Sunday, March 17, 2013

Bella Cinderella by Summer Day (Meeting Marco) #three

Meeting Marco       .
    The school week continued uneventfully. Going to VBH was an event in itself. Jewel hoped she’d see Riff again in English Literature, but she didn’t. He was absent most of the week. On Friday, Jewel had to tick an optional activity: cheerleading, singing or band. No one ever ticked band. But Jewel liked to sing and play keyboards and her stepsisters didn’t. Her stepsisters liked to slap on war paint and cheer. She knew she’d have a whole afternoon free of them if she ticked band, so that’s what Jewel did. Other bloodsucker teens weren’t as mean to her as the Minchin trio, but they weren’t particularly friendly, either. Still, school was better than home.  
    Jewel was as surprised as everyone else when Marco showed up with Giovanni. They were both dressed to the nines in the coolest designs.
    “Maybe they’re more than friends,” the vamp opposite Jewel sniggered.
     “No, Giovanni’s too hairy!” the other vamp giggled.
     Marco even had a red sweater tied around his shoulders. He didn’t look hairy or hungry but Jewel was pretty sure he wasn’t a vamp. She saw him buy a soda from the vending machine before class. Vamps didn’t drink soda, did they?
    Jewel was kind of surprised when he chose to sit next to her and even more so when they were paired together.
   He introduced himself.
   “You’re not actually related to the Minchin girls, are you?”
   Jewel shook her head.
   “Not by blood.”
    Marco laughed.
    “That’s good.”
    They both attempted a song on the keyboard but neither of them were natural musicians.
    “I like to think I have an appreciation for music,” Marco said. “Besides, I wanted to get out of soccer practice. I like the game – the beautiful game, they call it in Europe, but they let the girls on the field here and one of them tried to bite me. I’m not kidding. I’ve been avoiding her ever since.” He pointed to the girl who’d been whispering about him.
       “I had no idea what kind of school I was enrolling in. There was nowhere else to go at the last minute, but this place… is so weird.”
      “You got that right,” Jewel said. Marco checked his hair in the window. He was hot, there was no denying it, but he seemed kind of vain. Perhaps he and Vanity would make a good pair?
     In any case, he had a warm smile and who cared if he was glancing around the room to check out how many vamps were registering his cute factor. Jewel didn’t hold this against him. After all, Marco was as used to being as popular as Jewel was resigned to being overlooked. If only, she thought, I’d allowed Huck to make me over before class. Jewel wished she hadn’t rushed out of the house that morning but her sisters were freaking her out. Jewel and Marco continued to practice their duet.  
    Meanwhile, Riff was working on his guitar in the corner, alone. Jewel noticed him, but he was too shy to smile. Riff felt his throat grow dry. He noticed her talking to the exchange student and registered regret deep in his chest. Why hadn’t he worked up the courage to talk to her again or even ask her out? Now she was being monopolized by the new boy and his weirdo ‘bodyguard’. He was always too quiet, too reluctant and secretive. With regret, Riff packed up his guitar. The bell was about to ring and Riff had been too shy to make a move.    
    Marco didn’t have that problem.
   “So, you’re the talk of the school,” Jewel noted.
   “Oh, yeah, I just arrived in America.”
   “Right. From Italy?”
   “Just outside Florence, actually, but I’ve been speaking English since I could talk. Hey, I’ve been invited to the party... on Saturday night.” 
    “Great. I’ll see you there… hopefully,” Jewel said. “Who’s he?” Jewel couldn’t resist asking about Marco’s ‘friend’. The friend had slumped on the window ledge. He looked a lot older than any of the students and certainly wasn’t afraid of the light like almost everyone else.
    “Oh, that’s Giovanni. He’s … he’s thinking of enrolling here next semester…”
    “So what? He just shadows you every day?”
    “Well, he wants to get the feel of the place…” Marco leaned in “… he’s like my bodyguard.”
     At that moment, Giovanni looked up from his texting.
    “Oh, right.”  Jewel was more confused than ever. 
    “So, you want to play the first bars again?”
    Marco played a few lines. Together, the song was pretty good. Not great, but good. Jewel noticed her stepsisters banging on the window near where she was seated.
    They were waving and making faces, poking out tongues and making kissing sounds. Only Vanity looked seriously jealous.
    “I gotta go.”
    “Hey, see you tomorrow night.”
     “Yeah, I’ll be the one wearing a Venetian mask,” Jewel whispered.
     “That’s funny,” Marco said, “me too. Save me a dance.”
     After Jewel left, Giovanni whispered to Marco as they got into the Maserati parked outside school, “She doesn’t seem like your type.”
     “Why not? Because she’s not as glamorous as the models I dated in Europe?”
     “She seems smart. You normally go for the opposite,” Giovanni offered.
    “American girls are hot, Giovanni.”
    “American girls or one in particular?”
    “One in particular…” Marco swerved.
    “Stay on the right side of the road – I mean, don’t drive on the European side…”
     Marco laughed. They had that kind of friendship. As you can probably tell by now, Marco was no ordinary student and Giovanni was no ordinary man. Marco was an Italian aristocrat with extraordinary powers and Giovanni was his bodyguard.