“Oh Crap," Connor muttered. "She's going Darth Vader on us.”
“And then Lucy happened.
Never mind prophecies and bounty hunters, she was the one who'd really turned my life upside down.... She made everything better.
She was necessary.”
“what happens when all you love, becomes all you hate?”
“He kissed me as if we had all the time in the world, as if it weren’t cold outside, as if winter weren’t coming, or the dawn, or any of the dangers that waited for us outside this field. I kissed him back as if he were right, as if there were only the two of us, as if the only worry we had were my curfew.”
“With her long dark hair and green eyes, she was pretty as a doll. You know, the kind of doll that came to life at night to kill monsters.”
“I knew damn well if Lucy broke up with me I'd still love her until I turned to dust.”
“What is it?' I whispered. 'What's wrong?'
'Everything but you,' he said hoarsely.”
“Why couldn’t we just lose ourselves in the fire again? When passion was enough, and the questions didn’t matter.”
“She´s mine, broken or not,” he said darkly.”
“I´m with you, but Lucy?” He sounded dark and baleful. “Lucy´s mine.”
“Get the hell away from her.” “I mean it Solange,” he said, his jaw clenching. “Get off her. Now.”
“i knew if lucy broke up with me i would love her til i turned to dust”
“Chloe's fingers flew over her keyboard. I raised an eyebrow at Hunter. "Is she Googling hunter-assholes? I doubt they have their own Web page."
Chloe snorted. "You'd be surprised."
"She's hacking the school files," Hunter said. "She does it all the time."
"Don't they have security for that kind of thing?"
Chloe snorted again. "Please." I knew that tone. Connor used it whenever someone called his computer mojo into question.”
“How are they different from the other hunters? Besides their barbaric fashion sense?"
"They're not Helios-Ra," Hunter explained. "They do their own thing."
"That's pretty much what Nicholas said," I admitted.
"Drives the teachers nuts," Chloe said smugly. "Whenever they threaten to fail us, we threaten to become Huntsmen."
"You threaten that," Hunter said drily. "The rest of us just do our homework.”
“Hunter paused on the bottom step. "Stay between Chloe and me, and only step where I step."
I stared at her. "Why? Are there bombs?" You just never knew with this school.
"Just don't want to get caught roaming after hours," Hunter explained. She darted nimbly up the staircase, avoiding certain steps.
"School's bugged," Chloe whispered from behind me.
"Is that even legal?"
"Who would we tell?"
I flashed her a grin. "My mom. She could picket and protest this school into a mass of quivering fear."
“I was going to see if you wanted to join. I think it would be good to have your perspective, just coming into the school and everything. You might see stuff we don't even notice anymore."
"You mean other than the fact that I'm surprised you guys don't run around in black capes and call each other Van Helsing?"
"Yes." She rolled her eyes. "Other than that.”
“Madame Vernoique arched an eyebrow imperiously. "Due to being exiled, your parents have been ... isolated in these mountains."
"Did she just call us hillbillies?" Quinn drawled.
"Hey," Duncan broke in mildly. "Some of my friends are hillbillies."
"Are they horror-movie mountain folk like us?"
"I'll be sure to ask Bryn next time I see her.”
“A girl in long pigtails nearly closed the door on her thumb as I approached. Her friend nudged her. She nudged back. They whispered furiously to each other. I overheard a lot of "you ask her" and "no, you ask her". And then the second girl shoved her friend right into my path, solving the argument.”
“Let's start with the basics." He pulled a worn Helios-Ra guidebook of the top of the pile of books next to his laptop. "You got one of these in your orientation packet, right?"
"I already had a copy," I replied. I'd picked Kieran's pocket this summer for it, to be precise. I had my own profile in the cream-colored pages.
Tyson flushed. "Oh. Right. I forgot you're in it."
"I'm famous," I agreed blandly. "Just this morning someone locked me in a bathroom stall."
He flushed even redder.
"Are you blushing?"
He cleared his throat. "No."
I grinned. "You are adorable."
"Relax, I'm dating the undead, remember."
"Stop teasing poor Tyson," Jenna said from behind me.
I tilted my head to look up at her. "But it's fun."
Jenna hiked her hip on the table and swung her sneaker-clad foot. "You're going to give him a coronary."
We both turned to grin at him, waiting for his retort. He just looked slightly nauseated.”
“So what are you guys doing?"
"Tyson is tutoring me."
Jenna burst out laughing. "Oh, Tyson. You're screwed."
"Hey!" I pinched her.
She just scooted across the table and dropped into an empty chair. "This I have to see.”
“I eyed her. "You know I hang out with vampires, right? You could be scared of me like the others."
She scoffed. "You and your pretty boys don't scare me."
Jenna's mocking tone was soothing. If it wasn't for her and Hunter and Chloe, this whole transition thing would have been even worse. "Shush," I scolded her primly. "I am learning about the weirdo League of hunters who think they're in a comic book."
"Your family now too."
I drew back, horrified. "Excuse me, but after my parents, the Drakes are family. You lot are riffraff."
"That's not a word."
"What's it mean?"
Jenna glanced at Tyson. "Help me out here, Ty. You're the smart one."
He just shook his head. "Are you two always like this?"
Jenna and I exchanged mischievous smiles.
"We're just getting started. But I think we might be," I said.”
“We have treaties with some vampire tribes. And we also have several more departments, at the academy and at the college. And in the League at large as well. Things like Tech and Supernatural Studies."
"What about Vampire Relations?" I asked. Especially with the local newspapers now reporting on the increase in missing persons. Apparently the last time something like this happened was in the eighties. "We need that. I could totally do that."
"Making out with your hot boyfriend doesn't count toward your grade," Jenna teased.
I shook my head. "I knew this place was all wrong.”
“He turned off his bike, pocketing his keys. "I don't need a baby-sitter, Hunter."
"No, you're special. You need three," I broke in. "There are three girls waiting for you on your doorstep, Black. Aw. Poor you."
He shook his head. "You're a pain in my ass, Hamilton."
I grinned. "I practiced on seven vampire brothers, remember? I could give classes.”
“And I brought chocolate," Chloe added, tossing him an extra bar from her bag.
I eyed her. "Hey, you said you were out."
Hunter snorted. "She also stole that chocolate from my stash."
Chloe was cheerfully unrepentant. "You're running low by the way."
Hunter smirked. "I have another stash you don't know about.”
“Ready?" Quinn asked when Sky wandered off and we couldn't avoid the family tent anymore.
Mom and Dad waited just inside the tent flap. The light from the oil lamps glinted off fangs, narrowed eyes, and Mom's weapon collection.
"Congratulations." Dad spoke first, his voice soft as smoke before it fills your lungs. "I honestly don't know which of my children I'm angriest with right now.”
I ground my teeth. "I swear if I hear that from you or Solange one more time I'm duct-taping your mouths shut."
"Can I duct-tape yours shut?"
I grinned. "Like that would stop me.”
“Can we just do this recon thing?"
"I can multitask," I assured him, peering into the shadows of the first alley we passed. "Cat, raccoon in Dumpster, smell of pee," I catalogued for him. " See? Now talk.”
“I yawned so widely a bear could’ve mistaken my mouth for a cave and crawled in to hibernate for the winter.”
“The vampires, wounded and annoyed, scaled the brick wall and vanished over the rooftops. I stopped shrieking. The silence thrummed around us. My throat was raw.
Kieran rubbed his ears. "Is there blood? Am I blind?"
"Don't you mean deaf?" I croaked.
"No." He half smiled. "You scream louder than mere ear damage.”
“Nicholas came up beside me. "Damn it, Sol. Ever heard of the speed limit?"
"Oh, right, coming from the guy who got three speeding tickets the first week he had his license."
"That's different." At least he had the grace to look sheepish.”
“If he turned his back on humanity now, it would be forever.”
“Oh hell. A warm, lush, naked woman coming on to him? Nothing in the military had prepared him for an onslaught like this. The never-surrender thing went right out the window, and he started waving the white flag like a dog wagging his tail.”
“I can never look at a bird without thinking of you," he said. "I wonder what you will do with your wings once you have found them. I wonder how far away they will take you. And I fear them, for my sake, at the same time that I hope for them, for yours.”
“The girl was alluring. Like wildfire, or a summer storm swept off the Gulf of Oro.”
“Then little Gerda said the Lord's Prayer; the cold was so intense that she could see her own breath; it came out of her mouth like smoke. Her breath became thicker and thicker, and took the form of little angels who grew larger and larger as soon as they touched the ground. All had helmets on their heads, and lances and shields in their hands; their numbers increased, and when Gerda had finished her prayer a whole legion stood around her. They trust their lances against the horrible snow-flakes, so that the latter flew into a hundred pieces; and little Gerda went forward safely and cheerfully. The angels stroked her hands and feet, so that she felt the cold less, and she hastened on to the Snow Queen's castle.”
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