“I have to get dressed and it’ll take me longer than that just to get there. Give me twenty-five.”

“Done.” I paused. I didn’t know what I was doing and this was probably going to get both of us in world of hurt with our parents. “Axel?”




“Sure thing. I got your back, lil sis.”

I hung up and double-checked that my cell was on silent. Even having it on vibrate could get me caught if I was actually on lockdown. Whatever the hell that meant.

Since Axel was going to take a few, I grabbed my backpack and looked around my room to see if there was something here I couldn’t live without, but there really wasn’t much that I couldn’t replace. I grabbed a few of my favorite T-shirts I’d screen-printed, my laptop, and my signed Nora Roberts book. With my cell shoved into my back pocket, I sat down, knees bouncing as the seconds ticked away.

Waiting that last ten minutes was torture. I studied the map of campus to kill time. Judging from the scale, it shouldn’t take me more than a few minutes to get to the front gate. The problem would be getting out of the dorm without waking anyone. My hearing had been a bit sensitive at the hospital, so I was assuming that was a Were thing. It would suck if one of these girls was a light sleeper.

Leaving through the door was a no go. No matter how softly I tried to close it, there was too much potential risk of waking up Meredith or one of the other girls. So I did the only thing I could think of. I opened the window gingerly.

The good thing was that I’d already survived a three-story drop. After that, two-stories was no big. Or it should be no big. That said, convincing myself to let go once I was hanging from my windowsill was harder than I’d imagined.

I made the mistake of looking down past my dangling feet. Two-stories was still one too many stories. But I had to let go. I counted down silently. When I hit three, I let go.

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Next thing I knew, I was on my feet looking up at my window from the ground. I watched the windows above for any lights turning on, but nothing happened. I guessed Axel was wrong about the whole me being on lockdown thing.

The path to the right should lead to a parking lot. And beyond that, the main gate. I’d never seen it, but I hoped it wouldn’t be hard to open. Or climb.

I heard someone whispering, and it was getting louder. A three-foot hedge in front of the dorm seemed decent coverage. I moved around the end of it to hide between it and the brick wall.

When the group approached, I tried to breathe as quietly as possible.

“—reports that they’re organizing and heading south.” I recognized Mr. Dawson’s voice. “It seems pretty convenient that they pick now to search for us.”

“You can’t think it’s because of what I did,” Dastien said.

Shit. I couldn’t have been in a worse hiding spot. If either of them caught me I was going to die of humiliation.

“We’ve spilled human blood. They could sense that or maybe a weakening alpha because of the broken law?”

“That’s bullshit. You’re not weakening.”

Their voices were getting softer, but I could still hear them.

“I’d rather think that than the alternative,” Mr. Dawson said.

“Which is what?”

“That we have a rogue in the pack.”

Dastien said something else, but I couldn’t make it out. Only the tone. He was pissed.

A rogue? What did that mean?

It didn’t matter. It wasn’t my problem. I was getting the hell out of here.

I counted to ten before coming out of my hiding spot, and then took off down the path. Dense trees threatened to swallow it, but that look was cultivated on purpose. St. Ailbe’s had something to hide. The trail snaked sharply to the right, and then to the left, and then to the right again before it straightened out.

The parking lot was filled with at least a hundred cars. The three front rows looked completely full from where I was standing, and the fourth and fifth had some empty spaces. A line of black Expeditions took up the first row. What was up with that? The popular kids needed matching cars here?

Beyond the Expeditions were fancy cars galore. Even in the dim moonlight, they gleamed and curved in a way no ordinary Chevy could. I wanted to be annoyed by it, but the private schools in Los Angeles hadn’t been any more down to Earth.

A tall, red brick wall bordered the back of the parking lot. The top of the black iron gate peeked over the top of the SUVs. Both the gate and the wall were pretty high. I’d be in for a climb either way I went. Maybe the gate wasn’t locked.

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