"She wasn't good enough for you anyways, Conner," said Kira, watching as Krista danced with Devin for the third time in a row. Kira was glad, to a degree, because it freed up Cassidy to fall charm to Ethan's gentle, unsure flirting. All the same, she hated the way Conner stared forlornly across the gym at his date.
"Of course she wasn't," he said sharply, looking away and meeting her stare directly. Why was it that from Conner, direct stares always made her uncomfortable? In anyone else, she was ready to rise to their challenge, but when confronted with Conner's hazel-eyed, penetrating gaze, she just wanted to concede defeat and walk away. "How could she be?"
Kira had thought from the beginning, like Trent and Ethan, that Krista was all wrong for Conner. Not that Conner ever listened to anyone else's opinion when it came to matters like this. Whatever Conner said was right, and whatever anyone else said was a nuisance that just delayed him from his goal.
"Then why go out with her in the first place?" demanded Kira.
Conner shrugged. "A test."
"Who were you testing?"
"And did you pass?"
"I'll let you know," he said sharply, looking back at the floor. She tried to follow his gaze, but got lost.
Ethan could tango well enough, but when it came to the simple slow dance that was starting up, his eyes darted around the floor nervously, surveying the couples around him and determining where he should put his hands.
Kira had been so engrossed watching her one best friend that she almost missed the other asking a question. She blinked at Conner. "I'm sorry, what?"
"I was asking if you wanted to dance," he said.
"Uh, yeah, okay," she stammered, allowing herself to be steered onto the floor by his steady hand.
While Ethan had stumbled, Conner showed no hesitation, his arms around her waist. Snug, warm, as if he was comforting her, and not the other way around. "Are you okay?" she asked, looking up at him.
"Not brokenhearted or anything?" she asked gently.
He laughed derisively. "God, Kira, do you ever let anything go? I'm not brokenhearted or anything. I'm fine."
"I'm just trying to help."
"You're helping," he assured her gruffly.
"Could we not talk about this?" he said. "It seriously doesn't matter. It never did. I never really liked her that much to begin with. She was just... practice."
"'Practice?'" echoed Kira, dumbfounded. "For what?"
"For you," he said, kissing her slowly.