Chapter Seventeen: Toungue Tied
The week before March break went by fast. Before Natalia knew it, it was already Friday...the day before the break. The euphoria of Dallas making it on to the team had not faded. Even at school, the student body had been talking about it non-stop. Dallas had been busy with a few practices, and resting. His parents had been thrilled. Natalia had been ecstatic.
Natalia was sitting in the library chatting with her friends. They were discussing their plans for the break. Natalia was still undecided. Her father was going to her cousin's house in Toronto for the week, he had some business clients to meet. It seemed like a good oppertunity. She would be able to hang out with her cousin Matthew, and play with her baby cousin Mira. Her father would be leaving Sunday evening. Natalia had a little time before deciding whether or not to go with him.
“So how is Dallas handling everything?” asked Dawn, out of no where. Natalia had been quizzed non-stop by her friends the days that had come after Dallas had made it on to the team, she had thought that by now they would have gotten it out of their systems. Apprently not, she thought with a inward sigh. “I don't know. I haven't seen him lately. Why?” Natalia asked. She was busy playing tic-tac-toe with Taylor.
“How can you not know? When you kiss him each morning?” Clara asked her. Natlia looked up in shock. There was no masking the look on her face. The heat started to creep up in her cheeks.
“What! No, I don't!” Natalia tried to deny vehemently. “Kind of late, Lia. You've been caught red handed!” Dawn giggled. “Actually, more like red faced.” Taylor teased her. Natalia stared at her friends, they were all smirking. Oh crap...Natalia realized suddenly.
“Shut! Up!” Natalia told them, sounding more vicious than she intended to.
“It's not our faults...Steven caught you the other day! In the parking lot, no less!” Andre said to her. It was clear they found this entertaining. “It wasn't just me...Taylor caught them too!” Steven piped up.
“So are you two going out?” Dawn asked. “No!” Natalia said loudly. “Liar!” Taylor muttered. Natalia glared at him. “Stop it, all of you!” Natalia said trying to gain some composure.
“Why are you guys asking about him anyway?” Natalia tried to ask nonchalantly. She returned her attention to the game, once they had all settled down.
“Well no reason...and because he's walking through the hall, and headed for the library.” Clara told her.
Natalia's head whipped to see Dallas walking in through the enterance of the library. Natalia ducked her head, and concentrated on the the paper in front of her. She made her move, and waited for Taylor.
Why is he here? She wondered. No sooner had she had that thought, that Dallas appeared at her table. Natalia looked up slowly.
“Hey Dallas.” Chimed Dawn, sweetly. Natalia shook her head in irritation. “Hello.” Dallas said politely. “What are you doing here?” The words had been snatched from Natalia's mouth. Taylor had asked him before she could. She could see Taylor's mouth twitch...he was still laughing at her...albeit silently. She waited for Dallas' answer. “Actually, I need to steal Natalia from you guys. Just for a moment.” He said, with a smile.
Natalia felt his hand rest lightly on her shoulder. She shrugged and left silently. Her friends were going to have a feild day, she thought in annoyance.
Dallas followed Natalia out of the library. She led him to a secluded area near some lockers.
She had been quiet. She seemed puzzled to see him.
Once they stopped walking, Natalia turned to face him.
“What are you doing here, Dallas?” She asked him. “Is that any way to greet a person.” Dallas told her with a grin. Natalia smiled. “Hello, Dallas. What brings you here?” She asked again.
“Well, you forgot your lunch.” He told her. In fact Dallas was lucky. Natalia had forgotten her lunch, and when Dallas had gotten home, he had seen it. It was an excuse for his own purpose...but it had gotten her alone.
Dallas handed her the brown paper bag he had carried. “Thanks, is that all?” Natalia asked him. She looked as though she didn't believe he had only come to give her, her lunch.
She's too perceptive, Dallas thought.
“Actually...no.” Dallas told her. “Okay, what is it?” Natalia asked. Dallas sighed.
Natalia sighed. She could have guessed that there was another reason for Dallas to be here.
Dallas shuffled his feet. He's nervous? She thought. That was a new sight. She had not seen him nervous ever, even last week he had looked as though he was made of steel.
“Well, you know how I got on to the team...” He started. “Yea, I was there. Remember?” Natalia interrupted. She saw Dallas smile.
“Derek and I wanted to celebrate...so we're having a party tonight. It was a last minute thing. It's going to be at a club...and well I thought I should invite you.” Dallas said to her. He was staring at his feet.
Natalia couldin't believe he was nervous asking her to come to his party.
“Is that why you came? To invite me to your party?” Natalia asked in amusement. “No...you forgot your lunch. It just seemed like a good oppertunity.” Dallas told her adamantly.
“Right...” Natalia said, not believing any of it.
“Well? Will you come?” He asked her. “I don't know...are you asking me...is this...like a date?” She asked suddenly. Dallas shuffled his feet once more. “Umm...I suppose you could look at it that way...I'm asking you as a friend.” Natalia couldn't help but feel a little let down. “I don't know...I don't really go to clubs...or parties...I don't think so.” She told him. She had never been to a club...and it wasn't something that really interested her.
“Come on, it would be the perfect way to start your break. With a party...which will be on me.” He told her, trying to persuade her. “I don't know...” Natalia said, not knowing what to tell him.
“Well then just think about it. You don't have to tell me just now. Show up if you change your mind.” Dallas said to her, he took a peice of paper out of his pocket and handed it to her. “I'll be looking forward to your answer afterschool.” He told her, as he placed the paper into her hand. He left quietly.
Natalia stared after him, watching him nod to some of the guys that had called out his name. She saw him exit the school. She put the paper in her own pocket and left for the library.
As she sat back down, he friends pounced. “So what was that all about?” “How come you were gone so long?” “Are you two secretly going out?” Natalia rolled her eyes as she looked at the curious faces of Dawn and Clara.
“It was nothing...he wanted me to come to some party. And no I'm not going out with him.” She told the girls with irritation.
“What party? Whose party?” Clara rapidly fired question after question at Natalia.
“Derek and Dallas are celebrating the fact that Dallas got on to the team.” Natalia told her friends shortly.
“So are you going?” Dawn asked. “No, I don't think so. I'm not really into the club scene.” She told them. “Aww come on, Natalia. You get invited to such cool events...the least you could do is go so you can tell us about it.” Clara whined. “How does that work?” Natalia asked, rather annoyed. “Well since we aren't invited...you can go and then make us feel better by telling us all about it.” Clara told her.
Natalia wasn't at all convinced. “So I'm here to make sure you all have something interesting to talk about? Are you vicariously living through me?” She asked. “No...well sometimes.” Dawn said with a laugh. “But, you should go...I mean he came all the way here to ask you...it gives him points.” Dawn told her.
Natalia was still undecided. “I'll think about it.” She told her friends, leaving it at that.
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