The locker room echoed with the raucous voices of the football team. Lockers slammed open and closed as the boys went for the showers.
A thick palm dropped on the white-blond hair atop Koltira’s head. He shoved Grimory’s hand off and smacked the other boy’s bare chest.
“Nice play. I seriously thought you were gonna eat shit, man.” Grimory laughed and twisted the knob for water to come spraying over him.
Koltira stood under the shower head beside the other. He laughed and nodded. “So did I. I think it was worth it, though. Coach Stormrage seemed to like it.”
After their showers, they dried and dressed, getting ready for their morning classes. Grimory held out his hand and Koltira gripped it, then they smacked the other’s shoulder with their free hand.
“See you in third, man,” Koltira said.
“Later, bro!” Grimory ran up the stairs, shoving past the slowly ascending figure in a red hoodie sweatshirt, the hood pulled up over the back of their head.
The girl flinched behind her black-framed glasses, but said nothing as her books jostled from her arm and onto her feet.
Koltira rushed up the steps. “Grim! Dick!”
His friend turned, his arms out, as he shrugged and smiled, then raced up the rest of the stairs.
Koltira stooped to help pick up the books and spilled papers. “Sorry about my fr—”
“Don’t apologize for him. It’s not your fault he’s an ass.”
Koltira’s piercing blue eyes snapped to the pale face under the white hair. His eyes widened the slightest bit at her irises like ice, the pupils a dark red and the sclera a softer tone of red. She blushed a bright scarlet and looked away to organize her things.
“I said that out lout… I’m s-sorry. He’s y-your f-friend. That was…rude. Heh.” She finished bundling her items and squeezed them to her chest, then raced up the stairs.
“Wait!” Koltira called, but the five-minute bell drowned him out, and the girl was soon gone.
His younger brother, and a fullback on the team, tapped him on the shoulder and jerked his chin toward where they had homeroom across the hall from each other—Koltira in English and Faltora in mathematics. The younger Deathweaver brother glanced across the hall as they passed a girl at her locker; he blushed and Koltira caught it.
“Just go say hi, dude.”
Faltora squirmed. “She doesn’t want to talk to me.”
“Don’t be an idiot! Of course Merriel wants to talk to you!”
“And how do you know that?”
Koltira laughed. “Because, you’re a Deathweaver.”
Faltora rolled his eyes and elbowed his brother. “You’re an idiot. All you ever do is talk big game, bro. When are you gonna man up and actually lead by example?”
“It’s high school. I’m not going to waste my charms for these shallow chicks.”
Faltora smirked. “Yeah, that’s what I thought. Pussy.”
“Yeah, yeah. Fuck off, kid.”