Evernight Page 43

I’d never felt anything like that kind of sick rage before. I hoped I never would again. For all the pettiness and darkness of Evernight, I felt like I’d just seen true evil for the first time.

Do you believe in evil? Raquel had asked me. I’d said yes, but I hadn’t known what it looked like before. Shaking, I breathed in and out a couple of times, trying to get my bearings. I’d have to think long and hard about what had just happened, but for tonight, I just wanted to get the hell out of here.

I took another couple steps and slid down the far slope of the roof, trying to get a look at where Erich had landed. I wanted to make sure he was leaving for real. But as I started down, I saw another shape in the darkness—like a shadow down in the deepest of the waves. Maybe Erich hadn’t come alone.

“Stop!” I insisted. “Who is it?”

The shape stood up slowly, rising into the moonlight. It was Lucas.

“Lucas? What are you doing here?” As soon as I asked it, I felt stupid. He’d come up here for the same reason I had, to see if Erich was stalking Raquel. Lucas didn’t answer. He was staring at me as if he didn’t know me at all, and he took one step backward.

“Lucas?” At first I didn’t understand, but then it hit me. My fangs were still sharp. My mouth was still wet with blood. If he’d crouched there for a couple of minutes, he would have heard me talking to Erich—he’d seen me bite him—

Lucas knows I’m a vampire.

Most people don’t believe in vampires anymore and wouldn’t believe no matter how hard you tried to convince them. But Lucas didn’t have to be convinced, not while he was staring a fanged, bloody-lipped vampire in the face. He looked at me like I was a stranger—no, like a monster.

Every secret I’d fought my whole life to protect had just been revealed.

Chapter Eleven

“WAIT,” I PLEADED. MY LIPS WERE STILL STICKY with blood. “Don’t go. I can explain!”

“Don’t come near me.” Lucas’s face was stark white.


“You’re a vampire.”

I couldn’t say anything else. My new talent for lying couldn’t help me now. Lucas knew the truth, and I couldn’t hide any longer.

He kept backing away, stumbling over the slate shingles, his arms jerky as he tried to steady himself. Shock had made him clumsy—Lucas, who always moved with purpose and strength. It was like he’d been blinded. I wanted to go after him to keep him from losing his balance and falling, if for no other reason. More than that, I was desperate to explain. But he wouldn’t let me help him, not anymore. If I followed, Lucas would panic and run away. Run away from me.

Shaking, I sat down on the rooftop and watched Lucas make his way across the roof. He didn’t dare turn his back on me until he was more than halfway to the north tower and the guys’ rooms. By then, my arms were wrapped around my knees and tears trickled down my cheeks. I was more frightened and ashamed than I’d ever been in my life, even more than when I’d bitten him.

Had he already realized what had really happened the night of the Autumn Ball and that I had been the one to hurt him? If he hadn’t, I knew he would soon.

What should I do? Tell my parents immediately? They’d be furious with me—and they’d also have to take action against Lucas. I didn’t know what the vampires would do to a human who learned the secret of Evernight, but I suspected it wouldn’t be good. Report this to Mrs. Bethany? Out of the question. I could try waking Patrice for advice, but she would probably shrug, readjust her satin eye mask, and fall back to sleep.

Now that the secret was out, all of those people were in danger. Lucas probably wouldn’t tell anyone, for fear of being called insane; even if he did, nobody was likely to believe him. But the risk—that one chance that we could all be exposed—was terrible. And it was all my fault.

There had to be some way I could fix it. Something I could do.

I’ll talk to Lucas. First thing in the morning—No, he has an exam first thing. It was so strange, even having to think about something as mundane as an exam in the middle of this. I can catch him after that. He won’t want to talk to me, but he won’t start yelling about vampires in the hall. So that gives me a chance, and if I can only figure out what to say—

Then what? I’d lied to Lucas. I’d hurt him. Maybe he was right to get as far away from me as possible.

Still, I knew I had to try. If I was in danger of losing Lucas forever, there was nothing I wouldn’t do—plead, cry, or reveal every secret I’d ever had. I only knew that I had to make Lucas understand.

After a long, sleepless night, I got up, put on my black sweater and kilt, and went stiffly downstairs. I thought I’d timed it to the end of Lucas’s exam, but apparently the students were being allowed to leave as they finished—and Lucas had finished early, according to some other guys in the class. That meant he was already back in his room, probably. Screwing up my courage, I sneaked into the guys’ dorm area. Vic and Lucas had once pointed out their window from the grounds, so I could find the room if I just didn’t get caught.

Would showing up in Lucas’s room unannounced scare him to death? Maybe. I’d have to risk it. I couldn’t take it any longer. The suspense was gnawing at me, turning me inside out. Even if Lucas told me never to come near him again, at least then I’d know. Not knowing was worse than anything.

I knew I’d reached my destination when I found a door decorated with two posters—one of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo and another from something called Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

Nobody answered my knock, so I hesitantly pushed the door open. No one was inside. Lucas’s room smelled like him—spicy and woodsy, almost like being back in the forest. Half the room was covered in posters from action movies, guns and babes spilling out in every direction; this was the half with the bed that had a tie-dyed cover on it. In other words, Vic’s half. Lucas’s half of the room was almost bare. No pictures or posters hung on the walls, and on the small bulletin board that hung above everyone’s bed, he had pinned up only his class schedule and a movie ticket—Suspicion, from our first date. An army surplus blanket covered his bed.

Apparently there was nothing for me to do but wait. Unsure what to do, I walked toward the window, which showed a stretch of the school’s gravel driveway. A few cars were there, mostly parents picking up their kids on the last day of exams, taking them back home for Christmas. The human kids, of course. I watched people hugging, loading up luggage—and Lucas, striding out the front door with his duffel bag slung over one shoulder.

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