Chapter 2:  Lighten the Load

Alex slammed her locker shut and struggled to balance all her books in her arms.  Just as one was about to topple to the floor, a hand reached out and grabbed it.  Alex looked up from her predicament into dark brown eyes.  Olivia grabbed another book off her stack and said, “Just thought I’d lighten your load.” 


Alex smiled sheepishly and exclaimed, “Thanks!  I think all these books weigh more than I do!” 


Olivia gave Alex’s thin frame a good once-over.  “Yeah, I’d have to agree with you there.”  Shifting the books to one arm, she asked, “So…where are you headed now?”


Alex turned to look at her and responded, “AP Euro History.  What about you?”


“Brit Lit.  My class is right across the hall from yours, so I’ll walk you there.”


The two strode down the hall in silence until they were outside Alex’s classroom.  “So, where do you sit?” Olivia asked.


“Why?” Alex responded curiously. 


Olivia looked at her with her signature smirk.  “Cuz I don’t want you to break in half trying to carry all these books to your desk by yourself.”


Alex playfully hit Olivia’s arm and said, “I’m not that fragile you know.” 


Olivia looked the blonde up and down again and retorted, “Could’ve fooled me.”  Alex’s mouth dropped open in mock anger as she walked into class, Olivia following closely behind her. 


When she stopped at a desk in the second row, Olivia snorted and teased, “I should’ve known you’d be near the front of the room.” 


Alex turned to face her and responded dryly, “Ha ha.”  Putting her books down, she reached to take the remaining ones from her and stated, “Thanks for carrying my books.” 


Olivia smiled and assured her, “No problem.  Maybe you can return the favor, somehow.”  She winked at her and then left the room.


As Alex took notes, her mind kept drifting back to Olivia.  She could barely wait until the bell rang so she’d see her in Psychology.  Her heart skipped a beat at the thought of the way Olivia’s muscles flexed as she held her books or the way her smile seemed to give her eyes a certain twinkle.  She was nudged out of her reverie by her best friend, Serena.  “Hey, pay attention.  Stevens is giving you a really dirty look right now,” Serena whispered. 


Alex turned to face her friend and stated simply, “I am paying attention.” 


Serena rolled her eyes and responded, “No you aren’t.  You’re staring into space with this huge dopey grin on your face and I know it’s not from hearing about Charlemagne’s conquests of western Europe.”  Alex giggled.


Just then Mr. Stevens turned to look at Serena and Alex.  “Miss Southerlyn, Miss Cabot.  You will stay after class five minutes and inform me as to what it is about my class that bores you so much that you cannot give me your complete undivided attention.”


With a groan from Alex and Serena and snickers from a few of their classmates, Mr. Stevens turned back to his map of Europe and began lecturing again.  Alex flipped him off behind his back, which brought about even more snickers from those who saw. 


As the rest of the period dragged on, Alex found herself daydreaming many more times about Olivia.  Her full lips, olive skin, those chocolate brown eyes, the way the sweat glistened off her muscles the day before….


“Miss Cabot!  I asked you what was the main monetary reform made by Charlemagne?”


Annoyed at being caught off guard and even more annoyed at having her daydreaming of Olivia interrupted for the second time, Alex flippantly answered, “The replacement of the sou by the livre.” 


Mr. Stevens frowned—disappointed at Alex’s correct answer—and turned to write more on the dry-erase board.  “That is correct, Miss Cabot.  Maybe next time I won’t have to ask you twice.”


Alex rolled her eyes and willed the clock to go faster.


Ten minutes later, Alex and Serena got a verbal ass chewing from Mr. Stevens before they could go to their next classes.  The bell had already rung, so Alex slinked into Psych after everyone else had been seated.  Three seats away from her, Olivia raised an eyebrow at her and Alex shrugged.  “Stevens,” she mouthed, letting out a deep sigh.


Olivia let out a chuckle and continued writing.  She felt the blonde’s eyes on her and smiled without looking up.  When she was confident Alex was no longer looking at her, she darted her eyes in her direction to appreciate the blonde’s delicate profile.  She has great bone structure, Olivia thought.


After class ended, she made her way over to Alex’s desk.  “So did Stevens ream you or what?”


Alex gathered her things and responded, “Yeah, he made Serena and me stay after class when he caught us talking.”


“Wow, Alex Cabot had to stay after class for talking?  Impressive.” 


Alex rolled her eyes at Olivia and retorted, “Contrary to popular belief, I’m not a goody two-shoes.” 


Olivia reached down to grab two of Alex’s books and replied innocently, “Whatever you say.  Where to next?” 


Alex turned her head slightly to glance at her.  “Are you going to carry my books to every class Miss Benson?” 


Olivia smiled and responded, “It may be a special treat every now and then.  So…what class do you have now?” 


“Actually, I have lunch.  I just need to put my history and psych books back in my locker,” Alex responded.




They began walking toward Alex’s locker.  Alex quickly entered the combination and opened it up, shoving her workbooks inside while Olivia placed the textbooks beside them.  She closed her locker and turned to face Olivia.  “So…where are you going now?” she asked.


“French,” Olivia responded.  “I guess I’ll see you later?”


Alex smiled.  “Yeah, I’ll need a strong basketball star to make sure my books don’t break me in half.”


Olivia laughed and replied, “I’ll go find Mandi for that.” 


Alex turned her head to look over her shoulder and shot back, “She wasn’t the star I was referring to!”  Olivia just smiled and turned around to go to class as Alex headed for the cafeteria.