How to tell if somebody is genuinely interested in you: If you removed all of your effort from the equation would any communication remain between you? If not, there is nothing there and you deserve better.
Her whip lashed out, curling around his forearm. He didn't flinch; he sighed, instead, with his permanent scowl. "Do not treat me like I'm breakable, Malik Bashara--I am not some damsel you have to protect."