There was little personal information known about the boy who was currently having a stare-off with their math teacher Mr. Wrenn. Santino Falcone. But if there was someone who knew anything about him, it would be Karen Thatcher, schools most notorious gossiper.
Karen really honored her name, and when she wasn’t gossiping, she always had something to complain about. She would demand to see ‘someone of more importance’ than the peasant who dared to deny her anything. She also demanded to be treated with the utmost respect because…
Well, there really wasn’t any reason.
Karen was just like the rest of them; a student who had little to no achievements made in life so far. Nothing to back up her attitude or wish to be admired by everyone, other than the fact her mother was filthy rich. Half the real estate in South Cedar was owned by their family.
The restaurant Noah Sahlberg’s parents recently started renting was their property. Which made their house technically their property since it was an apartment above the restaurant.
But aside from her parents’ successes, Karen hadn’t much going on for herself. Really, the only thing people admired about her, was the fact that she somehow managed to trick Santino Falcone into a relationship.
Noah didn’t know either of them very well. Really, that was basically all the information he had about the two. But he did wonder if Santino was simply with someone like Karen because her filthy rich parents inevitably gave her power. Even over teachers like Mr. Wrenn, who caved in as soon as Karen had raised a hand.
“Take a seat, Mr. Falcone. Don’t make another sound, or you’ll be out and on your way to principal Fredricks again.
Noah followed Santino while he made his way over to a table next to a guy Noah had gotten to know better at his parents’ restaurant, Layne Roberts. Aside from stories, however, this was the first time Noah actually got to see the face behind the name. Santino Falcone had not showed his face in school for the first two-and-a-half weeks.
Which was exactly why Mr. Wrenn was about to send him back to the principal, even though Santino already had a note that told them all he had already gone to see Mr. Fredricks. It was also likely the reason for him to show up fifteen minutes late on his first school day of the year.
Noah knew Layne was one of his best friends, and therefor Noah had heard a lot of stories—and mainly assumptions—as to why Santino was late a lot, would disappear a lot, and why he wasn’t in school in the first weeks. None were probably based on actual facts, since even Karen didn’t seem to know why her boyfriend of a few months hadn’t made an appearance yet.
None of it really mattered. In that moment, all that mattered to Noah, was the fact that the second the guy had walked into class, he was sold. He understood exactly why every girl was fawning over Santino, or why they all wanted to be Karen. He knew what the whole fuzz was about. Santino was simply drop-dead gorgeous.
He had a sun-tanned skin that seemed soft as silk the longer you looked at him. His dark brown hair seemed the have an endless dimension of colors in it, making his bright green eyes stand out even more. Another plus was that Santino wasn’t extremely tall; something Noah didn’t really find all that attractive since he himself wasn’t tall either.
“He’s taken,” Noah’s cousin and only friend Lori mumbled as she leaned in close enough to prevent anyone from hearing her. “By the wicked witch of the South.”
“I know,” Noah replied, scowling at her before he focused back on Mr. Wrenn, not wanting to get sent out for talking. “Can’t hurt to look, right?” he added anyway when he was sure Mr. Wrenn wouldn’t hear him over his own voice.
Lori chuckled lightly, shaking her head in disbelief before she said, “Actually, rumor has it Karen once tried to stab a girls eyes out for staring at him at Pine Lake.”
“That’s bull,” Noah grumbled, rolling his eyes in annoyance. People came up with the wildest rumors, really. He hadn’t even lived in South Cedar for too long, but one thing he noticed right away, was the fact that gossip in his old school hadn’t been all that bad. Which was one reason why Noah wasn’t really planning on coming out to anyone aside from his cousin Lori, who already knew anyway.
It had been a straight up shit-show at his old school when his former best friend Simon had told everyone about Noah’s sexuality, and his crush on a popular Ice hockey player called Colin.
The only good thing that came out of all the bullying and false rumors, had been the fact that Colin turned out to be an in-the-closet bisexual, very much interested in Noah as well. Well, until Noah’s parents decided to buy a restaurant in a town two hours away, and Colin really didn’t feel like maintaining a long-distance relationship. Noah’s guess was that his love for him simply hadn’t been as strong as Colin said it was.