Home > Until Harry(4)

Until Harry(4)
Author: L.A. Casey

I frowned up at Kale and decided I didn’t like how different he was around this Drew girl and her friend with blonde hair who did nothing but stand and stare at him since the moment he’d asked where Jordan was.

Jordan.

At the reminder of why Kale was even talking to these girls, I tugged on his hand to get his attention, and when he looked down at me I said, “Jordan.”

Kale blinked, then shook his head clear and set his jaw.

He looked back to Drew. “You said Jordan went behind the prefabs, right?”

Drew bobbed her head up and down. “Uh-huh.”

Kale winked. “Thanks, beautiful.”

He turned to me then and said, “Stay here with Drew. I’ll be right back.”

With that said, he walked around me and headed in the direction of the prefabs. I was on the verge of tears because he’d done something wrong. He’d called Drew beautiful, but that had to be wrong because he said I was the only beautiful girl in the world. Just me. He always told me that.

“Did you hear that?” Drew squeaked to her friend and clapped her hands together like a seal at the zoo. “He called me beautiful. Beautiful!”

Drew’s friend jumped up and down and squealed. I resisted putting my fingers in my ears to block out the horrible noise.

“I did,” Drew’s friend said as she too clapped her hands together like a seal. “I so did. Oh, my God! He so likes you! Did you see how he couldn’t stop staring? You’re so bloody lucky, Drew – he is gorgeous!”

I didn’t want to stand there and listen to Drew and her friend as they gushed over Kale, so I ran after him. I heard Drew call for me, but I didn’t turn around to answer her. In fact, I mentally stuck my tongue out at her.

Take that, Drew.

I spotted Kale’s back as he disappeared around the back of the prefabs, so I ran my fastest after him. I got to the back of the prefabs at the same time a hand clamped down on my shoulder.

“Hold your horses – Kale said you have to stay with me.” I looked over my shoulder and stared up at Drew, who was looking down at me with furrowed brows. Her chest rose and fell rapidly like my own as we both tried to catch our breath.

She lifted her gaze and looked straight ahead. Her mouth formed into the shape of an O before she flung her hand over her mouth and screeched. I jumped with fright and snapped my head forward, but like Drew, I too screeched when I saw what she had.

Kale was in a fight – with three boys.

“Kale!” I cried when one of the boys kicked him in the side of his belly.

I tried to rush forward to help him, but arms folded around me from behind.

“Stop!” Drew’s voice hissed in my ear. “You’ll get hurt!”

I didn’t care; I had to help Kale before he got hurt.

“Leave him alone!” I screamed at the boys. “Stop it, please!”

The noises of punches and slaps filled my ears, and just as I was about to scream again, one of the boys on top of Kale suddenly yelped in pain after receiving a kick between the legs. He fell backwards onto the ground and held both hands between his legs. He didn’t get back up and try to hit Kale again; he stayed down and began to cry in pain.

A few seconds later a second boy fell back off Kale, holding his nose, and he began to cry too, and like the boy next to him, he stayed on the ground and held onto his face as blood began to seep through the fingers he had pressed over his nose.

I didn’t know why, but I held tightly onto Drew’s arms as she bent down and picked me up. She held me to her and tried to turn so I couldn’t see what was happening, but I turned my head just enough to see that the last boy to fight Kale was Jordan Hummings. The boy who stole my skipping rope and punched me in the back of my head.

Kale was on top of Jordan. Both of them had blood on them, but Jordan had a lot more on him than Kale did, and he was crying. Kale was not. Jordan lifted his hands and tried to push Kale off, but Kale knocked his hands to the side and grabbed him by the collar of his school uniform and held him in place.

“If you ever,” Kale bellowed down into his face, “touch my family again, I’ll fucking kill you!”

I gasped. Kale said a bad word, a really bad word. He was going to be in so much trouble when his mummy and daddy found out.

“I didn’t touch anyone!” Jordan wailed, his hands desperately trying to break Kale’s hold on him.

“You did!” Kale bellowed, grasping Jordan’s collar with his other hand. “You hit Lane! She is only a little girl. She is only six, and you punched her in the head!”

Drew gasped at Kale’s announcement and held me to her, rubbing her hand up and down my back. I hated that it comforted me and helped slow my tears. I hated that I was holding onto her, and I hated that it made me feel better. I didn’t want to need Drew to help me, because Kale had said she was beautiful.

“Drew, what are you doing back – hey!” When the voice of an adult bellowed from behind us, I gasped and pressed my face against Drew’s shoulder.

I was frozen with fear as a grown man rushed past Drew and myself and shot over to Kale and Jordan. He pulled Kale off Jordan first and held him to one side, and then he reached down and pulled Jordan up to his feet. Jordan was crying, and so were his two friends who were still on the ground. Kale was the only boy not crying. He was just glaring hard at Jordan and had his hands balled into fists as his chest rose and fell swiftly.

Now that Kale stood up and faced me, I could see his face, and I didn’t like what I saw. He had a little cut over his eyebrow. A trickle of blood ran down from said eyebrow and stopped halfway down his cheek. Both of his eyes were red, a little swollen, and his lips were stained with the blood that was smeared across his mouth. I could see blood stained his teeth too, because he had his mouth open as he was breathing heavily.

Now that things weren’t as loud, my whimpers could be heard. Kale turned his head in my direction, and his entire demeanour changed.

“It’s okay, Lane,” he assured me, giving me a wink. “I’m okay, I promise.”

“Liar!” I cried. “You’re bleeding! Look at all the blood. You’re probably dying!”

The thought of that turned my stomach.

“What the hell happened here?” the man who was holding Kale and Jordan snapped.

I gasped. The man said a bad word too.

“He punched Lane in the back of the head!” Kale stated, throwing his accusation in Jordan’s face.

The man looked at me, then looked to Kale, Jordan and the two boys still crying on the ground. He shook his head and walked forward, pulling both Kale and Jordan with him.

“Everyone to the principal’s office,” he ordered. “Now!”

The fear that settled inside me was enough to make me want to pass out. Drew set me down on the ground and took my hand as we walked ahead of Kale, Jordan and the man who’d stopped the fight. He called for the other two boys to get up and follow or he’d come back for them.

“Yes, sir,” both of them rasped.

Sir.

The man was a teacher in the school, and he was bringing us to the principal’s office. We were in so much trouble.

The next while passed by in a blur. I had to sit in the waiting room to the principal’s office with Kale, Jordan and the two other boys as our parents were called. Drew was sent to class because she’d had no direct involvement in what had happened other than witnessing the fight. She told the teacher what happened and was sent on her way.

I kept my head down, even though the “sir” who stopped the fight told me that I had nothing to worry about and that I wasn’t in a bit of trouble. That made me feel better, but I still felt horrible that Kale was going to get in trouble because of me.

The waiting room to the principal’s office was quiet one minute and then loud the next as our parents arrived. I could hear my father and Kale’s arguing with multiple grown-up male voices from somewhere outside. I then heard our mothers’ voices trying to calm things down; other female voices did the same thing.

I ran to my mother when she entered the waiting room, and I sobbed as she lifted me up into the air and held me to her chest. I felt a hand press against my back, then lips brushing against the side of my head.

“Lane?” my father’s voice murmured.

I looked to him, my vision blurred from my tears.

“Are you okay?” he asked, his voice filled with concern.

I shook my head. “Jordan punched my head, and it really hurts.”

My father’s jaw set as he looked over his shoulder. “Deal with your kid before I do.”

Arguing started again, and the teacher who had stopped the fight entered the waiting room and had to intervene to calm everyone down. Jordan’s mother was kneeling in front of him and pointing her finger at him as she told him off. His father stood next to them and glared down at Jordan, with his arms folded across his chest.

I swallowed when I spotted Kale’s parents. His daddy was next to him, checking his face; his mummy was worried as she fussed over him too, even though Kale tried to tell her he was fine. He didn’t look fine; his red and slightly swollen eyes were now blue as bruises formed on them. There was a dark bruise forming around the cut on his eyebrow and on his busted lip too. It had to hurt him, but he grinned and winked at me whenever he caught me staring.

I had to go into the principal’s office with my parents and tell him what happened. I did exactly that, and when I was finished, I had to sit in the waiting room with my parents as Kale, Jordan and Jordan’s two friends all went into the principal’s office with their parents. We waited for ages then, and sometimes there were raised voices, and sometimes there was crying. I knew neither came from Kale. He never cried. Ever. Not even when his grandmother died last year.

I was playing the game “I spy” with my daddy when Kale and his parents re-entered the waiting room. I jumped up and ran over to Kale at full speed, making him and our parents laugh. I wrapped my arms around his waist and pressed my head against his stomach as I squeezed him. He placed a hand on my shoulder and gently rubbed the back of my head with the other.

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