At least I hoped there wasn’t.

“I’m sorry. I honestly didn’t mean…I can’t…” Then he melted into the darkness.

What the hell. Why would he do that—kiss me like that—and then just run away?

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“That guy is one fine piece of meat,” Rosalyn said.

Her words brought me back to reality. Suddenly I was jealous, and I didn’t like that one bit.

“Rosalyn,” Carlos said sharply. He really didn’t like the St. Ailbe’s guys.

This was a nightmare. Now I was standing there, bleeding, hurting, and any hopes I had of a good reputation were destroyed. These guys were going to think I was a slut.

Rosalyn scoffed as she walked over to me. “What? I’m not allowed to look just because he’s one of them?” She stopped short. “Oh my God. Are you bleeding?”

“It’s no big deal. It’s only a scratch.”

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She took a couple of steps back.

“There’s blood on her shoulder too,” Carlos said. He turned a sickly color of green and swallowed.

This wasn’t the reaction I was expecting from them. Why were they freaking out about the blood?

“Holy shit. That was one of the guys from St. Ailbe’s,” one of the other boys said, clearly a bit slow on the uptake. He took a step away from me.

“Kind of,” I said, trying to downplay it. “Look I know the people from there are supposed to be dangerous, but he’s already graduated, so I’m sure he’s all reformed or whatever.”

The boy smirked. “It’s not a reform school. It’s a school for—”

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“Shut up,” Carlos said and glanced at Rosalyn. “Take her home. She’s not welcome here anymore.”

There was no stopping the gasp. “I don’t understand. I’m hurt here and you haven’t even asked if I’m okay or offered up any sort of first aid.”

Carlos and Rosalyn didn’t even acknowledge me. “I don’t want that in my car,” Rosalyn whined.

“I’m not a that. I’m a person!” They’d lost their minds. And I had apparently become invisible since no one was paying attention to anything I said.

“Tough shit. You brought her.” Spit flew from Carlos’ mouth as he yelled. “You’re responsible for her. Take. Her. Home. Now. And don’t you dare think about making her walk. If she changes tonight out in the open, it’d be on your head.” He strode back into the house, the other boys close on his heels.

“Hey! I’m right here!” The sound of the door slamming shut made my stomach knot. That was the sound of my social status at Cedar Ridge High going from cool to freak in no time flat.

“Let’s go.” She stormed off toward the cars.

I broke the uncomfortable silence as we got into her car. “I don’t understand. Why is it such a big deal?”

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“You don’t understand.” She rolled her eyes. “Weren’t you told to stay away from St. Ailbe’s guys?”

Mr. Dawson did say that. “But Dastien is totally normal.”

Her laugh was harsh. “No. No, he’s not.”

I shivered. I was missing something, something huge. “What aren’t you telling me?”

“You’ll find out soon enough.” She pulled over at my house. “Get out,” she said without even looking at me.

“Fine. Thanks for a great time. Really cool, Rosalyn.” I hopped out and slammed the door.

Chapter Nine

The TV was on in my parent’s room when I walked in the house. I slowly closed the door behind me.

“You’re back already?”

I jumped at the sound of Axel’s voice behind me.

“What the fu—”

I slapped my hand over his mouth. “I don’t want Mom and Dad to know.” I paused. “Seriously.”

He nodded, and I moved my hand slowly away from his mouth, ready to slap it back if he started yelling again.

“Who did that to you?”

Axel was in protector mode. He reverted to it whenever I was hurt or being picked on. I prayed for patience. “Can you please find wherever Mom put the first aid stuff and meet me in my room?”

He narrowed his eyes at me. Yup. There was no way he’d let this one go, but he went in search of the kit anyway.

My shoulder was full on throbbing by the time I got upstairs. This night had been a disaster of epic proportions. If I could get into my room without Mom or Dad checking on me, I’d be happy. I couldn’t face telling them that come Monday, life would go back to status quo in Tessaland.

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