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Hector (5th Street #3)

By:Elizabeth Reyes

f his A.P. classes and someone they'd been picking on forever. Walter tried in vain to get it back. Walter's eyes met Hector's for a moment.

In class, the guy was nice enough, even on the funny side, but Hector didn't talk to him outside of class, not that Hector wouldn't if Walter ever attempted to. He just seemed to disappear in between classes. This, no doubt, was probably the reason. The guy was overweight, hadn't a fashion clue, and was a social disaster. He may as well have a "kick me" note permanently posted on his back.

But Hector remembered hearing about the impressive chemical-smelling robot Walter had built for the science fair earlier that year, which not only won first prize in the district but had qualified to enter the national event in a few weeks.

Holding up his hands and laughing wickedly, A.J. caught the toy robot Theo tossed him. Geez! Hector's brother, Abel was right. Maybe Hector did need to get some new friends.

A.J. motioned to Hector, about to toss the robot his way, but Hector frowned, shaking his head. He was about to tell them to give it back to Walter when he felt a soft tug on his arm.

He turned to see Lisa standing there smiling at him. Her pretty brown eyes sparkled, making him forget all about Walter. "I wasn't even going to come today because I figured there was no need to." She bit her lip, glancing away for a second then looked back in his eyes. "But I couldn't leave without saying goodbye to you."

Surprised by the overwhelming disappointment he immediately felt, the fact that she'd come by just to say goodbye to him didn't even register. "Goodbye? Where you going?"

The sparkle in her eyes faded a little, and she cleared her throat but then smiled again and shook her head. "It's a long story. I'm gonna go live with my grandparents up north now."

"But you just moved here." He insisted.

After his suspension a few months ago, he'd come back to school to find out she and her boyfriend, who Hector now knew as Jairo, had broken up. But it was weeks before Hector's dumb ass began considering the possibility of getting to know her a bit better. There'd been something about those haunting dark eyes of hers that had made him put it off for too long.

Lisa lifted a shoulder. "Like I said, it's a long story. Maybe someday I can tell you about it in an email or something, but for now, I just wanted to say goodbye."

Loud cackles brought Hector's attention back to the guys heckling Walter. He turned just in time to see them all rush into the main building, and he hoped that maybe that meant a teacher would see them and put an end to their harassing Walter. At the moment, he couldn't tear himself away from Lisa.

"Well, that sucks." He shrugged. "I mean I don't know the details: maybe this is a good thing for you, but I think it sucks that you're leaving."

The sparkle was back in her eyes. Hector couldn't help but smile, wishing he could touch her, even if it was only for a second. She glanced away for a moment, giving him a chance to openly admire that dark, almost black, long hair he'd begun to have visions of running his fingers through and maybe putting his face against.

Before he could ask anything more, she took a step forward and hugged him. Taking advantage of the moment, he did the very thing he was hoping he could and pulled her to him, burying his face in the side of her neck. Her hair felt as soft and smelled as perfect as he thought it would.

"I'll miss you," she whispered in his ear.

Hector didn't want to let go. "I'll miss you too," he whispered back.

She began to pull away, forcing him to loosen his hold on her until they were facing each other. Damn. He wanted to kiss her now. Why the hell had he taken so long to get to know her? This sucked big time.

"When do you leave?"


"How come," he paused, knowing he really didn't have any right to be upset. It was his own damn fault he'd been so slow to get things going with her and they'd barely gotten to the talking-often-and-texting stage. But damn it, he wanted to know now. "How come you hadn't mentioned this before?"

"I just found out a few days ago, and, even then, it was iffy. But it's a done deal now."

She stood on her tiptoes and kissed his cheek. To hell with it. Hector turned his face and pecked her on the lips. He knew he'd stunned her, but he'd at least get that much out of this. For weeks, he'd been taking it slow and was really beginning to think he wanted so much more with her. Now this may very well be his last chance. To his surprise, she pecked him back. It took him a second to get his thoughts together, but he brought his arm around her waist, pulling her in and really kissed her this time. It was soft and sweet but enough to warm his insides and begin to ignite other parts of his body, and then she pulled away a bit breathless.

"I'm," she looked away, licking her lips, "I'm sorry we didn't get more time together, Hector. I thought I regretted it before, but now I really do. Maybe someday we'll meet again."

Feeling an unexpected ache in his heart, he forced a smile. "Yeah, I'm sorry too, but never say never. It's a small world. We may just meet again someday."

She smiled and nodded. "You have my number. Text me or call me whenever you want."

"I will." He stood there, his jaw tightly clenched as she walked away, thinking back to the day he'd finally really noticed her-the day he'd gotten back to school after being suspended.

He thought he'd noticed her before she got a boyfriend, but that was the first day she'd actually spoken to him, and that was to thank him for what he'd done. Even though she didn't have to, she'd also explained about the skype chat Jairo had been so pissed about. After chatting with a friend from her old school, her friend thanked her for the chat by posting an image of a bouquet of flowers on her Facebook wall. When Jairo's stupid f