“What’s your favorite book?”
Julia looked up in confusion. They’d been silent for over five minutes and he’d just started talking again without so much as a transition.
“Err, it’s just that I see you reading a lot, and I was wondering what your favorite was.”
“Oh. I haven’t really thought about it before. I don’t know if I could choose just one.”
“Wow, you really love books.”
“I guess that means you don’t.”
He almost lied again, but something stopped him.
“Not especially. Though maybe I’d start to if I could get some good recommendations.”
“I have plenty of books you can borrow. I don’t always read history books. What I mean is I usually don’t. I have fun books too.”
Julia was almost as nervous as he was. Rather than comforting him, the knowledge made his palms sweat even more.
“Maybe we could get together some time after school and you can help me choose a good one to read?”
“That would be great. I just need to plan ahead so I can get picked up late. Oh, and we won’t be able to leave the school grounds unless you want one of my father’s guards following us.”
“We can hang out here. Or go to the coffee shop. Guard huh? Are things that dangerous?”
“I don’t know. My father says it’s just a precaution, but he’s very strict about it.”
The bell rang before they could set firm plans. Now Leo had to make sure he wouldn’t lose his nerve and never talk to her again. He was feeling so good that he forgot to ditch his phone before physics. He usually kept it on vibrate, but Albanus could hear even a muffled vibrate from across the room. It was practically a superpower. He waited until he was sitting down so he could turn it to silent under the table since Mr. Albanus was standing outside his door greeting students. His phone just made it back into his pocket when the second bell rang and Albanus came back inside.
Leo absentmindedly tapped his desk as class started. Mr. A had the only non-computerized desks in the whole building. The motions to bring up his school programs were second nature at this point. He even did them when he knew they wouldn’t work. As Mr. Albanus scribbled some formulas on the board by hand, Victor leaned his stool ridiculously far over so he could whisper in Leo’s ear. Victor didn’t even need to be so quiet since they sat towards the back of the room and Mr. A’s super hearing only extended to phones, but his extreme angle had a couple nearby girls giggling. Not only was Victor smart, he didn’t have any problems connecting with the ladies either.
“What’s this I hear about you sitting with Julia at lunch?”
“You heard about that already?”
“What do you mean already? I was offended that I only got an update ten minutes before the end of last period. I really need to be nicer to Claudia.”
“You don’t even like Claudia.”
“Yeah, but she’s a genius when it comes to status updates. Anyway, spill the beans, what happened?”