I didn't have much time to ask Dee about this other brother in English AP because I was late getting to class. And I was still too hurt to broach the topic with her. I couldn't believe they had another brother and never once mentioned him. Or mention their parents, their significant others, or what they do when they take off for a day or two.

And he'd disappeared? Died? My heart ached for them even though they obviously hadn't told me everything. I knew what it was like to lose someone. On top of all of that, there was something just flat-out odd about the fact that two different families with triplets moved to the same small town in a matter of days, but Dee had said the Thompsons were friends of the family. Maybe it was planned.

After class, Dee was waylaid by Ash and a golden-haired boy who looked as though he could be a model. It took no stretch of the imagination to figure out that was one of her brothers. And when they'd left her, all Dee said was to meet together at lunch before we had to rush off to our next classes.

Bio was my next class, and Lesa was in that one. She sat at the table in front of me, smiling.

"How's your first day going?"

"Good. Normal." Normal with the exception of everything I'd learned. "Yours?"

"Boring and long already," she replied. "I can't wait for this school year to be over. I'm ready to get the hell out of Dodge, move to a normal town."

"A normal town?" I laughed.

Lesa leaned back, placing her arms on my table. "This town is the epicenter of weirdness.

Some of the people here, well, they don't act right."

A three-fingered hillbilly danced in my head, but somehow I doubted that was what she meant. "Dee said some of the people around here weren't friendly."


She snickered. "She'd say that." I frowned. "What's that supposed to mean?" Her eyes widened, and she shook her head.

"I don't mean that as a bad thing, but some of the kids here and the folks in town aren't friendly toward her and the others like her."

"Others like her," I said slowly. "I'm not sure what that means."

"Me either." Lesa shrugged. "Like I said, people are weird around here. The town is weird. People are always claiming to see men in black running around - like black suits, not the actors. I think they're government. I've actually seen them myself. Then there's the other things people claim to see." I remembered the guy at the grocery store. "Like what?" Grinning, Lesa glanced toward the front of the room. The teacher hadn't arrived yet. She scooted even closer and lowered her voice to a whisper. "Okay, this is going to sound insane and let's get one thing straight. I don't believe any of this crap, okay?" This sounded juicy.


Her dark eyes twinkled. "People around here have claimed that they've seen these forms of light up near Seneca Rocks. Like these... people-shaped things of light. Some believe they're ghosts or aliens."

"Aliens?" I busted out laughing, drawing a few stares. "I'm sorry, but seriously?"

"Seriously," she repeated, grinning. "I don't believe it, but we actually get traffic around here from people looking for evidence. I kid you not.

We're like Point Pleasant around here."

"Uh, you're going to have to fill me in on that."

"You ever heard of the Mothman?" When she saw my look, she laughed. "It's another crazy thing about this flying giant dragonfly that warns people before something bad happens. Up in Point Pleasant, some have reported seeing it before the bridge collapsed and killed a bunch of people. And days before that, they said they saw men in suits hanging around." I opened my mouth to respond, but our teacher walked in. At first, I didn't recognize him. His light brown hair was styled back from his forehead. His polo was pressed, nothing like the worn shirt and jeans I'd last seen him in.

Matthew was Mr. Garrison, my bio teacher - the same guy who'd been at Daemon's house when we returned from the lake.

He picked papers off his desk and looked up, his gaze scanning the class. His eyes landed on me, and I felt the blood drain from my face.

"Are you okay?" whispered Lesa.

Mr. Garrison held my gaze a second longer and then looked away. I let out the breath I was holding. "Yeah," I whispered, swallowing thickly. "I'm okay."

I sat back in my chair, staring ahead blankly while Mr. Garrison launched right into class, going over our course material and labs we'd be participating in. The obligatory animal autopsy was scheduled, much to my dismay. The idea of cutting into animals, dead or not, gave me the creeps.

But not as badly as the creeps Mr. Garrison gave me. Throughout class, I'd feel his concentrated gaze on me, and it was as if he was seeing right through me. What the hell was going on around here?

The school cafeteria was near the gymnasium, a long and rectangular space that smelled of overcooked food and disinfectant.

Yum. White tables filled the room and most of them were already occupied by the time I got there. Standing in line, I recognized Carissa.

She turned, spotted me, and smiled.

"Spaghetti on the menu, or at least what they consider spaghetti."

Grimacing, I plopped some on my tray. "It doesn't look too bad."

"Not after you've seen the meatloaf." She added noodles to her plate, along with a side of salad. Then she picked up her drink. "I know.

Chocolate milk and spaghetti do not go together."

"No, they don't." I giggled, grabbing a bottle of water. "Do they allow anyone off campus to eat?"

"No, but they don't stop us when we do." Carissa handed a few dollars to the lunch lady, then turned to me. "You have anyone to sit with?"

Forking over cash, I nodded. "Yeah, I'm sitting with Dee. You?"

"What?" she said.

I looked up. Carissa stared at me, openmouthed. "I'm sitting with Dee. I'm sure you can sit - "

"No, I can't." Carissa grabbed my arm and pulled me out of the line.

I arched a brow. "Really? Why? Are they social lepers or something?"

She pushed her glasses up her nose as she rolled her eyes. "No. They're pretty cool and all, but the last girl to do so, like, disappeared." Knots formed in my stomach as I let out a nervous laugh. "You're kidding, right?"

"No," she said solemnly. "She disappeared around the same time their brother did." I couldn't believe it. What else was I going to find out? Aliens? Men in black? The Mothman? That the tooth fairy was real?

Carissa glanced over at a table full of friends. A few seats were open. "Her name was Bethany Williams. She transferred to this school in the middle of her sophomore year, a little after they got here." She tipped her head to the back of the cafeteria. "And she struck up a relationship with Dawson, and they both disappeared around the start of junior year." Why did that name sound familiar? Did it matter? There was so much I didn't know about Dee.

"Anyway, do you want to sit with us?" Carissa asked.

I shook my head, feeling bad for turning down her offer. "I promised Dee I would sit with her today."

Carissa relented with a weak smile. "Well, then maybe tomorrow?"

"Yes." I smiled. "Tomorrow, definitely." Readjusting my book bag, I took my plate of food toward the back of the cafeteria. I saw Dee immediately. She was chatting with one of the Thompson brothers while she twisted her midnight hair around her finger. Across from the one golden-haired god was another with his back to me, half sitting on the table. I wondered which one was her 'kind of' boyfriend. The table was full, except for two open spaces. All guys except Dee.

Then I saw Ash's ultra shiny cap of blonde hair from behind the boy on the table. Oddly enough, she was sitting higher than everyone else. A moment later I realized why.

She was sitting on Daemon's lap. Her arms were draped around his neck, and I watched her press her chest right up against him, smiling at what he said.

Hadn't he tried to kiss me on the porch? I was pretty sure I hadn't imagined that. Daemon was a douchebag to the highest order.

"Katy!" Dee exclaimed.

Everyone at the table looked up. Even the one twin turned in his seat. His sky blue eyes widened upon seeing me. The other twin sat back, folding his arms. The scowl on his face was a work of art.

"Sit," Dee said, smacking the top of the table across from her. "We were talking about - "

"Wait," Ash said. Her red painted lips twisted into a pout. "You did not invite her to sit with us? Really?"

The knots returned in full force, rendering me speechless.

"Shut up, Ash," grumbled the twin that had turned around. "You're going to make a scene."

"I'm not going to make anything happen." Her arm around Daemon's neck tightened. "She doesn't need to sit with us."

Dee sighed. "Ash, stop being a bitch. She's not trying to steal Daemon from you." My cheeks flamed as I stood there awkwardly. Anger rolled off Ash in waves, spreading across the table, smacking into me.

"That's not what I'm worried about." Ash snickered, her gaze drifting over me as her lip curled. "For real."

The longer I stood there, the stupider I felt.

My eyes bounced from Dee to Daemon, but he was looking over Ash's shoulder, his jaw working.

"Just sit," Dee said, motioning me forward.

"She'll get over it."

I started to put my plate down.

Daemon whispered, and Ash smacked his arm. Not lightly either. He pressed his cheek into her neck, and that dark and unwanted feeling sprung up deep inside me.

I dragged my eyes away from them, focusing on Dee. "I don't know if I should."

"You shouldn't," Ash snapped.

"Shut up," Dee said, and then to me she said sweetly, "I'm sorry I know such hideous bitches."

I almost smiled, but there was a burning in my chest that was spreading up my throat, down my back. "Are you sure?" I heard myself say.

Daemon lifted his head from Ash's neck long enough to rake a long, confusing look over me. "I think it's obvious if you're wanted here or not."

"Daemon," hissed Dee, her cheeks red. She turned to me, tears in her eyes. "He's not being serious."

"Are you being serious, Daemon?" Ash turned in his lap, head cocked to the side.

My heart was already pounding in my chest when his eyes met mine. His were sheltered.

"Actually I was being serious." He leaned over the table, staring up at me through thick lashes.

"You're not wanted here." Dee spoke again, but I was beyond hearing. My face felt like it was on fire. People around us were starting to stare. One of the Thompson boys was smirking while the other looked as though he wanted to crawl underneath the table for me. The rest of the kids at the table were staring at their plates. One of them snickered.

I'd never been more humiliated in my life.

Daemon turned away, staring over Ash's shoulder again.

"Run along," Ash said, flicking her long, slender fingers at me.

All the faces staring up at me, a mixture of pity and secondhand embarrassment, threw me back three years. To the first day I'd returned to school after my dad had died. I broke down in English class, crying when I learned we'd be reading A Tale of Two Cities, my dad's favorite story. Everyone had stared at me. Some felt bad.

Others looked embarrassed for me.

It reminded me of the same looks the police and the nurses had given me at the hospital the night I'd been attacked, reminding me of how helpless I'd been.

I'd hated those looks then.

And I hated them now. There was no excuse for what I did next except that I wanted to -

needed to...

Hands clenching the edges of the plastic tray, I leaned over the table and turned my plate upside down over Daemon's and Ash's heads.

Chunks of noodles and spaghetti sauce fell.

Most of the red gunk hit Ash and the noodles covered Daemon's broad shoulder. One long, stringy noodle slid over Daemon's ear and hung there, flopping around.

There was an audible gasp that rang out through the surrounding tables.

Dee smacked a hand over her mouth, her eyes wide and full of barely restrained laughter.

Shrieking, Ash leaped from Daemon's lap, her hands out to her sides, palms up. One would think I dumped blood on her considering the horrified look on her face. "You...you..." she sputtered, wiping the back of her hand down her sauce-stained cheek.

Daemon plucked a noodle off his ear and seemed to inspect it before he dropped them on the table. Then he did the oddest thing of all.

He laughed.

He really laughed - a deep, stomach rumbling kind of laughter that reached his minty eyes and warmed them, causing them to sparkle like his sister's.

Ash lowered her hands, balling them into fists. "I will end you."

Daemon jumped up, throwing his arm around the girl's tiny waist. Whatever amusement he felt was long gone. "Calm down," he ordered softly. "I mean it. Calm down." She pulled against Daemon but didn't make it far. "I swear to all the stars and suns, I will destroy you."

"What does that mean? Are you watching too many cartoons again?" I was so over this bitch. I tested the weight of my arm in the splint and seriously thought about hitting someone for the first time in my life.

For a second, I swore her eyes started to glow a bright amber from behind her irises. And then Mr. Garrison was suddenly there, standing at the edge of our table. "I believe that's enough."

Like a switch being thrown, Ash sat down in her own seat. The edge on her rage dissipated as she eyed me and grabbed a fistful of napkins off the table.

Daemon slowly picked a clump of long noodle off his shoulder and dropped them on the plate without speaking. I kept expecting him to explode on me, but like his sister, it looked as if he were trying not to laugh again.

"I think you should find another place to eat," Mr. Garrison said, voice low enough that only the people at our table could hear. "Do so now."

Stunned, I grabbed my book bag and waited for him to tell me to see the principal or for other teachers in the room to intervene but that never came. Mr. Garrison stared at me. He waited.

Then it struck me. He was waiting for me to leave. Like the rest of them were.

Nodding numbly, I turned around and walked out of the cafeteria. Eyes followed me, but I kept it together. I didn't break when I heard Dee call out my name. And I didn't break when I passed a dumbfounded-looking Lesa and Carissa.

I wasn't going to break. Not anymore. I was tired of this shit with Daemon's, well, whatever she was. I hadn't done a single thing for her to treat me this way.

I was done with being pushover Katy.

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