Her eyebrows waggled suggestively, and I felt my face burn. Oh, dear God…

After trig, the rest of the morning crept by in a slow procession. The cosmos were against me. Like they knew I was bouncing with energy and excitement. A little part of me was nervous. Who wouldn’t be? If we actually had time alone and we weren’t interrupted and stuff fell into place…

Stuff fell into place?

I smothered a giggle.

Blake looked up from his bio text and frowned. “What?”

“Nothing.” I grinned. “Nothing.”

He arched a brow. “Did Daemon tell you that Matthew has some after-school meeting with a kid’s parents?”

I giggled again, earning a weird look from him. “Yeah, he did.”

Blake stared at me a second and then placed his pen down. Without any warning, he reached over and picked a piece of lint out of my hair. I jerked back at the same time he pulled his arm away, which put my nose right at the perfect angle to get a sniff of his wrist.

The clean, citrusy scent sparked a muggy, uncomfortable feeling inside me. Like when you’ve done something stupid and you were about to face public humiliation. Pins and needles spread across my flesh.

A memory was wiggling loose. That smell… I’d smelled it before.

“You okay?” he asked.

I tilted my head to the side, like that helped my smelling abilities. Where did I know that scent? Obviously I’d smelled it on Blake before. No doubt it was one of those expensive colognes, but it was more than that.

Like when you hear an actor’s voice but don’t see his face. The answer was on the tip of my tongue and I couldn’t shake the nagging feeling.

Why did that scent feel achingly familiar? Daemon’s face popped in my head, but that wasn’t right. He smelled earthy, like the outdoors and the wind. And his scent lingered long after he was gone, on my clothes, the pillow…

The pillow…

My heart stuttered and then skipped a beat. It sunk in and threatened to pull me through the seat. Shock washed over me, quickly followed by a bolt of anger so fierce I jerked forward.

I couldn’t sit here. I couldn’t breathe.

Static crackled under my shirt. Tiny hairs rose over my body. Burned ozone filled the air. At the front of the class, Matthew looked up. His gaze went to Dawson first, because hey, if anyone were going to lose it, it would be him. But Dawson was also glancing around the room, searching for the source of the increased friction and static in the air.

It was coming from me.

I was going to blow.

Snapping into action, I shut my book and shoved it into my messenger bag. Wasting no time, I stood on shaky legs. My skin felt like it was humming. And maybe it was at a low frequency. Violent energy rolled through me. Only once before had I felt this way and that was when Blake…

I headed past Matthew, unable to answer his look of concern, and ignored the curious stares. Hurrying from the room, I dragged in several deep breaths to try to calm down. Gray lockers blurred around me. Conversations were muted and sounded so very far away.

Where was I going? What was I going to do? Going to Daemon was out of the question, because right now, on top of everything, it was the last thing we needed.

I started forward, my fingers clenched tightly around my bag’s strap. I felt…I felt like I was going to hurl. Anger and nausea roiled. I headed toward the girls’ restroom at the end of the hall.

“Katy! Are you okay? Wait up?”

The floor dropped out from underneath me, but I kept walking.

Blake caught up with me, catching my arm. “Katy—”

“Don’t touch me!” I wrenched my arm free, horrified…just horrified. “Don’t ever touch me.”

He stared at me, anger tightening the lines of his face. “What is your problem?”

A terrible, ugly feeling clawed its way through my insides. “I know, Blake. I know.”

“Know what?” He looked confounded. “Katy, your eyes are starting to glow. You’ve got to chill out.”

I stepped forward but forced myself to stop. I was so close to losing it. “You—you are a freak.”

His brows shot up. “All right, you’re going to have to give me a better explanation than that, because I have no idea what I’ve done to tick you off.”

The hallway was empty for now, but this was no place to get into this kind of conversation. I turned, heading to the stairwell. Blake followed and once the door swung shut behind us, I whirled on him.

It wasn’t my fist that hit him.

A blast of energy, probably what felt like a hit from a Taser, smacked him in the chest. Blake stumbled back into the door, mouth dropping open as his legs and arms twitched.

“What,” he gasped. “What was that for?”


Static crackled over my fingers. I wanted to do it again. “You’ve been sleeping in my bed.”

Blake straightened, rubbing a hand over his chest. The faint light coming from the window in the landing danced over his face. “Katy, I—”

“Don’t lie about it. I know you’ve been. I smelled your cologne. It’s been on my pillows.” Bile filled the back of my throat and the urge to lash out hit me hard. “How could you? How could you do something so revolting and creepy?”

Something flickered in his eyes. Hurt? Anger? I didn’t know or care. What he did was so wrong on so many levels that restraining orders were usually issued in response.

Blake thrust his fingers through his hair. “It’s not what you think.”

“It’s not.” I barked out a short laugh. “I don’t know what else it could be. You came into my house and my bedroom uninvited and you…you got into bed with me, you sick son of a—”

“It’s not what you think!” he practically shouted and the Source inside me perked even more, responding to the outburst. I expected teachers to rush the stairwell, but they didn’t. “I’ve been keeping an eye on everything at night because of Daedalus. I patrol the area just like Daemon and the other Luxen do.”

I scoffed. “They don’t climb into my bed, Blake.”

He stared back at me so blatantly I wanted to smack him. “I know. Like I said, that…was never my intention. It was an accident.”

My mouth dropped open. “Did you slip and fall on my bed? Because I don’t understand how you’ve accidentally ended up there.”

Red stained the tips of his cheeks. “I check the outside, and then I check the inside just to be sure. Hybrids can get into your house, Katy, as you already know. So could Daedalus if they wanted.”

What would he have done if Daemon had been there? Then it struck me and I felt sick all over again. “How long do you watch at night?”

He shrugged. “A couple of hours.”

So he’d have known if Daemon had come over most of the time, and the rest was just sheer dumb luck. Part of me wished he’d tried it just once when Daemon was there. He wouldn’t be walking right for months.

There was a good chance he may leave this stairwell with a limp.

Blake seemed to sense where my mind went. “After I checked inside your house, I…I don’t know what happened. You have bad dreams.”

I wondered why. I had perverts sleeping in the bed with me.

“I just wanted to comfort you. That’s all.” He leaned against the wall, below the window, closing his eyes. “I guess I fell asleep.”

“This wasn’t a onetime thing. Not that once would be okay. Do you understand that?”

“I do.” His eyes opened into thin slits. “Are you going to tell Daemon?”

I shook my head. I could handle this. I would handle this. “He would kill you on the spot and then we’d end up in Daedalus’s hands.”

Relief loosened his body. “Katy, I’m sorry. It’s not as creepy as it—”

“Not as creepy? Are you serious? No, don’t answer. I don’t care.” I stepped forward, my voice shaking. “I don’t care if you were just worried and keeping an eye on me. I don’t care if my house is on fire. You do not come in there again. And you sure as hell don’t sleep in my bed again. You kissed…” I sucked in a sharp breath. The raw, ugly black feeling was back, crawling up my throat. “I don’t care. I don’t want to be near you any more than I have to be. Okay? I want you to stay away from me. No more watching or anything.”

Hurt flashed in his churning eyes, and he looked like he’d protest for a long moment. “Okay.”

I turned back to the door, my entire body shaking. I stopped and faced him. He stood under the opaque windows, his head lowered. He ran a hand through his spiky hair, clasping the back of his neck.

“If you do again what you’ve been doing, I will hurt you.” Emotion clogged my throat. “I don’t care what happens. I will hurt you.”



Shaking off my discovery was hard to do. I alternated between wanting to take a scalding hot shower and anger so potent I could taste it the rest of the day. Luckily, I was able to convince Matthew that Blake had just ticked me off because he was Blake, which was believable and explained why Blake would follow me. I convinced Lesa I wasn’t feeling well and that was why I rushed out of class, which she pointed out would put a damper on my afternoon plans.

Those had already been tainted.

I had no intention of bringing this up with Daemon. He would lose his ever-loving mind and as much as I hated it, we needed Blake. We had come too far to end up being captured by them because of whatever letter he had hanging over our heads. I also wasn’t willing to risk not rescuing Beth.

Whenever I thought about it throughout the day, my skin crawled. I’d thought it had either been Daemon all of those times or a dream, but I should’ve known. Not once did I feel the warmth that our connection gave as warning whenever Daemon was near.

I should’ve known that Blake was a bigger freak than I could ever imagine.

On the way home, I swung by the post office. Daemon hopped out of the car and followed me in. Three steps from the door, he caught me around the waist from behind and lifted me up. He spun me around so fast my legs were like little windmills.

A woman and her child came out of the post office, narrowly avoiding being taken out by my legs. She laughed and I was sure it had something to do with the smile I knew Daemon was sporting.

When he placed me on my feet and let go, I swayed unsteadily through the door. He laughed. “You look a little drunk.”

“No thanks to you.”

He dropped an arm over my shoulder, apparently in a playful mood. We stopped at my mom’s PO box and dug out the packages. A few were media mail and the rest a bunch of junk mail.

Daemon snatched the yellow packages from my hands. “Oh! Books! You have books!”

I laughed as several people waiting in line looked over their shoulders. “Hand them over.”

He clutched them to his chest, making moony eyes. “My life is now complete.”

“My life would be complete if I could actually post a review on something other than the school library computers.”

I did that about twice a week since my latest laptop went to the big computer heaven in the sky. Daemon always went with me. In his words, he was there to “proof” my posts. In other words, he served as a huge distraction.