Out for Blood Page 15

“York.” York liked her though, so she didn’t have the same issues I had.

“And you snuck out,” she continued. “I’m so proud.”

“Why does everyone keep saying that?” I wondered out loud.

“Because you’re unfairly gorgeous, blond, smart, athletic, and a straight-A student.” She grimaced. “Wait. Why am I friends with you again?”

“Give me a break,” I said, then smirked. “And by the way, all my demerits were wiped.” I couldn’t help but gloat just a little even if I couldn’t elaborate that Hart himself had called the headmistress to absolve me. “York was speechless for fully three whole minutes and then he looked like he’d bitten into a rotten egg.”

“Man, I wish I could have seen that.” York might treat her well, but she was still a loyal friend and didn’t like the way he singled me out all the time.

“It was pretty sweet,” I admitted. “I should have taken a picture.” I had a miniature camera located in the school pin on my shirt. All graduating students had them. Actually, even Niners had them, but they were expected to acquire them on their own, usually through outright theft. I guess it wasn’t technically theft since the teachers hid them around. In our last year they handed us the newest and highest-quality cameras in our orientation packets.

“Speaking of your hotness and athleticism,” Jenna said.

I paused, raised my eyebrows. “What, already?”

“Come on,” she nudged me, the freckles on her nose and cheeks incongruous against the bloodthirsty gleam in her eye. “You can’t tell me you haven’t missed it.”

I shrugged. “Maybe a little. But why am I always the bait?”

“Because of all those disgusting good qualities of yours I just listed.”

“Uh-huh.”

“It’s true,” she insisted.

“Please, you could be the bait.” She was just as good a combat student as I was.

“And deny you the chance to wear something pretty?”

I couldn’t deny it was an incentive. Grandpa encouraged civilian clothes only for practical, don’t-be-obvious reasons, and he didn’t exactly endorse cute dresses and strappy sandals. And I was better at hand-to-hand combat. Jenna’s expertise was her aim, both with a crossbow and a handgun. We didn’t use regular bullets, of course, since they didn’t do much against a vampire. We used bullet-shaped vials of what we called holy water, basically UV-infused bullets.

“When?” I asked, giving in just like she knew I would.

“Saturday night, meet at the van at eleven.”

“Wait,” I stopped her before she could jog away. It was vaguely inhuman how much she loved to jog. “Did you clear it? York’s just dying for an excuse to bust me again.”

“Yeah, I got Dailey’s signature.” She waved and picked up her pace, heading back to the track. I continued across the lawns to the dorms. Hart might have gotten me out of detention and demerits, but there was one thing he couldn’t save me from.

Floor monitor duties. And being Courtney’s assistant.

I think I preferred demerits.

I couldn’t put it off any longer. Well, just a little bit longer but only because I wanted to swing by my room and grab an elastic band. It was so muggy and hot, my hair was sticking to the back of my neck.

When I opened the door, a rubber ball full of pink glitter hurtled toward my head.

I ducked and it missed my nose, but not by much.

“What the hell, Chloe?” I said just as she yelled, “Get the hell out!”

She looked up from her computer, paused. “Oops. Didn’t know it was you.”

“Who else would it be?” I kicked the ball back inside. It rolled toward her, bumping against her foot. I grabbed an elastic band from my desk and tied my hair back.

“Your little Niners have been coming by all morning,” she said grimly.

I winced. “Seriously?”

“Yes.” She speared me with a look. “It’s annoying. I didn’t like Niners when I was one. They’re either needy or macho or both.”

“I’ll fix it,” I promised, holding up a hand to curtail a long rant. She had that look on her face. She got her temper from her father, who was one of those temperamental chefs who threw pasta and entire chickens when a meal didn’t go as planned. His assistants quit on a regular basis. I’d seen grizzly old vampire hunters with fewer battle scars.

“I’m staking the next pimply faced thirteen-year-old who knocks on that door,” she told me.

“I’ll go right now,” I said. “Have another vitamin.”

“Ha-ha,” she grumbled, turning her attention back to her keyboard. I hurried out before she remembered I was there. Spencer was coming out of the small kitchen, a cup of coffee in his hand. He wore a chunk of turquoise on a braided hemp necklace.

“Did she throw stuff at you?” he asked, nodding toward my door.

“Rubber ball. You?”

“Xena action figure.”

“That’s never a good sign.”

“I know. She loves that thing.” He frowned. “She’s all stressed out. I’ve never seen her like this.”

“She’ll calm down. York spooked her with that drill. She’s afraid she’s going to fail the year.”

“Like she couldn’t break into his computer and change her grades if she wanted to.”

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