“Jerk!” The girl tried to shove past him, but since he was much larger and stronger than she was, she ended up stumbling back, and he coughed to cover his amusement.
“I hope I never see you again,” Seri snarled when she heard the unmistakable sound of his laughter. It didn’t matter that he was trying to suppress it. In her opinion, he wasn’t trying hard enough.
Seething with the need to knock him down, she planted her hands on the guy’s shoulders, took a deep breath, and tried to shove him back out of the way, hoping to cause him to lose his balance.
But he didn’t budge an inch.
When the girl kept trying to shove him out of her way, Maximilian could no longer keep himself from laughing. “You can just walk around me, you know.”
“Not…good…enough.” Her face was turning red again, but this time from exertion. Maximilian could see how much she wanted to see him fall on his butt, but equally visible was the way her eyes were still swimming with tears. He knew then that this was her way of distracting herself from her pain.
“I’ve seen him, you know,” he heard himself say.
“The guy you were talking to earlier,” he continued. “I was behind you the entire time. Is he the one—-”
To his surprise, the girl paled at his words and her hands immediately fell away from his chest. Before he could ask her what was wrong, she had already spun around and walked away.
He stared at her back, a part of him wanting to go after her. And do what? he asked himself. Ask her to take a chance on him instead? Maximilian mentally shook his head. That would be unnecessarily impulsive, and that was something he had never allowed himself to fall prey to and never would…not even for pretty girls whose tear-filled eyes made him want to promise that if it was him in her life—-
He would not make her cry.
Vassi knocked on the door. “Seri, come on. If you don’t come out anytime soon, you won’t be able to have breakfast before we leave for school.” It was their second day, and Vassi had come home less than an hour ago, with just enough time to take a shower and have breakfast with Seri.
Or at least that was the plan…until he realized that the stubborn leech didn’t want to speak with him for some reason.
“Seri?” He knocked again.
The door to Misha’s room opened, and his older brother stepped out, already dressed in his lab coat. “She’s still not talking to you?”
Vassi ignored that and knocked on the door again. “Leech, dammit. Open this door.”
Closing the door behind him, Misha headed to his younger brother and said under his breath, “She waited up all night for you.”
“So?” Vassi said irritably. Even without Misha telling him that, he had known that she would wait up for him. She always had, ever since he had started working and even though he had long ago told her that his working hours were irregular.
But she had never gotten mad at him for it, so what made last night different?
As if hearing his unspoken question, Misha smirked and said, “I guess this time our little dove’s decided to make you pay for all the times you made her wait.” Walking towards the stairs, Misha said over his shoulder, “I’m meeting with my thesis professor today, so I’ll be leaving ahead of you two.”
Vassi knocked on the door again. “Leech, I’m sorry for making you wait. Now can you please open the door?”
Expecting more silence, Vassi was surprised when he heard her say distinctly, “Not until you say something cute!”
What the fuck?
He scowled at the door. “Open up, dammit.”
“You know what to do,” she yelled back at him.
“Are you fucking serious?”
“Everyone’s left, nothing’s going to stop—-”
Switching to Russian, he cut her off, snarling, “I’m saying sorry, this time as your boyfriend.” He practically choked on the last word, but he did manage to get it out.
There was a telltale click, and when he tried the knob again, this time the door opened.
Inside, he found Seri standing just a few feet away from the door, and the wide-eyed look on her face made Vassi flush, more so when she stammered, “I never thought you’d say something like that either.”
A darker shade of red stained Vassi’s high-boned cheeks at the words, which were even more embarrassing, and he swiftly snatched her into his arms, pressing her face against his chest so she wouldn’t see his face.
“Idiot leech,” he muttered against her hair. “You asked me to do something embarrassing, and now you are telling me you didn’t expect me to do it?” Did she really not know that it was only her that could make him do things he had never thought of doing?