Whatever. They’d continue on to whatever party they were headed to and get cross-eyed drunk with the frat boys before passing out on someone’s lawn. I just hoped I was there to giggle at their hung over faces later.
With what I was about to do, there were no guarantees for tomorrow.
“Stella?” Gennie’s voice was faint. “You came?”
I whirled. I hadn’t heard her, or anyone else, come down the stairs. “Of course I came!”
I reached to give her a hug, but she shied away, curling back into the shadows. She looked haunted, gaunt. Like she’d been gone weeks, not two days.
“You shouldn’t have come. You should have ignored my message. You weren’t even supposed to get it.”
Now I was just confused, and getting a little pissed off. Gennie’s brow was furrowed, and she sounded annoyed. “Seriously? I came out here to help you, and you’re upset with me for it?”
She sniffed and tossed her blonde hair over one shoulder. “It’s complicated.”
I didn’t hear the heavy footsteps until it was too late. I whirled, and came face to face with the suave, dark good looks of Alistair Humboldt.
“I’m disappointed, Gennie. I thought you were really trying to help me.”
She flinched, and I rolled my eyes, taking a few steps away. “I told you he was bad news, and I told you why, but you just couldn’t resist a pretty face, could you?” I asked her.
At least she had the grace to look away and blush. “He’s not as bad as you say.”
I snorted. “Yeah. Because you know so much about him after two days.”
“It’s time to come home, Stella. Uncle Lucius is ecstatic at the prospect of a reunion.”
I narrowed my eyes. “I’ll just bet he is.”
“I thought you said you only wanted to talk to her,” Gennie said. She really looked surprised.
Alistair sighed. “You’re a little stupid sometimes, you know that. I lied. Just like good old Stella told you I would.”
With a heavy sigh, I took a step to my left. It was only a few yards to main road, and if I could get there, I could blend in with the crowd, or make a really messy scene. Alistair knew it. His hand shot out and grabbed for my elbow.
To my surprise, there was a blast of cool air, and then a loud grunting noise. I blinked twice, and Alistair was prone on the ground, with Raven standing above him, hands clenched into fists.
He looked up, the fear in his eyes hard to look at. He stepped away from my cousin and cupped my face in his hands. “Are you okay? I got here as fast as I could, but I wasn’t sure what would happen.”
I blinked at him. “How did you even know I was here?”
“You left me a message.”
Panic began to rise in my chest and I tugged on his hand, pulling him to the entrance of the alley. Gennie crouched in the darkness behind us, her eyes trained on Alistairs still form, watching the rise and fall of his chest.
“Shouldn’t we get her home?” Raven asked.
I shook my head, and a pang of hurt and sadness shafted through me. “Nope. She’s on her own now. She chose Alistair, and once you choose that road, there’s no going back.”
“Why are we in such a hurry?”
I pulled him in the middle of a loud bunch of frat boys. “Because I didn’t leave you a message.”
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