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The Braden Bulldog
This is impossible, Shani thought as she stood in the doorway of the cafeteria. She pulled her navy blue cardigan farther over the back of her dark washed 7ForAllMankind skinny jeans and shuffled her hands throw her golden locks once more. She took a deep breath as she peered around the small room. It was practically the size of Shani’s bedroom only it was boring and rectangular. She wondered how so many people could fit into such a small space. But then she remembered that only four hundred kids attended the school so everything was downsized. And half of kids that ate lunch didn’t even eat it in the cafeteria. Every student was part of a club and every club had an assigned region of the school. The cafeteria was for the pair and trios of high school freshman that were desperate to hang onto their friendship and the loners who have nothing else to do but eat at lunchtime. But Shani wasn’t desperate enough to befriend any of the creatures that were occupying the cafeteria, even though she should’ve been a part of their group. She was a freshman too. She needed to find a fashion club, or a shopping addict club—anything that didn’t involve work or sweat. So sports teams and cheerleading were off the list.
“Looking for something, Huntley?”
Shani swirled around in her new black Uggs to see Colin standing behind her in his plain white polo shirt and a pair of jeans with his black backpack slung over one shoulder and a hoodie resting in his arms. His dark brown waves of hair were wet and matted to his forehead like he’d just taken a shower. Curious, she took a deep breath. She inhaled the heavy scent of soap, and cologne that resonated off his skin. He smelt like honeysuckle and something Shani couldn’t identify but he smelt amazing. Shani’s eyes rolled back into her head as she took in another deep breath. The thick haze of his scent lingered around the air she breathed. Every breath she took seemed to grow was sweeter and sweeter. His skin was smooth and pale, like Abigail’s, but Shani didn’t mind it. Maybe it was because of the shape of his body—his strong, muscular body. Abigail looked so tiny and frail. She looked scary and ghostly with her white skin and dark hair. But Colin was the exact opposite. He was tall, built, and gorgeous and Shani couldn’t stop looking at him. Shani snuck another glance at his face. And when she did, she noticed that he was staring back at her. His brown eyes looked her over slowly, taking in every inch of her body and gazing amusedly as his eyes grazed her chest.
Shani rolled her eyes and cleared her throat. “Are you looking for something?” she mused, narrowing her emerald eyes at him.
But he just laughed and said, “Easy, Huntley. I’m just checking you out.”
She crossed her arms across her chest and raised her eyebrow. “Do you realize just how patronizing you sound when you use my last name?” Shani asked smoothly.
Colin ignored her with a smile, “You want to go for a drive?” He pointed down the hallway with his thumb. “I promise I’ll get you back to school before lunch is over. I wouldn’t want you to be late on your first day,” he added.
Shani looked around the empty halls, “Uh, yeah sure.” She couldn’t believe she didn’t find at least one other person in the entire school who fit her descriptions. All she wanted a laid back, smart sophomore to hang out with around school. That was it.
Shani looked down the hallway to see Colin waving her towards the door. “I’m coming.” She flung her thick mane over her shoulders and headed toward him. He was pulling a thick dark green hoodie on over his head with BRADEN stitched across his chest over a picture of a black bulldog under it. Shani rolled her eyes, the Braden Bulldogs. The Brainless Braden Bulldogs.
He must’ve caught her staring at his sweater because he laughed and said, “I have another one just like it.” He slid his bag off, zipped it opened and pulled out a second dark green hoodie.
“I don’t wear hoodies,” Shani said simply, pushing it toward him.
He tossed the sweater right into her hands with a grin. “Well you will today, Huntley.”