Beverly Hills Academy : The Royal Affair

Chapter 22 : Caring...


"I. I didn't. Leo, I. I'm sorry for. " She stuttered an apology but Leonardo cut her off with a smile. He didn't want her to feel bad. "Well, your vegetarian meal is here. Bon appetite!" Nicky devilishly crowed, trying to lift the atmosphere and it worked!. Leonardo groaned miserably, staring down at the tons of vegetables appearing at every corner of his plate and compared it with the corn chips and ketchup Natalia ordered for herself. Nicky and Elva were done with theirs and ordered some Danish pastry for dessert to wait up for them. Elva was fanatical with the sweet cake covered with icing, containing apple and nuts. Sweetness! She glowed and dug into it. "Hey, would it be okay if Leonardo comes with us to the movies?" She looked at Nicky for permission. "Of course! The more, the merrier!" Nicky nodded gleefully and turned to him. "So, would you?". Leonardo looked up from his soup, grateful for the distraction. "Uhm. I dunno. Isn't it your girls night out or something?". "Nah. We jus' wanna hang. You in?" She insisted. "Sure. " He smiled. Elva hooted like a party animal making them chuckle. except Natalia, who kept darting her eyes between Leonardo and his full plate suspiciously. She cleared her throat. "Well, the movie's still two days away. And currently, Leo still has to finish his almost. cold. soup!" She emphasized, pushing her plate away to face him. Leonardo got the message suddenly stood up. "I need to use the restroom. " He breathed in a rush. The Princess sweetly smiled up at him. "Of course. AFTER you finish your meal. " She finished in a flat tone. And yup! There you. or no, HE had it! Natalia had that much power because one, she felt righteously responsible for him and number two, she was blocking the path to his exit. Leonardo couldn't leave unless she stood up and that seemed oh-so totally impossible. She pulled his speechless figure back down and picked up his soup spoon. "Since your right hand is broken because of me, it's my responsibility to spoon feed you since you can't do it yourself. That way, you won't put more stress on the hand and it'll heal faster. " She said, stirring the soup lightly. "Now. " She ordered and lifted a spoon. "Open up. ***. "What the hell's going on?" Jeffrey cocked a brow, wondering out loud. "He just sprained a wrist, not his entire skeleton. Everyone was whispering heatedly and a couple were secretly taking pictures, concluding about their relationship online. Yet, she didn't think twice?. And the jerk actually opened up?! Arian wondered what he was watching. A practical class on nursing? Or a freakin' love show??. "Let them be, would you? Falling in love ain't a crime, ya know. " Ricky smirked, facing his phone back. "Well, sorry. I don't just think he's the one. "Jeffrey decisively countered. "And who is?. You??" Ricky sneered a remark. Arian and Jeffrey turned to him but he ignored them and focused on poking his apple tart. "And what's wrong with that?" As usual, Jeffrey- you know- Campbell was persistent. Ricky laugh-scoffed. "Choosing the wrong stuff is surely your specialty. " He spitefully snorted. The two other lunchers. "???". "Dude, I really do not get your point so I'll let it slide. " Jeffrey shrugged and casually snatched a fry from Arian's plate. His favourite lunch time habit

The young master shot him a dirty scowl. 'Go get yours!' It silently fumed. "Yeah, Ricky, I've been wanting to ask something. " Whenever the usually bubbly Jeffrey Campbell called a person by his full name, then know he's pretty serious. "D'you know why Nick's been all distant and a bit. odd?" He pushed a strand of hair from his eyes. "She almost smashed my skull with a ball today at tennis!". "Well, why don't you go ask her yourself? We might be twins but we definitely don't share the same brain!" He snapped. Arian suddenly raised his head, wondering why he was being so touchy. It wasn't often seeing the ladies' magnet snappy. "Gosh, I'm sorry, okay?. Sorry for caring. " Jeffrey muttered recoiling. Ricky bit his lip. He felt bad but he couldn't help it. He was really protective of his sister. Nicky was going through a lot emotionally. Aside their mom being on her manipulative side, trying to get her to come back home, there was Jeffrey being so shallow sighted to actually notice her feelings! And now, he was trying to get on her friend's good side?. What happened to ''caring'' when she was hurting badly and waiting for him to notice her! Ricky tried not to scoff, feeling his anger build up again. "Man, I'm sorry. It's been a tough week so far. I'm stressed and took it out on you. " He tossed his fork away in a clatter. "Family?" Jeffrey slowly raised his beautiful blue eyes, tinted by fleeting shades of hurt to him. "Yeah. " Ricky sighed. "Tell me about it. " He huffed. When it came to family, the trio could equally be fierce, sensitive and easily exhausted. "I'm gonna have some serious talk with her this weekend though. I really don't like the distance. " Jeffrey puckered his lips. "No, not this weekend. We're occupied this Saturday and she's going with her friends to the movies on. "What friends?" Arian suddenly blurted out. "And to what movies?!" They simultaneously threw him bizarre looks. "Don't gimme that look! We all know she loves being low key. Like me?" He snorted a lame excuse with all the cockiness in the world. "Yeah, right. " Jeffrey mockingly rolled his eyes earning himself a glare. Ricky nodded his head towards their table. "With them I th. "Is the jerk included?". "How am I supposed to know?!" The foxy strawberry blonde was breathless. "Hold on! Who's. 'the jerk'??". The young master shot him a nasty look before silently facing his meal again. "Looks like I'll be home alone throughout the weekend. " Jeffrey dully figured. "Come see Tommy. He's been hyped about his birthday party and wants you to be part of his 'big' plans. " Arian offered. Jeffrey chuckled. "Sure. It's been a while I saw him too. ***. Another school week was finally over! Nicky was cheerful as she hastened to her locker, admit similar merry faces, to grab her stuff before going over to the girls. She'd just finished picking out her homeworks and project subjects when a familiar voice playfully spooked her from behind. "Nicky!" Jeffrey's smiley face popped over her shoulders. Her heart froze. And the next minute, Nicky's hasty legs were already halfway down the hall!. However, it took a couple of steps for the football captain to catch up and corner her. Jeffrey stuffed a hand through his hair and let out a frustrated breath. He stared down at the evasive strawberry blonde with absolutely clueless eyes. Nicky left her wavering gaze on his nice shirt, tracing the pattern to steady her racing heart. "Look, Nicky, I don't get shit anymore! Avoiding me all the time is crazy! I've been thinking all day, yet, I haven't figured out what I did to upset you. THIS much! It's clear that you have a problem with me in particular. Because earlier this morning at tennis practice, you had this look in your eyes which was. was. hell I dunno!". "Jeffrey, you. " She weakly started a protest of her restriction but he went on, adamantly indifferent

"It's insane knowing we're drifting apart! We grew up together. You, me, Ricky and Arian. Well, most of the time you were with us, until you started acting off and stayed away. "So, I'm saying this right now, if I've ever done something, anything at all to upset you. I'm sorry. I'm really sorry, Nick. Can we just go back to the way we were?" Desperation and sincerity laced in his voice. The traitor tears Nicky had been trying so hard to subdue began clouding her eyes, slowly threatening to fall. The ex-merry students around them, who suddenly turned pro-gossipy, paused and turned to stare, particularly because THE Jeffrey Campbell was around the block. Those bloody idiots! Nicky swore with a silent sniff, lowering her head so much that her neck almost snapped. "I'm no longer mad at you, Jeff. " Noticing the determination in his grip, she told him the half truth, her voice so tiny that he could barely hear it. "I'm just mad at myself. " She confessed. Jeffrey's hold on her softened considerably. If Nicky had raised her head, she would've seen and not only felt the amount of relief in him. But then he still cocked a brow. "Why are you mad at yourself?" Jeffrey asked, his furrowed brows telling just how much Nicky being upset with herself disturbed him as much as she previously was with him. Nicky was mad for lacking the guts to confess now that she had a chance with him! She was mad that it was so hard to fall out of love with him either. She was mad that she felt helpless and vulnerable whenever he was involved. She was mad that Nicky- firecracker- Winterfield, Ricky's recklessly bold childhood nightmare, was failing her right now!. Nicky opened her mouth but no word came out, not a single one. Of course, she couldn't say it. She was a total coward!. "Ni. "Nicky!". Jeffrey started but another familiar voice beat him to it. Without raising her head, she knew it was Ricky. The gossip plus gossip mongers increased in size and number. Nicky fought the urge to curse again and left her head down, wishing the tears would go away as one little daredevil dropped the second Jeffrey turned. Ricky breezed over and slung one arm around her neck. "What's up?" He casually asked no one in particular. Nicky quickly nodded, afraid her quavering voice would betray her. However, Jeffrey was about to respond when Ricky beat him to it. "Great! Dude, see you later? Still goin' murder you on that new game. Remind me how you're so good again?" Ricky pretended to frown. It distracted Jeffrey for a moment because he burst out chuckling. Among the three friends, Jeffrey Campbell might be the star athlete, but he was heck. the WORST gamer ever!. Ricky turned with Nicky still under his arm and walked away. "You okay down there?" He worriedly muttered. Of course, he knew. Her twin brother always knew when she needed saving. Nicky casually wiped her tears and smiled tiredly up at him. "Yeah. Thanks, Rick. Ricky knew he wasn't doing Nicky. Well, both her and Jeffrey, a good deed by prolonging the discussion. But he couldn't deny feeling, or dare to ignore, her vulnerability at that second. He nodded and held her close to himself, leaving his best friend staring at them from behind. ***. Elva received a text from Nicky telling them she went on ahead with her brother because she wasn't feeling too well. After texting her to rest well and get better soon, Elva informed Natalia who felt horrible because she wasn't paying much attention to her. And the royal assistant almost fainted!. HOW could a person willingly and gladly want to carry the burden of the entire freaking world on her shoulders alone?! The princess never ceased to amaze her!. When they got to the parking lot, and after much, much, much, and oh-so much drama, Natalia permitted Leonardo to drive home by himself rather than ride with them or call a cab. The lucky lad gave her a final kiss and made his happy escape. However, Natalia stood watching until his car was out of sight, wondering if she should've pushed further seeing the way he recklessly zoomed out!. "Girl, spill! What's going on between you two?" Subdued curiously nearly choked Elva as she sat next to her on their drive home. The princess, who was staring out the window turned to look at her with crystal like eyes. "What do you mean?". "Oh, I think you know what I mean. " Elva replied. "Leonardo's a friend. " She stated, and sadly lowered her eyes. "One that I put in danger. "I don't get why you act as if he's gonna die the next minute. " Elva helplessly breathed out. "He's a guy! He'll be fine anyway. "I'm sure. " Her voice dripped with sarcasm as she looked back out the window…. Chapter 23