Home > Collide (The Secret Life of Trystan Scott #1)(7)

Collide (The Secret Life of Trystan Scott #1)(7)
Author: H.M. Ward

Then Trystan slumped and breathed in deeply. He leaned forward on his hands, which straddled his legs on the edge of the desk. "Can I ask you something?"

When people ask that question, it's never something simple. And from the weight in his voice, I knew it was something major. I nod, "Yeah, sure."

He looked up at me, his blue eyes somber. It makes him look older than he is. No smile lined his lips. "Have you heard of Day Jones? That internet guy."

"Yes. Who hasn't?" He nodded slowly, like he was collecting his thoughts. Since that wasn't the question I expected him to ask, I was even more intrigued. I leaned forward, mirroring his posture. "What about him? Did they find out who he is yet?"

Trystan shook his head, "No. I don't think so. But it's not about that. It's about the song." His voice was too somber for this conversation. I didn't know where he was going with it, but it felt like something was wrong. Running his hands through his hair, he said, "I know it's just another guy with a guitar, but that song - the words - they're hard to ignore."

I nodded slowly, watching him watch his shoes nervously. "I know. I heard it once and the words were burned into my brain. It's haunting."

He looked up at me from beneath dark lashes, "I know. That's what I wanted to talk about." His voice was soft, quiet. I could barely hear him. This was so unlike him that he had my full attention. If a pin dropped right then, it would sound like a sonic boom. I didn't even breathe. It was too loud and before I knew it, I was leaning closer to him. Trystan didn't look up at me. Instead he stared at the floor, saying, "If you were... if you - "

Before he asked his question, the door was thrown open and Seth walked in. "What the hell are you doing in here?" Seth blurted out. As an afterthought, he turned to me and said, "Hey Virgin." That was the genius nickname he gave me.

I stared at him without answering, irritated that he'd shown up. Someone always showed up. Just when things with Trystan seemed real, one of his friends walked in. The Trystan I got a glimpse of immediately vanished like smoke in the wind.

Glaring at Seth, I thought, Go away. Go away. Go away. Seth can't read minds. He barely has one, but Trystan seemed equally annoyed that he walked in.

It was too quiet. It's like we were talking about something that we shouldn't have been, and when Seth walked in all conversation stopped. My skin prickled like this was an omen. I repressed the urge to shiver and smoothed my hands over my arms.

Something was off. The way Trystan's shoulders slumped, like he physically deflated when he saw Seth made me wonder why. It was a tiny movement, one that Seth failed to notice, but I did. Trystan straightened quickly and that smile he always wore spread across his mouth.

"Dude, did you really flash the entire auditorium with Brie Parker's panties?" Seth asked, grinning, practically vibrating with excitement.

Trystan let out a huff of air and ran his fingers through his hair, "Crap. Is that what they're saying? She's going to kill me."

Seth laughed, "What'd you do man? Because I really liked the locker room version. It had Brie bending over and - "

I cut him off, "Trystan bent her back for a kiss and then dropped her on the floor. By the way, you're disgusting." I folded my arms across my chest. Maybe I hated Brie, but I didn't want to hear what Seth was going to say. It made my skin crawl. Sex was a game to guys like him, and I didn't want to hear about it.

Seth's smile faded. His voice was hard, "Why are you always here? Every time I go looking for Trystan lately, there you are - sitting right next to him. You got a crush on him or something? Hoping for a pity bang?"

Mortification choked me. For a moment all I could do was blink. Trystan sat, shoulders slumped, on top of desk until Seth said that. Suddenly, he sat upright. His tone warning, "Seth."

When I found my voice I said, "Hanging out with him would suck way less if you weren't around."

Seth laughed, "Funny. I was telling Trystan the same thing." He shook his head like I wasn't worth his time. Then he turned to his friend, "Come on, man. Let's get out of here. There's a set of twins working the 7-Eleven and they both have double Ds on the rack." He laughed like he was hysterical.

Trystan smirked, but shook his head. "Can't. Tucker has us in lock down."

"So that's why you're with her? Tucker's punishing you by strapping you to a boring chick?" Seth glanced at me while he spoke. His brows pinched together when he looked back up at Trystan.

"Something like that," Trystan replied. "Either way, if I leave this room, I don't graduate. And if you stay here and Tucker sees you, I suspect you'll be joining us. A week's in school detention, Tucker style."

Seth's face fell. "You mean - ?"

"No free periods, no lunch, no after school nothing. For the next week I'm in here every day. Better run before he adds your name to the list."

Seth turned toward the door, ready to leave, but he still didn't seem to believe Trystan. Before pulling the door open, he stopped and asked over his shoulder, "What about the virgin? Did she piss Tucker off too?"

Before I could answer, Trystan slid off the desk. Walking toward his friend, he nodded and said, "As a matter of fact, yeah, she did. Get the hell out of here before he sees you. And if you head back this way before practice is over, sneak us some snacks."

"What makes you think I'm going without you?" Seth asked. He huffed like a little boy that was told he couldn't have more cookies.

"Please. Double Ds on twins. You're going to be there for the rest of the afternoon," Trystan slapped his friend on the shoulder and pushed him through the door.

Before Seth was gone, he hissed, "Don't do it. For god's sake, don't f**king do it." They stared at each other. Apparently Seth knew Trystan better than he let on. The two looked like they were having a showdown. I couldn't tell who won, but eventually, Trystan lowered his gaze and gave a nod before shoving Seth out the door. When he pushed the door closed, Trystan stood there with his back to me for a moment. He didn't turn around. He didn't speak.

Pressing my lips together, I slid off the desk and walked over to him. "What'd you want to tell me? About the song?"

Trystan turned. His plastic smile was firmly in place, his lighthearted nature on full display. It was disarming, but I knew exactly what he was doing. "It was nothing. Just curious if you heard it, that's all." He looked me in the eye as he lied to my face.

Chapter 16


Damn, he lied to her. Trystan didn't want things like this. He sighed, and ran his fingers through his hair.

"What's with you lately? One second your all intense and the next you're all smiles." Mari asked.

Trystan looked up at her, his eyes drinking in her face. What if Seth was wrong? What if Mari liked him? That look said she cared, but he didn't know what to do. Heart pounding, he said, "It's her. The girl. I feel lost, Mari. I can't take it much longer."

She was quiet for a moment. Mari watched him sitting on the desk. The smile fell off his lips as Trystan leaned forward, putting all his weight on his hands, and stared at the floor. His voice sounded strained.

"Then tell her," she urged.

Trystan glanced up at her from under his brow. The way she looked at him made him think he should. That if he said it, she would believe him. But Seth's words rang through his mind. The image of the bullet being fired from the gun, and the inability to take it back. Once he said it, there was no going back.

Silence filled the room. Mari finally said, "What do you have to lose? It's not like you're friends. It's not like you'd be risking one relationship for the other, so - " The way he looked at her when she spoke made the floor of her stomach fall. She stopped midsentence. "You already know her, don't you?"

"She's one of my best friends," he answered softly. "I doubt she even realizes it."

Mari's brown gaze was hypnotic. Trystan couldn't look away even though it pulled him in deeper. The feeling in his stomach, the alluring pull that made him reckless urged him to say it, but Trystan kept his jaw locked. She had to figure it out on her own. That's the only way she'll believe me, he thought.

But Mari didn't say anything. She remained lost in Trystan's gaze, her dark curls dangling over her shoulders as she sat on the desk across from him. It felt like time stopped. Trystan didn't want to blink. He wanted to remember this moment, everything about it. The way her perfectly pink lips were slightly parted, the way she leaned toward him like she knew, and the way her eyes locked with his - he could feel the connection with her in his core. It tugged at him at first, calling him back to her. But now it assaulted him day and night. There was nothing without Mari.

Pulse pounding in his ears, Trystan didn't notice Tucker until the door scraped open. Trystan quickly looked away, breaking the connection. The stirring in his stomach faded and it felt like he lost part of himself.

"Off," Tucker snapped at Trystan.

Trystan slid off the teacher's desk and walked around to sit a row over and behind Mari. She watched him pass, but he couldn't tell what she was thinking, if she knew he was talking about her.

"You two are pushing your luck. You are aware of that, right?" Tucker said looking at each of them.

"I didn't do anything to Brie," Mari said, but Tucker held up his hand and she stopped speaking.

"Your job, Jennings, is to get them out onto the stage at the right time."

"She did it on purpose," Mari muttered.

"So was Trystan's little stunt." He looked back at Trystan. "That little stunt should have been a suspension, Scott."

"There's no way to prove it was intentional," Trystan replied dryly. "She punched me in the head and I dropped her. Could have happened to anyone."

"That kind of crap doesn't happen to guys like you," Tucker replied. Beads of sweat lined his face, "Enough of this. Whatever is going on with you Scott has to stop. Get back on stage and do it right this time." Trystan slid off the desk and walked out the door.

As he left the classroom he could hear Mari defending herself, but he knew Tucker wouldn't listen. Brie had him wrapped around her little finger.

Chapter 17


I left practice early, since Tucker said he couldn't stand the sight of me. The only reason he called Trystan back was because he was needed or they couldn't practice. As I left the building Katie caught up with me.

"Hey, why are you leaving early?" she ran up next to me, smiling, happy to have someone to walk home with.

"Tucker tossed me." Before she could ask, I added, "Brie set me up, Tucker made an example. My life sucks. What else is new?"

"That was harsh. He threw you out?"

I nodded, "Yeah. Why are you still here?"

She grinned, "Math help. I needed a tutor."

"Jack King is the teacher's aide at the extra help session again, isn't he?"

"Yes, and I seriously need extra help when I'm around him." She fanned herself, and laughed, "He's so hot that I can't think. Oh, and his cologne. Damn, when he's standing over my shoulder... Well, you know."

"You're horrible, you know that?" I laughed as I said it.

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