Out for Blood Page 5

“I’m sorry, Hunter,” Lia said, looking like she was about to burst into tears again.

“Don’t worry about it,” I told her.

“I didn’t mean to get you in trouble,” she said. “But I’m really glad you’re one of our floor monitors now.” She lowered her voice. “Courtney’s a bitch.”

I laughed despite myself. “Yes. Yes, she is.”

Chloe and Spencer descended, all inflamed with righteous indignation on my behalf. Chloe shook her head. “I guess York still has it in for you. Jerk.”

“That was totally unfair,” Spencer agreed. “You should see the headmistress.”

“No way,” I said. The only teacher worse than Mr. York was Headmistress Bellwood. “She’d only tell me I was whining anyway.”

“I guess. She’s not exactly big with the warm and fuzzy.”

Chloe slung her arm through mine. “Come on, we’ll go drink hot chocolate and watch some old Supernatural episodes on DVD. Dean Winchester always cheers you up.”

“I thought our last year was supposed to be fun,” I said, kicking at dandelions as we skirted the gardens toward the now-unlocked front door.

From the direction of the pond, the swan honked mockingly.

No one felt like staying up very late after that. We watched a couple of episodes and then went to our rooms. The halls were quiet. Chloe marched to her desk and turned on her computer with a determined click and set her laptop next to it. The screens flickered to life, pooling pale light over the carpet.

“I thought you were tired,” I told her.

“I’m already behind,” she said. “They got us by surprise. And York smirked at me like he knew. I’m so going to get him for that. And for ragging on you all the time.” She cracked her knuckles. “And it starts now.”

“You were the one complaining that it was too early to study.”

“I changed my mind. I’m going to ace this year and then shove it up his nose.” Mr. York, along with being the proverbial thorn in my side, was also one of the combat teachers. Chloe was quick and fierce on a computer but she wasn’t quite as good in hand-to-hand fights. He’d only barely passed her last year.

I left her to stew. I didn’t want to talk about York. It would make me grind my teeth. I didn’t know anything about being a floor monitor. My jaw clenched. If I was going to relax at all, I was going to need what was in the trunk under my bed. Watching TV had helped settled my mood some, and so had Chloe’s stash of chocolate macaroons, but this required the big guns. No matter how much Chloe was going to make fun of me. I pulled it out, hoping she was too buried in her work.

No such luck.

“Are those romance novels?”

I shot her a look through my hair, which was falling over my face. “Yes. And shut up.”

“I didn’t know you read romance novels.”

“Shut up.”

She turned on her wheeled desk chair. “You told me last year that you kept your stakes and stuff in there.”

I pulled a book out, wondering if I should even bother trying to hide the cheesy cover. Chloe was a pitbull. “I also told my grandfather I kept my tampons in here.”

“I am totally digging this new side of you.”

Since she wasn’t making as much fun of me as I’d thought, I stopped scowling. “I know it’s silly, but I like them. They don’t make me think too hard and there’s always a happy ending.”

“Lend me one.”

“Seriously?” I asked.

“Totally. That one with the cleavage and the guy with the mullet.”

I snorted. “That’s all of them. The hair is rather unfortunate.”

“How about that one?”

“Can’t go wrong with a duke.” I tossed it to her.

“Are there naughty parts?”

“Not in that one.”

She tossed it back. I laughed and handed her a new one. It was five hundred pages of Victorian historical intrigue. She stared at it. “This is bigger than half the stuff on our lit class syllabus.”

“Probably better researched too.”

She put it next to her laptop and went back to the mysterious things she did on the Internet. I could check my e-mail and navigate some basic blog sites but that was about it. She could probably hack into government sites if we gave her enough time.

I read until she finally went to asleep and my cell phone vibrated. It was two in the morning. I flipped it open and read the text waiting for me from Kieran.

Get dressed and meet me outside.

Chapter 3

Quinn

Connor didn’t bother knocking, just opened the door and stuck his head into my room. He was pale, and not because he spent most of his time at his computer. Vampires didn’t tan well and the Drakes were no exception. “Quinn, it’s time.”

I wiped blood off my lower lip and tossed the glass bottle in the blue recycling box sitting under a poster of Megan Fox. Connor and I were both turned three years ago on our sixteenth birthday. As twins, we shared the same blue eyes and dark brown hair and the same uncanny ability to know what the other was thinking. We’d also shared the sickness, the struggle to survive, and the searing bloodlust when we woke that first day as vampires.

Now we shared the same bloodlust every time the sun set, but it was starting to get a little better, just as Dad had promised it would. He didn’t lock my bedroom door from the outside anymore.

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