Shit. He probably knew about what happened in the gym. I don’t think my face ever burned so much.

When Mr. Dawson left, I jumped up and down, tugging on Dastien’s shirt. He laughed and put his arm around my shoulder.


“How did you know that I’d want to go to a bookstore?” I said.

“Who do you think set up your room?” He kissed my nose. My heart sped, wanting more. “Your mother gave me quite the lecture about keeping them in order.”

I laughed at the image of her lecturing Dastien. She could be a bad ass when she wanted to be.

As we started back to school, one dark cloud hung over my otherwise sunny day. What was I going to do about Shannon? Not to mention Chris and all the other guys. At least maybe they would leave me alone now.

And then there was the problem of Imogene and her dad and the vampires.

I said a little prayer that everyone was still out having fun when I got back. But my luck had never been that good.

Chapter Thirty-Two

Gabriel and a few of the guys strode up to me as we walked down one of the paths to the courtyard. Dastien’s hand came to rest on the small of my back and the guys stopped. I didn’t need to look up at him to know he was giving them a serious stare down.

One by one, the boys looked at the ground and stepped back to let us pass. Being with Dastien definitely had its perks. Maybe the rest of the guys would quit telling me what and how much to eat.

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A few heads popped up to stare at us as we entered the cafeteria. But after we’d gotten our food, he led us to a table alone.

“Chris said you’re one of the best fighters.”

He shrugged one shoulder. “I had the best teaching me. My father and Michael. The two of them sparring was one of my favorite things to watch.” He leaned forward. “Do the rumors about you and our relationship bother you?”

“I’m used to being pointed at.” I ran my fingers through the ends of my hair. “I try not to let them get to me.”

“But they do?”

I squirmed under his stare. He saw too much of me already. “I’m only human.” He stayed quiet. “Whatever. You know what I mean.”

“So you really like all the groups you wear shirts for?” he asked.

“Seeing as how I made most of those shirts—yes. I really do.”

“Favorite show you’ve seen live?”

I chewed on my lip as I thought. “There was this Above & Beyond show that I went to a few months ago. It was epic. They played for two and half hours and the tracks were sick. They kept turning down the volume to let us sing along with vocals. You know what it’s like when the whole crowd was in sync—dancing. It was just perfection.”

“When was the show?”

I was never fantastic with remembering dates. “Mid-April-ish. At Avaland in LA.”

He grinned. “I was there.”

“Shut up.” There was no way he was there. I would’ve noticed him.

“It was epic. The track they ended on—”

“Amazing, right? Gave me chills.” I shook my head. This was crazy. “What’s your favorite show ever?”

“I saw Apparat play in Munich. It was amazing.”

“You’ve been to Munich?” It seemed weird picturing him anywhere but St. Ailbe’s.

“I’ve traveled quite a bit. My father was from France, so I spent summers growing up there. As I got older, I roamed around Europe a bit.” He shrugged. “I try to go to a new place every year. It’s a thing.”

“Sounds fun.” I always wanted to travel more. “So who is Apparat?”

“You don’t know Apparat?”

No way. He just out weird-music-ed me. “Should I?”

“Yes. For sure. I’ll send you the tracks.”

As we talked, he became more like a real person than an obsession—which should have eased my attraction to him, but it didn’t. Every time he said something, I wanted to know more. He was sweet and laughed easily. Yet I knew from watching him fight vampires that he was dangerous.

When we finished eating, Dastien and I sat among the trees and did more control exercises. I got lost in the sounds of inhales and exhales, the wind softly breezing through the leaves, the chirps of the birds. I could’ve sat with him forever. My hands rested on my knees. It took me a while to realize they were getting hot. Then fingers slowly linked with mine. A lazy smile spread across my face.

“I have to go patrol, ma chérie. And you have to go inside before the sun sets.”

I tightened my fingers around his. “No,” I said, squeezing my eyes shut.

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