Out for Blood Page 12

Damn it, and I totally had one.

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Ms. Wild, I am very disappointed in you. You have been a model student these last three years. I would hate for that to change,” she added pointedly. If her tone had been a weapon, it would have been a fencing rapier that drew blood with barely a scratch. York’s would have been a cudgel.

“Yes, ma’am.” I tried not to squirm or fidget.

She leaned back in her chair. “Two months’ detention, one month of kitchen duty, and three demerits.”

Crap.

“Three?” I gaped. We were allowed five per year; the sixth got us expelled. I’d never even had one. York looked smug.

“And we’ll have to call your grandfather, of course,” he added.

Double crap.

“But …” I had no idea how to talk my way out of this one. I wasn’t prepared. Another rule broken. I was always prepared.

So not fair.

“You may go.”

I stood up and went to the door, avoiding eye contact with York. It would just piss me off even more to see him looking so pleased. He really did hate me. Weren’t teachers supposed to like everyone? Or at least fake it?

“Oh, Ms. Wild,” the headmistress stopped me at the door, one step away from freedom.

“Yes, ma’am?”

“I don’t want to see you here again.”

“No, ma’am.”

I dialed Kieran’s cell the minute I was outside. The last of August’s sweltering heat pressed all around me. I was sweating by the time I reached the barn, which had been converted into the school gym. I got his voice mail. I swore for a good long minute before adding, “Was last night a covert op? Because I want my demerit points wiped. And you suck as an undercover agent. Didn’t you know there were new cameras?” And then I swore some more.

I stomped through the locker room, pulling on my workout clothes with enough force to stretch the fabric. The locker door had a satisfying slam and metallic reverberation when I kicked it shut. I was going to kick the stuffing right out of my favorite punching bag. Twice.

Except that Chloe was already using it.

“Okay, now you’re just freaking me out,” I said, stopping to watch her roundhouse kick. It was still a little sloppy, lacking power. Her thick curls were damp and tied back in a messy knot. Her gym shorts and sneakers were brand new.

“If you’re on York’s radar, then so am I,” she grunted. “And if I fail his class this year my mom will kill me. Over and over again.”

I went to the bag next to hers. I stretched for a few minutes and then taped my hands.

“So are you doing time or what?” she asked, trying an uppercut. The bag swung back and nearly batted her across the room.

“Two months’ detention, kitchen cleanup, and demerits.”

She paused. “You got demerits?” The bag swung again, hitting her in the hip and shoulder. She stumbled. “You’ve never gotten a demerit.”

“I know,” I said grimly. “If you let your hip pivot just a little when you do that punch, it’ll be stronger. And use your first two knuckles for your jab.”

I flicked on the ancient stereo in the corner with the toe of my shoe and turned up the volume until the windows rattled slightly. We stood side by side and punched and kicked the punching bags for a good half hour without talking. My lungs were burning and my face felt red and sweaty when I finally stopped. Chloe was bent over, panting and gagging. I handed her a bottle of water.

“Thanks,” she croaked.

“You’re overdoing it,” I croaked back. “I’ve never seen you work out that hard.”

She wiped her face with a towel and shrugged. “Then I guess I’m due. I can’t fail the year, Hunter.”

“You’re not going to,” I assured her. I’d never heard her this worried. She did so well in all of her computer classes and was already assigned to the Tech department. Her combat skills wouldn’t hold her back from any of that.

She sighed. “You know I’m not very good at this stuff.”

I finished my water and threw the bottle into the recycling bin. “Well, I am, so no worries. Listen, we can practice together. It’ll be fine.”

“Yeah?” she asked hopefully.

“Of course.”

She grinned, looking slightly less panicked. Then she hiccuped and grimaced. “Good, ’cause that protein powder tastes like crap. Mom sent me a new tub.” She scowled. “And if it makes me fat, I’m wiping her hard drive.”

Chapter 6

Quinn

Thursday evening

“God, Quinn, how many freaking girls’ phone numbers do you have on this thing?” Connor shook his head, scrolling through my cell phone address book.

I shrugged, grinning. “I can’t help it if I’m irresistible.” Sitting on the edge of his bed, I leaned back against the wall. Moonlight filtered through the open window. The wind tasted like pine needles and smoke. “You’d get more girls if you ever actually left your computer.”

He didn’t even look up. “If I didn’t spend so much time on that computer, you’d never get your phone working again. Or your laptop. I keep telling you not to open e-mail attachments from people you don’t know.”

“She was really hot.”

“And now your computer’s down.”

I grimaced. “And my phone. Is that a virus too?”

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