As expected, Juriko laughed at me when I told her the whole story.

�I told you,� she said. My face turned a bright red as I clenched my fists.

�That�s not funny!� I yelled in front of our school. Juriko laughed louder. Her sweet voice made my ears burn. She found pleasure in making me look like an idiot. I could�ve walked away, but I didn�t. My need to impress them completely took over my eleven-year-old brain. Juriko shrugged.

�What were you expecting?� she asked. �Haruka wants to be alone. She has always been like that.� She noticed my defeated, pouting face. �Aw, come on! So you struck out with her this time. You can still get close to her.� My eyes grew wide.

�How?� I asked. Juriko leaned into my ear. Her cool breath made my knees tremble. My heart jumped all the way to my throat. The scent of her hair made my mind do laps in my skull. I could feel her smiling inches from my skin.

�Keep looking,� she whispered in a flirty, husky voice. �The answer might be right in front of you and you don�t even see it right now.� My eyes trailed over to her snowy pale cheek.

�Why can�t you ever give me a straight answer?� I asked her, frowning.

�Where�s the fun in that?� she whispered. Juriko gave me a small lick on my ear. I didn�t know a girl like her could make my whole body go stiff. I think I felt myself get warm in the lower region of my body. I didn�t get time to look down before I turned and she was gone again. There she went again with the mind games.