How's everyone doing? Looking forward to the weekend already? I'll be posting from shots from Yellowstone, hopefully! (Pending, ya know, getting eaten by wolves. What is up with my hubby being so friggin' fascinated with them?!?)
Today, I have the distinct pleasure of hanging out here: Michelle Pickett (which, if you haven't pre-ordered PODs yet, what are you waiting for?), and Hardcore Heroines are both willing to put up with me on their blogs. Swing by and say hello!
Back to the story! I hope you all are enjoying this just a bit--I certainly had fun writing it. Either way, it's slightly more interesting than just links I guess :)
~It was the next day I got my first indication something was different about James. Something beyond the jeers that were spreading amongst my friends at lunch, or the funny looks people started giving him.
When the lecture portion of Photography was over I headed to the darkroom, planning on how to finish my work from yesterday. I was half way there before I realized he was following me.
“Aren’t you going to stay with Richie?” I turned, arms crossed, glaring at James.
He shook his head. “I would like to watch you work. Is that all right?”
“No. It’s not. Get someone else to show you how to work back here.” I spun around and was hurrying off when he touched my shoulder. Just a touch—one finger against my sweater, but it made my whole arm tingle. My heart race. I gasped and I knew he heard it.
“I know how to develop photos. I said I’d like to watch you do so. I’ll promise to keep out of your way.”
I couldn’t help thinking it was kind of creepy and otherwise strange, but the way he looked at me went against that. It was as if some kind of guard came down and I realized he was doing his level best to flatter me.
Not that I was buying it. “I can’t stop you, but I’d rather you didn’t.”
I went into the room alone.
When I stepped out over an hour later, James was still sitting in the classroom, lost in conversation with Richie. Ignoring them, I left, praying they didn’t see me. It didn’t do much good. I soon heard their voices follow me down the hallway.
Outside the front door, I came to a dead stop. Steven stood off to one side of the steps, his baseball bat out on his bag, still dressed in his practice outfit. He motioned me closer.
“He’s following you, right?” Steven asked in a low voice.
It was clear whom he meant. I nodded and was about to say something when the door opened and James stepped out, alone, into the late afternoon sunlight.
Steven moved forward, bat gripped in his hands. “I think we need to discuss a few things,” he said in a low voice.
James looked at Steven like he was nothing more than a gnat he could brush away. “About what?”
“I think you need to leave Sandra alone. Got it?”
James actually looked confused for a moment. “Is she spoken for?”
Steven laughed and I felt my ears burn. “Spoken for? No, she’s not with anyone. Just leave her alone. Got it?”
I sensed Mary’s involvement behind this. She knew I was uncomfortable with James’ attention. But to pull a move like this with Steven? It was far beyond her bounds.
James watched, his face calm. “Did you ask him to do this?” he asked me.
I shook my head.
“Then, I suggest you let her decide what she’d like. If she wants me to leave her be, all she needs to do is say so.” James took a step closer so that Steven had to crane to look at him. “And the next time you decide to speak to me, don’t even think about bringing a weapon.”
There was a splintering sound, a gasp, and James turned and walked away, shoulders back, like nothing happened.
Steven looked at me, his hands shaking slightly, the two pieces of his bat held in either hand.