"Hey, Sasha, are you busy tonight?"

I paused in my actions––which, currently, involved texting Joshua––and for the first time, glanced up at the person who was attached to the voice. Nathan whose last name I'd either forgotten or hadn't bothered to ask for, stood directly in front of me, casual mannerisms conflicting with the sultry tone he'd deliberately affected.

It was beginning to get old, this cat and mouse game he always tried to play with me. I mean, yeah, at first, it hadn't been so bad. Hell, I had actually been flattered, because as far as I knew no one had ever had such a thing as a "crush" on me. The mechanisms and novelty of it had both intrigued and amused me.

But now it just pissed me off. No longer was Nathan a point of lazy fascination––he was an effing nuisance, blocking access to my locker and always making me late for my classes. I hated him and wanted him gone.

Pretending to think, I ducked my head and sent off a quick reply to Joshua.

How's school, sweetness? He'd asked.

Not going fast enough. I can't wait to get home and let you fuck my brains out. Wbu?

I had only been partially kidding, but something told me that Joshua probably wouldn't see it that way. The likelihood of him obliging my desire, sarcastic or no, was high. Hell, knowing him, the fucker would jump me the moment I walked in the door. He'd done it a thousand times before––grabbing me by the shirt and shoving me up against the wall, murmuring how badly he'd missed me. How he'd counted the duration of my absence, down to every second. How much he wanted to fuck me senseless ..

"Sasha?"

I started guiltily, realizing I hadn't yet given Nathan an answer. He still lounged against my locker, waiting patiently, his dark brown eyes expectant. Hoisting my backpack up higher on my shoulder, I continued to avoid his gaze and instead feigned hesitance. "Um, I dunno. Why?"

"'Cause I want to pay you a visit." His hand extended, slender digits brushing my jawline; stiffness threatened to surface and I had to stifle the strong urge to recoil, to mangle him with my teeth so that he'd never even think about touching me ever again, because goddamn, I hated it when people took whatever they wanted from me. Regardless of whether it was a mere touch or a picture, it wasn't theirs to just take, dammit.

Before I could answer, my phone buzzed in my hand and I gratefully returned my attention to the device, relieved for the distraction––and yes, more than a bit pleased, because Joshua had replied.

Careful what you wish for, minx. You might just get it.

Heat knifed through me at the tacit implication and I bit my lip against a smile.

Remembering Nathan, I spared him a glance, more than a bit disturbed to find him watching me. "Who're you texting?" he asked, stepping closer. And just like that, the heat inspired by the weredaemon's unspoken promise was gone, replaced by an instant chill, as my hatred for the other male increased tenfold. Damn it, couldn't the bastard leave me be?!

–––––––––––– !tense switch!; first person third person –––––––––––––––

"No one," he ground out, for a moment forgetting his schoolboy persona and pointedly angling his phone out of view. Flipping murky bangs back irritably, he straightened to glare up at Nathan, further annoyed by the ache that was developing in his neck. Why the fuck was everyone so goddamn tall?! Fucking freaks. "Look, I'm not sure about you coming over. I've got finals soon and I can't–"

"I won't stay long, I promise. I could even help you study. I've got perfect scores. What class?"

Fucking hell, this kid .. Sasha bit back a growl, tamping down the urge to fire a hateful retort and instead affecting an expression of uncertainty, worrying his teeth anxiously along the dry petal of his lower lip. "Erm, calculus."

"Ahh, the big C. So are we on, then?" Nathan was grinning, and the gypsy couldn't help it; his hackles rose, and he bristled indignantly, unnerved by the vibes that the other boy was emanating. The cockiness, so self-assured .. as if he knew something that Sasha didn't. His blue eyes were oddly intense, bright and animated as if he were afflicted with fever and not for the first time, Sasha found himself wanting to step back.

"On for wha–"

Nathan was already moving, sliding past Sasha and back out into the hall. Over his shoulder, he called, "Tutoring at your place, six-ish? Five thirty? Sounds great, yo. See you then, yeah?" And then he was gone, exiting the building at a jaunty trot––or was it more of a prance? Either way, Sasha was left wondering what the fuck had just happened.