“Kat, I’m not trying to be a dick.”
“I know, it just comes easily to you.” Headlights peeked through the fog, coming up the road. My voice was hoarse when I spoke next. “I’ve got to go. Mom’s home.”
I hurried down the steps and across the gravel and hard, frozen ground. Before I reached my own porch, Daemon appeared. Stopping short, I sputtered, “I hate when you do that.”
“Think about what I said, Kat.” His gaze flickered over my shoulder. Mom’s car was almost here. “You have nothing to prove.”
Daemon said no, but it didn’t seem like it when he said he expected everything to blow up in my face again.
Tossing and turning, my brain wouldn’t shut down. I replayed everything that had gone down from the point I’d stopped the branch in front of Blake to the moment I found Simon’s bloodied watch in his truck. How many times had there been signs that he was more than what he said he was? Too many. And how many times had Daemon stepped in and tried to talk me out of training with Blake? Too many.
I flipped onto my back, squeezing my eyes shut.
And what had he meant about Blake? Did he really think I wanted to help him and for what purpose? The last thing I wanted to do was breathe the same air as Blake. There was no way Daemon could be jealous. No. No. No. I’d have to spin kick him in the face if that was the case. And then cry, because if he doubted me…
I couldn’t even think about that.
Only one good thing had come from the mess—Dawson. But everything else was… Well, it was the reason I couldn’t sit back and twiddle my thumbs.
I turned onto my side, punched my pillow, and forced my eyes to stay closed.
At the crack of dawn, I drifted off for what felt like seconds to only face the sun creeping through my bedroom window a minute later. Pulling myself out of bed, I showered and changed.
A dull ache had taken up residency behind my eyes. By the time I got to school and grabbed my books out of my locker, it hadn’t faded like I’d hoped. I shuffled into trig and checked my phone for the first time since last night.
I dropped the phone back into my bag and rested my chin in my hands. Lesa was the first one in.
Her nose wrinkled when she spotted me. “Ew. You look terrible.”
“Thanks,” I muttered.
“You’re welcome. Carissa has the bird flu or something. Hope you don’t have it.”
I almost laughed. Since Daemon had healed me, I hadn’t even sneezed once. And according to Will, once mutated, you couldn’t get sick, which was why he had tried to force Daemon to mutate him.
“Maybe,” I said.
“Probably that club you went to.” She shivered.
Warmth danced along my neck, and I averted my eyes like a wuss as Daemon took his seat behind me. I knew he was staring at me. He didn’t say anything for about sixty-two seconds. I counted them.
He poked me in the back with his trusty pen.
I twisted around, keeping my face blank. “Hey.”
A single brow arched. “You look well-rested.”
He, on the other hand, looked like he normally did. Freaking perfect. “Got tons of sleep last night. You?”
Daemon popped the pen behind his ear and leaned forward. “I slept for about an hour. I think.”
I lowered my gaze. I wasn’t happy that last night sucked for him, too, but at least it meant he was thinking about it. I started to ask, but he shook his head. “What?” I said.
“I haven’t changed my mind, Kitten. I was hoping you had.”
“No,” I said, and the bell rang. One last meaningful look, and I turned around. Lesa shot me a weird expression, and I shrugged. Wasn’t like I could explain why we were only exchanging a few syllables today. That would be an entertaining conversation.
When the bell rang, I debated on making a run for the door but reconsidered when two denim-clad legs filled my peripheral vision. I couldn’t stop the tumbling my stomach did, even when I was angry with him.
I was such a loser.
Daemon didn’t say anything as we left or when we parted ways, and after each class he appeared out of freaking nowhere. The same happened before bio, and he walked with me up the stairs, eyes scanning over the heads of the students.
“What are you doing?” I asked, finally tired of the silence.
He shrugged his broad shoulders. “Just thought I’d do the gentlemanly thing and walk you to your classes.”
There was no response, so I peeked at him. His eyes were narrowed and his lips pinched like he’d just eaten something sour. I went up on my tiptoes and bit back a curse. Blake was leaning against the wall next to the door, head tilted toward us, a cocky smile on his face.
“I dislike him so very much,” Daemon muttered.
Blake pushed off the wall and swaggered over to us. “You guys look chipper for a Friday.”
Daemon tapped a textbook on his thigh. “Do you have a reason to be standing here?”
“This is my class.” He jerked his chin toward the open door. “With Katy.”
Heat blew off Daemon as he took a step forward, staring down his nose at Blake. “You just love to push it, don’t you?”
Blake swallowed nervously. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Daemon laughed, and it sent shivers down my spine. Sometimes I forgot how dangerous he could be. “Please. I may be a lot of things—a lot of really bad things, Biff, but stupid and blind aren’t two of them.”
“All right,” I said, keeping my voice low. People were staring. “Time to play nice.”
“I have to agree.” Blake glanced around. “But this isn’t a playground.”