By the time Connor left class later that morning it seemed the entire campus knew about his parents. People avoided his eyes and he heard murmurs behind him as he passed.
"Connor," said a voice, and he turned to see Madison looking at him, biting her lip and looking distressed. "Oh, Connor, I'm so sorry," she said, and put her arms around him.
He patted her back, awkwardly, and looked up to meet Katrina's gaze. Her expression hardened and she changed direction, heading off down the hallway. Connor was too tangled in emotions to know if he cared or not. He disengaged himself gently from Madison.
"Uh, thanks," he said. "I'll see you, OK?"
She looked hurt, which irritated him. What was he, her personal emotional yo-yo? Whatever.
He shrugged his backpack up higher on his back and headed out of the building, only to run into Sawyer.
"Is it true?" she asked, her eyes full of tears.
"Yes," he said, gently. Sawyer had spent half her summers at their place. Of course she'd be upset.
"I'm so sorry," she said, her lip trembling. "If there's anything I can do--"
"You might want to make sure Aidan's OK," he said, and she nodded before hurrying to catch up to Darien, who met Connor's gaze before putting his arm around his girlfriend and leading her away.
Connor wanted to get away from everyone. All this concern was making him claustrophobic. So it was a relief when a familiar voice said, "Beat your ass at b-ball?" Charles stood there, his breath rising in the air, shivering a little in the cold. "But let's do it at the gym, OK? It's freezing."
"You're on," Connor said, following him to the gym. "Thanks, man."
"Don't mention it," Charles said. "Besides, I'm gonna wipe up the floor with you."
"You think, huh."
"I know," his friend said with a laugh.Next Chapter