Okay, here’s a scene I worked on a little the other night. I think it needs some more fine-tuning, so feel free to weigh in with your thoughts!?
“We’re going to have to call an ambulance, Shade. We can’t cover it up.”
My lips tightened in disgust. The good old boy policy, at work again. How much had Shade gotten away with in the past, without it ever being reported? All because his dad was on the Council?
Shade flashed an unconcerned grin. “Yeah? Oh well. I’m sure dear old dad will be happy to make it all go away.”
I frowned. The words themselves were cocky, but underneath it all, his tone sounded painfully bleak.
Just then, a harsh voice cut through the darkness. “Alright folks, show’s over. Everyone, please head back to your rooms. We’ll get this taken care of.” Professor Dawkins raced up the stone path, disheveled and grim. He’d thrown a coat on over a pair of plaid flannel pajamas, and his silver hair stuck out at odd angles from his head. I realized he must be the Professor on campus, the one required to stay as a precaution in case of emergencies. I guess pummeling other students half-to-death qualified.
Dawkins grabbed Shade by the arm. “You? Come with me.” He’d started tugging Shade away when the dark-haired kid struggled into a sitting position. He hacked a few times, a gurgling noise that made me squirm, then began speaking. At the sound of his voice, more ice slid down my back.
“You’re going to pay, Shade. I’ll destroy you.” It wasn’t so much his words—because, really, they sounded like a bad cartoon villain—as it was the eerie note of conviction that made my hair prickle uncomfortably against my skin. Seconds later, his eyelids fluttered and he thudded back onto the stone pavement.
As Dawkins led Shade away, he caught my gaze once again and winked. But this time, his wink seemed more like a cover-up than anything else. I frowned as I watched him being dragged off. Maybe Cody had been right. Maybe there really was something wrong with Shade. Something beyond his typical annoying personality quirks.
Watching them until they disappeared around the corner, I finally swiveled and pushed my way back into the dorm, almost barreling into Steph and Kenzie just inside the door. Good thing looks really couldn’t kill. If so, Steph’s glare would have decapitated me on the spot.
I tried to dodge around her—believe it or not, I wasn’t in the mood for a verbal war—but her manicured fingers snaked out to grab my arm. “You’d better stay away from Shade, if you know what’s good for you.”
The hum of voices in the lobby died off, while everyone around us unabashedly listened in. Not that I cared. I jerked my arm out of her hand. “Or what? You’ll ruin my reputation? Take away my dad’s livelihood? Put my mom in a coma? Oh wait—too late. That’s all happened already.” I drew in a deep breath, trying to rein in my temper. “Look, I have zero interest in Shade. And I have no idea how you still could, after that seriously disturbing display of aggression.”
“You don’t what Shade’s been through. It’s been rough for him.”
Kenzie ducked her head in embarrassment, but surprised me by speaking up. “Um, Steph? I think Summer has a pretty good idea.”
Steph’s swung around to face her, shock widening her eyes until she resembled a heavily made-up owl. “Are you serious? What does she know about being next in line for the Council, and the pressures of using all that power and stuff? Her family’s, like, nobody. Well, not anymore,” she corrected. As if my family tragedy was just an insignificant afterthought in her little high school drama.
Anger roared in my chest, so hot and fast I thought it might shoot out of my mouth like lava. My nails sliced into my palms. But instead of letting Steph bait me, possibly get me expelled, I mouthed “nice try” to Kenzie and stalked past. Shade’s demo in loss of control had been more than enough for one night.
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