I shuddered. Nice way to close the conversation with a healthy dose of freak-us-out.
Daemon nodded at the other Luxen, and we headed out, Blake closing the door behind him. Only then did I realize the room was soundproof.
“Well,” Blake said, smiling. “That wasn’t too bad, was it?”
I rolled my eyes. “I have the feeling we just made a deal with the devil, and he’s going to come back and want our firstborn child or something.”
Daemon waggled his brows. “You want kids? Because you know, practice makes—”
“Shut up.” I shook my head and started walking.
We hurried through the club, around the still-packed dance floor. I think all of us were ready to get out of there. As we neared the exit, I looked around Daemon and Blake, my eyes drifting over the dance floor.
Part of me wondered how many, if any, were hybrids. We were rare, but like I sensed at first, there was something different about this place. Something really different about the kid called Luc, too.
Pro Wrestler greeted us at the door. He stepped aside, massive arms folded across his chest. “Remember,” he said. “You were never here.”
We got home late from Martinsburg, and I went straight to bed. Daemon followed, but all we did was curl up and sleep. Both of us were exhausted from everything, and it was nice with him there, a steady presence that relaxed and soothed my frazzled nerves.
I was a zombie on Thursday, and Blake’s disgustingly chipper attitude in bio made me want to hurl.
“You should be happier,” he whispered as I hastily scribbled down notes. No doubt I’d failed the exam yesterday. “After Sunday, everything will be over.”
Everything will be over. My pen stopped. A muscle in my neck tensed. “It won’t be easy.”
“Yes, it will be. You just need faith.”
I almost laughed. Faith in who? Blake? Or the mafia kid? I didn’t trust either of them. “After Sunday, you’ll be gone.”
“Like the last decade,” he replied.
After class, I packed up my stuff, smiled at something Lesa said, and then waited for Dawson. I didn’t like to leave him alone with Blake. Not when Dawson was eyeballing the dude like he wanted to pummel information out of him.
Blake brushed past us, grinning as he switched his books to his other hand. He swaggered on down the hall, waving at a group of kids that called out his name.
“I don’t like him,” Dawson grumbled.
“Get in line.” We headed down the hall. “But we need him until Sunday.”
Dawson stared ahead. “Still don’t like him.” And then he asked, “He had a thing for you, didn’t he?”
My cheeks burned. “What makes you think that?”
A small smile appeared. “My brother’s hate for him knows no bounds.”
“Well, he did kill Adam,” I said in a low voice.
“Yeah, I know, but it’s personal.”
I frowned. “How is it more personal than that?”
“It is.” Dawson pushed open the door, and we were attacked by the giggle squad on the landing.
Kimmy was captain. “Wow. Why aren’t I surprised?”
I found myself moving in front of Dawson. “And why do I have no clue what you’re talking about?”
Behind me, Dawson shifted his weight from one foot to the other.
“Well, it’s pretty obvious.” She leaned against the rail, her backpack resting on the top. Around her, the girls tittered. “One brother isn’t enough for you.”
Before I could react, Dawson stepped around me and spat, “You’re sad and revolting.”
Kimmy’s smile froze, and maybe the old Dawson would’ve never said anything like that, because she and all her friends looked like someone just walked over their graves. Somewhere, in the back of my mind, I wanted to laugh, but I was so angry—so repulsed by the suggestion I’d be seeing two twin brothers.
I honestly don’t know what happened next. A pulse of energy left me, and the pretty pink backpack shook and then tipped over the railing. The weight jerked Kimmy. Her heeled shoes came off the floor, and in a flash I saw what was going to happen.
She was going to go right over the railing, headfirst.
A scream started in my throat and came out of Kimmy. Her friends’ horrified looks were permanently etched in my memory, and my heartbeat skyrocketed.
Dawson shot forward, catching one of her flailing arms. He had her on her feet before her scream had faded from my ears. “I got you,” he said, surprisingly gentle. Kimmy gulped in air, clutching Dawson’s hand. “It’s okay. You’re okay.”
He carefully pried her fingers off his and stepped back. Her friends immediately surrounded her. Then he turned to me, his eyes clouded. Cupping my elbow, he quickly steered me down the stairwell.
As soon as we were out of hearing distance, he stopped and faced me. “What was that?”
My breath caught and I looked away, confused and full of shame. Everything had happened so fast, and I’d been so furious. But it had been me—a part of me that had acted without thought or knowledge. A part of me that had known the weight of her bag would’ve toppled her right over the edge.
At lunch, I didn’t tell Daemon about what happened with Kimmy in the stairwell, convincing myself that since Carissa and Lesa were with us, it was so not the conversation to have. It was nothing more than an excuse, but I felt as revolting as Kimmy’s words. Later that day, when we were at Daemon’s house, going over plans for Sunday with the crew, I told myself it still wasn’t the time.
Especially when Dee was demanding to go and Daemon was having none of that.
“I need you and Ash to hang back, along with Matthew, just in case something goes wrong.”