Home > Demon Kissed (Demon Kissed #1)(10)

Demon Kissed (Demon Kissed #1)(10)
Author: H.M. Ward


School dragged on. My life as a poser Martis proved to be under-whelming during the school day. No one hunted me there. At least, I didn’t think they did. I still wondered who the Seeker was, and how close she was to finding me, but no one stood out as an angelic stalker. My new life was weird, and I was having trouble with it. Learning how to survive, without exposing my secret, made me want to hurl. Putting aside all thoughts of the Martis and Valefar who wanted to kill me, I made it through the day. Somehow, I also managed to avoid the biggest mistake I’d made in years. Collin was conspicuously absent, which meant he cut, or he was avoiding me. Or both. Suck. I didn’t know how to fix it.

He ran. Like I scared him—like he couldn’t stand the thought of touching me. It was just too messed up. Not having any idea what I would say to him, I was glad he was avoiding me. And it wasn’t like I could tell him the truth, which would sound insane.

Hey Collin, I’m acting like a nut-job because a demon slave tried to rip out my soul the other night, then my best friend attacked me. I felt utterly alone, and you were there, and… well. It didn’t matter anyway. I couldn’t tell him.

The last bell rang at 2:26pm. Not wanting to go home yet, I slowed my exit, walking with Eric, lost in thought. We pressed through crowds of kids, heading toward my locker. Something told me that I should be cautious of Eric, but right now he was one of the only people I could talk to. It forced a friendship that was based on lies, which made my skin crawl. I hated lying, but I had no choice.

Our conversations got progressively more normal, as my life got stranger. I smiled at him, “I don’t know how you can stand having me as your lab partner. I’m gonna tank our grades.”

We shouldered our way down the hall, through crowds of scattering kids. A light box flickered overhead. Eric had a soft smile on his lips. “Nah, Ivy. It’ll be fine.” Shannon’s warning echoed in my mind, as He’ll kill you. I couldn’t see it. That made me either reckless—or retarded. Probably both.

“You always think everything will be fine,” I said half laughingly. “Seriously, I mutilated our worm and the frog. If the pig wasn’t already dead, I’d feel sorry for him. As it is, I can tell it’s just a train wreck waiting to happen. I’m gonna feel like its Wilbur… or it’ll make me think of ham.” I cringed. “Well, either way, it’s got a C written all over it.”

Eric’s soft steps fell in perfect pace to mine. They matched his sweet, quiet demeanor. “I am serious. It’ll be fine.” He looked at me out of the corner of his eye, still smiling, amused.

“The only reason you’re the other dumb one,” God help me, I used air quotes for dumb one, “is because I suck your lab grades down. I don’t think that’s fair either,” I said looking him square in the face. “You know all this stuff. And I keep messing it up.” Our paces slowed in sync, as I neared my locker. Eric stopped, and touched my arm. Still emotionally raw from my encounter with Collin last night, I flinched. His hand withdrew. Not meaning to shake him off, I reached out for him. My fingers wrapped around his forearm gently, and he paused, looking at me. “Eric, I’m jumpy. That’s all. It’s not you. I swear. What were you going to say?”

I wasn’t interested in Eric. Not like that, but I didn’t want him to think he was gross or something. I wasn’t a touchy feely friend, but I didn’t shirk at my friends’ touch either. I guess I was somewhere in between.

He smiled, nodding, “Nothing, it’s just. Well, I’m going to the diner in a sec. You want to come?”

“Sure, just let me grab my stuff.” I didn’t want to go home yet. I’d be okay, and if Jake showed up, Eric was a good person to be with.

Eric started to say something, but his mouth faltered and snapped shut. His smile faded just as quickly. I looked up to see what caused his abrupt change. My eyes wandered across the groups of kids and landed on my locker. Collin was leaning against it, surrounded by a gaggle of girls. I groaned out loud. Eric sniggered.

Turning to Eric, I asked, “I’ll meet you over there?”

He gave me a look of condolences, and said, “Sure. See ya there.” His pace quickened. Eric and Collin glared at each other as he passed. I turned my attention back to my locker. Embarrassment related to last night crept over my skin, making me feel hot. I didn’t want to talk about it. I didn’t want to see him, mostly, because I had made an idiot out of myself.

I said nothing, and opened my locker. Collin watched me. I tossed my bio book into the bottom, and then stood on my toes to sift through the crap at the top. My math book was up there. Somewhere. Not finding it, I lowered my heels to the floor. Ugh. It must be down bottom. The bottom of my locker looked like a ski hill made of paper, books, and the occasional Spork. I crouched down to sift through the pile, squatting, wishing I could leave without it.

Collin crouched next to me, “Ivy. Dear. This may be obvious, but you are a slob.” A playful smile flashed across his face, as he looked at me. He was going to act like last night never happened. Oh God. Then it would be hanging there, perpetually stuck, like a scratched CD, skipping back to the blunder for eternity.

But, like him, I didn’t want to talk about it now either. “Go away Collin,” I said, not putting much feeling into it, digging through papers, slowly unearthing textbooks. He continued to crouch next to me, laughing lightly. He bumped into me, and knocked me off balance. If I’d been paying attention, it wouldn’t have happened. But I wasn’t. Unable to shift my weight fast enough, I fell backward, and landed on my butt. When I looked at him, a coy smile tugged at one corner of his mouth.

I grumbled half-heartedly, “Grow up!” I rolled to my knees, reaching into my locker, and grabbed my bio book. Turning, I held the book with two hands, and whapped him in the chest. He toppled over from his crouched perch. But before he fell, he stuck his foot out and took me back down with him. My laughter broke free, as the rest of my bad mood fizzled. Our jean clad legs tangled together, and I fell onto his chest with the bio book separating us. For a second, my life felt normal. I had one of my best friends back, but the feeling faded quickly. The close proximity conjured the memories from last night. Quickly, I pushed myself off of him. I sat down on the floor in front of my locker, pushing my hair out of my eyes. Collin rolled himself upright, still laughing.

“Get a room!” some guy yelled, as he sprinted past. Most of the students had either left the building, or were headed to their after-school activities.

We looked at each other and laughed lightly, but the laughter ended too soon to be real. Crap. This was what I’d done to our friendship. The halls were empty.

Desperately, I wished last night hadn’t happened. I wanted my friend back. Collin leaned his head back against the locker, and we looked at each other. The silence continued. Comfortable silence was normal for us, but this wasn’t it. I felt weird. I just wanted his friendship, to be secure in knowing that I still had it. Fear clutched at me, realizing the thought I was dreading. I’ve lost him.

“No you haven’t. You’ll always have me,” he said relaxed.

The smile faded from my face. I lifted my back off the locker slowly, heart hammering, “What? What did you say?” Holy crap. Did he hear me? Panic shot through my entire body. My stomach twisted in knots. His eyebrows shot up, as he squirmed, looking away from me. He ran both hands through his hair at the same time, avoiding my gaze.

“Collin… ,” I paused, feeling stupid. Almost too stupid to ask the question, but I had to know, “Did you… hear me?” My pulse raced. Our eyes locked, and I couldn’t look away.

The corner of his mouth tugged his face into a lopsided smile. Nervously he asked, “So, you’re finally gonna admit it?” I started to protest, but he cut me off, “No. No, you can’t deny it now. And yes, I can hear you. And I know you can hear me.” I jerked away, feeling panic rising into my throat. Leaning his head against the locker, he ignored my panic. “Don’t act all shocked. You’ve known for as long as I have. Since that night your friend went psycho on me. I know you noticed.” He paused, looking around to make sure we were really alone. “We were at that party, and your friend was telling me off. You came over to drag her back to her hag cave, and it happened. Our eyes locked, and you brushed my arm as you passed. It was eye to eye, flesh to flesh. I felt you. I heard you. And I know you heard me. You just never wanted to admit it.” He shrugged, “Neither did I. But there it is.”

My eyes were wide, as he retold a memory that haunted me. It made me think I was totally insane. Things like that don’t happen. I thought about it a million times, wondering what occurred. When I passed him that night, I meant to tease him, and get him off balance, so that he would leave Shannon alone. I locked eyes with him, brushing my arm against him as I passed. But I made a mistake. I didn’t account for what happened. When we touched, it felt like I licked an outlet. When the static jolt passed, warm fuzziness flooded my brain, melting me, while the rest of my body felt like I was nak*d in the snow. It was bizarrely uncomfortable. But that wasn’t the most uncomfortable part—feeling him was. His soul, his being, or whatever you want to call it, spoke to mine. I heard him. I felt him. I knew exactly what he was talking about.

Swallowing hard, uncertainty grabbed me. I knew he was right, but I still couldn’t accept it. “No,” my voice was soft, barely audible, “It’s only intuition. Or a hunch. There is no way you’re reading my mind.” My curls fell over my shoulder, forming a wall to hide behind. I refused to look at him.

“Then look me in the eye. Prove me wrong.” He waited, but I wouldn’t look up. I couldn’t. Fear clawed through my stomach in waves. I didn’t know what was happening. “Ivy,” his voice softened from arrogant I-told-you-so, to kind, “It’s all right. You avoid it for the same reason I do—it makes you feel vulnerable. And it tingles a little bit.” Looking out of the corner of my eye, I saw him smiling. “I know you avoid it—on purpose—because you want to ignore our bond.”

A single brow shot up, as I stammered for words. Looking him square in the eye, I asked, “Our bond? Oh please. There is no bond. What’s wrong with you?” I laughed nervously. “And whatever you’re doing is not mind-reading.” I folded my arms, slamming my back into the locker.

“What I’m doing?” he laughed. “This isn’t my doing. It’s you, Ivy. I can’t read people’s minds. You’re doing it!” His blue eyes were wide, as he turned toward me.

“I am not!” I protested. “I don’t know how you do that to me.”

“Yes you do. If we lock eyes, I can hear you. If you touch me, all your senses flood me. It’s overwhelming at times. It scared the hell outa me at first, then I realized it was something that just happened when you were around. Since you seemed content to ignore it, I did the same.”

Hot Series
» Unfinished Hero series
» Colorado Mountain series
» Chaos series
» The Sinclairs series
» The Young Elites series
» Billionaires and Bridesmaids series
» Just One Day series
» Sinners on Tour series
» Manwhore series
» This Man series
Most Popular
» A Thousand Letters
» Wasted Words
» My Not So Perfect Life
» Caraval (Caraval #1)
» The Sun Is Also a Star
» Everything, Everything
» Devil in Spring (The Ravenels #3)
» Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels #2)