Victor had to live without all the exciting details, at least until the end of class, because Mr. Albanus turned around and started discussing the formulas. It was difficult stuff, enough that Leo had an excuse for dodging his friend’s question. Of course after class, he had to pay for holding out on Victor. The grilling made him late for foreign language. He was taking Russian, but after learning about Cornwallis, maybe he’d look into English for next year. Victor took Chinese earlier in the day, but there were a couple of his teammates in here with him this period. That made the group work they always seemed to be doing more bearable.
The last few periods of the day went by quickly. He even paid attention during Language Arts. It was much more enjoyable when he knew it would give him something to talk to Julia about. Mrs. Constance noticed the difference right away and didn’t know what to make of it. When he actually answered a question about the passage they’d just read, she almost teared up.
The bell rang, and Leo grabbed his books and rushed to his locker. Punching in his key code, the lock turned green and the door popped open. He threw all his books in and then reconsidered. Pulling a couple back out, he held them under one arm. Usually he just tried to do his homework before first period, but tonight he’d actually do it at his house. Of course he was also hoping to bump into Julia on her way out, which was why he wasn’t putting his books in his backpack.
As he neared the door where she usually got picked up, he looked around. He didn’t have a reason to stay after because the basketball season had ended last month, but he would gladly miss the bus if it meant he could set up plans to see her again. Since he was taller than most of his classmates, he had a pretty good view of the students streaming towards the exits. He didn’t think she was here. Julia didn’t need to worry about beating the rush to get to the buses on time, so she might be hanging back a bit.
Leo was busy thinking of ways to look natural while loitering out in the hallway when he saw a man in a suit, dark sunglasses, and a legion haircut moving against the current of students. He had to be one of Julia’s bodyguards. He’d never seen one come inside the school before. Usually they waited in the limousine, or stood at attention next to the driver side door.
Since the man seemed to be moving with a purpose rather than just looking around, Leo decided to follow him. Maybe he could grab a quick word with Julia before she was whisked away to the governor’s mansion. The last of the students making a rush for the buses got in his way as he crossed the lobby, so he lost sight of the bodyguard. As the buses rumbled off into the afternoon sun, the school seemed deserted without the students, even though teachers were packing up their bags and heading for the exits. Leo wandered the halls, looking for a glimpse of the guard. He was just about to give up when he saw him turning a corner at the far end of a hall with Julia.
He considered calling out as her braid swished around the corner, but he decided he’d better not. Breaking into a jog, he headed towards the back of the school. There was a rarely used exit there for the small rear parking lot. Mainly it was only used by the janitors for smoke breaks. Maybe Julia was getting picked up there today. Leo stopped at the corner, hanging back around the edge. He didn’t want to seem like he was pressuring her. Maybe he should talk to her tomorrow.