Home > Black Hearts (Sins Duet #1)(15)

Black Hearts (Sins Duet #1)(15)
Author: Karina Halle

Maybe not the deepest lyric but I’m certainly humming it now.

“I’m just joking,” he says lightly.

“Oh,” I say, wishing I didn’t sound so stupid. I fumble for the right words to say. Anything really. “I could introduce you.”

He raises a brow, seeming as surprised as I am at this new development. “To your teacher. Are you sure?”

“Why not?” I try and sound breezy but the moment I turn around and open the door to head back into the building, my eyes are wide and I’m mouthing, Oh my god, what are you doing? to myself.

Suffice it to say, the climb up the stairs is pretty awkward and I curse myself for wearing my curve-hugging dress, knowing my ass is totally shoved in his face.

I give the guy an anxious smile as I knock on Anderson’s door for the second time since class had finished.

“Forget something else?” Anderson asks when I open the door.

“Actually, no. This guy had a question for you about the program. I hope you don’t mind.”

I step inside the room while the golden god of a guy saunters right over to Anderson, his hand outstretched. “Vicente. Vicente Cortez,” he says to him.

I’m struck by how much I love that name. I’m also struck by the feeling that I should probably go on my way now since my job is done—I introduced Vicente to Anderson and that’s that. Yet I hover by the row of desks, watching them.

“So sorry to just walk in like this,” Vicente continues, “this girl was kind enough to let me introduce myself.”

“Not a problem,” Anderson says, pushing his glasses up on his nose and crossing his arms. “How can I help you?”

“Well,” Vicente says, “I’m in San Francisco for a year or so and have been thinking about getting serious about my photography, and figured now is as great a time as any. Only I realize classes started earlier this month.”

“They did.” Anderson briefly glances at me. “And I’m teaching second year students like Violet who have already done their first.”

“Violet,” Vicente repeats, looking at me as he learns my name. The sound of it on his lips sends a cascade of warmth down my spine. I swallow hard, wishing he wasn’t having this kind of reaction on me.

“We could maybe get you into the first year, but even so,” Anderson says, taking Vicente’s attention away from me, “I’m not sure if any students have dropped out to fit you in.”

“And what about this year? Anyone drop out?” Vicente is just as bold with Anderson as he was with me.

Anderson gives him a discerning look. “We did. Last week. Do you have any transfer papers from another school or…?”

“Do the papers matter or does money matter?”

Anderson lets out a nervous laugh. “I assure you they both do. This school has very high standards and, Mr. Cortez, though you might be very capable, I’m not sure this is going to work out. You must understand.”

For some reason I expect Vicente to make a fuss and demand they take him, maybe toss a wad of cash on the desk, but of course he doesn’t. “I understand completely,” he says. “Thank you so much for your time. Have a good day.”

He heads back toward the door and his eyes meet mine as he passes. “Thank you, Violet,” he says, and I have a hard time tearing my gaze from his. It’s like he’s trying to pass me information in a language I’m dying to read. I can feel the disappointment rolling off of him, which in turn makes me disappointed too.

I watch as he strides past, getting a whiff of his scent, something like mint and rich tobacco, strangely soothing, and then he’s out the door.

I look back at Anderson who gives me a shrug. “Unfortunately, there isn’t much I can do. I’ll mention it to the head of the department, just in case. There’s a lot to be said for planning ahead. You can’t throw money at everything and expect doors to open.”

I’m barely listening to him. My feet have a mind of their own. Suddenly I’m out the door and flying down the stairs, my boots echoing in the stairwell, and bursting out onto the street.

I look up and down the sidewalk until I spot Vicente already across the road and heading down Taylor. Damn, the guy moves fast.

I run down and across the crosswalk, hitting the light just in time, and then I’m right behind him and slightly out of breath. This makes me realize I need to start kickboxing more regularly.

“Vicente,” I call out, even though I’m seconds from slamming into his back.

He turns around and I dig my boots into the sidewalk. His brows are raised, wondering what I’m doing.

What am I doing? He asked me a question, I gave him the best answer I had, and that’s all it should have been. Yet I couldn’t let that be it.

I barely know this guy and I think he’s already making me a bit mental. Well, more so than I already am.

“Sorry about Anderson,” I tell him, looping my thumb under the strap of my camera bag. “It was worth a shot, right?”

He nods, looking away, his golden eyes taking in the street. “It was.” He brings his gaze back to mine. “Thank you again. That was very kind of you. Some things just aren’t meant to be.”

“Maybe because other things are waiting around the corner?” I ask lamely.

He grins at me, white teeth against bronzed skin. I feel myself melt.

“Or maybe good things are waiting right in front of me,” he says.

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