Out for Blood Page 72

“You got the Hel-Blar to attack the school?” She’d had me totally fooled. York hadn’t been the culprit. He was actually the good guy—even though he was a jerk. Dailey was the psycho. I’d had to stake Will because of her. Spencer was sick because of her, at least indirectly. I was drugged and poisoned and crumpled on the ground because of her.

I really, really hated her.

I would have spat at her if I hadn’t been so thirsty and dehydrated, burning up with fever.

And I was apparently hallucinating too.

“Get the hell away from her,” Quinn snarled, leaping to stand in front of me in a blur of pale skin, long dark hair, and sharp fangs. Dailey took a step back, startled.

“You’re too late,” she said. “I’ve already dosed her. It’s in her blood.”

“What’s in her blood?”

I squirmed, as if fire ants crawled under my skin. “Quinn,” I panted. “Call Theo and get out of here. She’s nuts.”

Instead, he punched her. Her nose cracked and she howled. Quinn patted through my pockets.

“What are you doing?”

“I know you must have rope somewhere … got it.” He turned away for a brief instant, leaving trails of light and color like a smeared oil painting. He tied Dailey up and was kneeling at my side before I took another labored breath. His fangs extended farther, gleaming.

“You can’t bite a teacher,” I whispered through dry lips.

“I’m not going to,” he assured me. “I’m biting you.”

Chapter 29

Hunter

He didn’t understand.

If he drank my blood, it would kill him.

I struggled fruitlessly as his mouth descended on my arm, closing around the puncture hole the needle had made.

“No,” I moaned. “No.”

His fangs bit deep and I cried out. The blood burning my veins rushed toward the sucking of his mouth. I tried to pull away but he anchored me down, holding me still. The grass was cool and prickly under me.

“Don’t,” I begged, tears stinging my eyes. “It’ll kill you.”

He lifted his head, eyes blazing.

“It’s killing you,” he said harshly, spitting out a mouthful of my blood. A welt formed at the side of his lip. It looked painful. He went back to the wound, drawing my poisoned blood out of my veins and into his mouth. He spat more into the grass. He kept sucking the poison out and spitting as fast as he could, the way you would a snakebite. The ceiling of stars and cedar branches overhead whirled.

I was fading.

If I closed my eyes the pain would stop, Quinn would stop. He’d be safe.

My eyelids were heavy and I let them close.

Epilogue

Hunter

Friday night

When I woke up I was in the infirmary.

The lights were too bright, washing everything out as I blinked furiously, eyes stinging. I was exhausted. I tried to move, moaning when it proved to be too much work. My arm was bruised and burning.

“She’s awake!” Quinn was at my side first, holding my hand. He was paler than usual, nearly gray. The blue of his eyes was paler, the shadows underneath darker. “You scared the hell out of me.” He kissed my forehead.

“You’re alive.”

“So to speak.”

“Am I … am I a vampire?”

“No, you’re just a stubborn know-it-all who thinks she can do everything by herself,” he answered tenderly. “You didn’t drink my blood, remember?”

“Don’t hog her,” Chloe said, brushing him aside with a grin. He leaned over enough to let her in but didn’t let go of my hand. Jenna and Jason and Kieran stood on my other side.

“What happened?” I asked. My throat felt singed. I reached for some water and Quinn grabbed the cup so quickly he spilled half of it down his arm and into my hair. I drank the rest gratefully, greedily.

“You’ve been out for two days. You had to have blood transfusions,” he explained.

“Are you okay?” I asked.

“I was sick as a dog there for a while, but I’m fine.”

“Dailey?” I asked.

“Under house arrest until you’re well enough to testify against her,” Kieran answered. “Don’t worry about it now.”

“She tried to kill me,” I said, affronted. “And Quinn. And she poisoned Will and the others.”

“Hart’s handling it personally,” Kieran assured me.

“Bellwood’s furious,” Chloe added cheerfully. “It’s like the stick up her butt caught fire!”

“Dailey’s not going anywhere,” Kieran added.

“Damn right she’s not,” I muttered. I patted myself down, searching for my left cargo pocket but finding only a paper hospital gown. I craned my neck. “Where are my pants?”

“Your stuff’s here.” Chloe plucked up my pile of clothes from a shelf behind me. She dropped the pants on my lap. I smiled even though it cracked my dry lips. I pulled a microphone out of the pocket.

“I recorded everything she said,” I told them smugly. The effort made me cough. “It was meant for York. I guess I owe him an apology.”

“He doesn’t have to know we ever suspected him,” Chloe protested. “He’s been a jerk to you. And he yelled at me in class just this morning.” She frowned. “He freaked Mom out in my report card last year. He said the usual stuff about me not living up to my potential, but since she’d just heard about the TH, she kind of panicked. She hadn’t figured out who was in charge of it, so she snuck me those steroids, just in case. To make sure I was off the TH radar. She was trying to protect me in her own weird way. Mothers.”

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