing attention to herself would not be a good idea.
It affronted her that the two boys thought it okay to touch her just because she didn’t give them the attention they wanted. Why couldn’t they just go away?**
Except going away was the last thing they intended to do. When Jade pushed Johnny’s hand off her arm, his anger flashed. At first, she thought he was going to try and hurt her, forcing her to defend herself. He reached out and snatched her phone out of her hands.
“There, maybe now you’ll talk to us.” He said.
Another assessment of them told her she’d crossed some invisible line. They were angry now. Blake’s glare made her skin crawl, as Johnny put her phone into his pocket. “I’ll give this back to you, after you’ve talked to us.”
“What if I don’t want to talk to you?” Jade asked standing up, “Give me my phone.”
“No.” Johnny’s self-assured smile said it all. He was getting the attention from her he wanted. It didn’t matter if it was good or bad. He’d won his little game of getting her to notice him, and now he intended to enjoy his victory. “Not until you talk to us. It’s only good manners to speak to someone when they’re speaking to you.”
“What would you know of manners?” A voice asked from the staircase below, leading to the basement level, “And for your information, you moron, she did talk to you. She told you to give her back her phone.”
Three heads whipped around to face the new voice as its owner came up the stairs. No one knew he was there. Johnny quickly looked over the interloper. Both he and Blake outweighed this guy by a lot. He didn’t look like he ate much, given his lean, skinny stature. The kid’s eyes were hidden behind dark glasses and gave nothing away, but the little smile tugging at the corners of his mouth angered Johnny instantly. He got the impression this new guy thought he was smarter than him.
“And what are you gonna do about it, punk?” Johnny said.
For all that he tried to look casual about it, Jade noticed Johnny’s thumbs were no longer stuck in his belt loops. Blake’s hands were out of their pockets now, and she didn’t like the look the two brutes exchanged before Blake added, “This ain’t your business. Leave.”
“Why should I? I was here before you. Why don’t you give her back her phone like she asked, and leave her alone?”
The new guy looked like he had more he wanted to say, but just then Blake and Johnny pushed themselves away from the wall, and approached him. Both of them had a menacing glare as they approached the kid, and Johnny pushed him up against the wall with one hand.
“What are you gonna do, take it from me? Like my buddy said, this ain’t your business. Leave.”
The comment was punctuated by a shove, and the new guy took a couple heavy steps back as he regained his balance. After doing so, he straightened up, turned around, and said, “Give her back her phone, first. Then I’ll leave.”
“Oh, the little guy wants to be a hero, is that it? Maybe he thinks he can impress her that way? Is that it, Hero?” Blake’s grin was pure evil.
His ego was bruised enough from Jade’s attitude and brush off. The last thing he intended to do was let this little punk make him look bad too. He caught Johnny’s signal, and the two flanked the wannabe hero. The fear in his eyes like adding gasoline to a brush fire.
Blake eased around the hero, while Johnny got in front of him, and reached into his pocket and withdrawing Jade’s phone. Curious, and a little nervous at the attention she might draw, she stood up. The last thing she expected was some guy to try and stand up for her. He didn’t even glance her way.
“Why don’t you try and take it?” Johnny’s grin made it plain what he thought the kid’s chances were of doing that.
He took a step towards the smaller young man whose arms were coming up defensively. “I-I don’t want any trouble.”
“But Hero, trouble’s found you.” Blake sneered, standing behind the kid now.
The kid took a half step back, turning as he did so he could keep his two assailants in front of him, and his back to Jade. A few people, those who happened to glance in the direction of the staircase, stopped to watch the unfolding drama.
Jade felt her stress rising. If the kid hadn’t happened along, she could’ve quickly dealt with the situation and moved on. Now she had an audience, which meant witnesses if she did anything the humans would see as unusual. However, a small part of her couldn’t help but appreciate what this guy was trying to do. It was something she witnessed less often anymore. She debated stepping in and helping out, but part of her was curious to see what this guy would do next.
© 2016, Tim Hillebrant. All rights reserved.
The author has granted WritersCarnival.ca, its affiliates and syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.