Chapter Eleven

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The next five days are a flurry of activity. I split my time between classes and the library, practically living at the latter location as I attempt to catch up on all of the work I missed. Twice, the librarian has to shake me awake in the morning after I fall asleep with my head in a book.

Cassie and Eli usually keep me company, with Cassie letting me copy all of the copious notes she took in my absence. Eventually, though, they leave me to my own devices, wanting to sleep in their own beds like normal people.

In the late-night hours, Aristotle joins me as my study buddy and unofficial anti-sleep partner. He's tasked with keeping me from falling into a slumber, but he's hardly successful at it. Usually, I'm the one who has to kick him in the shin anytime he starts snoozing. Which is often.

I'm barely keeping my head above water when Saturday rolls around, bringing about the much-dreaded (not a date) detention with Galileo.

For the first time since I arrived at PA, I get to wear my own clothes. My outfit's nothing crazy—a pair of worn-out jeans and a Disneyland sweatshirt Lucifer bought me on my one trip to Earth—but it's comfortable and it's mine.

I'm in the administration building, as grey as the rest of campus. Knocking on Galileo's office door—an unassuming rectangle of dark wood, too simple to hold the complicated man behind it—I wait. And wait. And wait some more. My foot is an outlet for my impatience, striking out a rhythm on the tiled floor. As far as percussive instruments go, leather sneakers hand-crafted by elves are pretty useful.

Finally, the door swings open with a whoosh of displaced air, halting my unaccompanied symphony. Instead of Galileo, a man with skin like freshly-turned soil and a bright smile greets me. He startles at my presence, acting as if he's surprised to find me here. Did no one hear my knock? How soundproof is Galileo's office?

"Oh, hello," he says. And maybe I am going crazy because I swear I've heard his voice before.

"I'm supposed to meet Gal—uh, Professor Michaelson for detention?" My inflection rises at the end, indicating a question when I don't intend it as one. But, seriously. What does Galileo expect me to address him as?

The man's confusion abates. "Ah, yeah. Leo told me about that. Rotten luck, getting detention so early in the school year."

My arms cross in a gesture of annoyance rather than one of self-soothing. "I'm not sure that luck had anything to do with it. More the fault of a domineering man abusing his limited power to seek revenge over a three-year-old slight," I state boldly.

From over the man's shoulder, Galileo appears. "That's a severe understatement."

Cocking an eyebrow, I ask, "Which part? You being power-drunk or the domineering bit?"

Galileo pushes past the other man and gets right up in my face. His ticking jaw muscle makes a return. "The 'slight' you so casually mentioned. A 'slight' is uninviting someone from your birthday party. It's most certainly not a word accurate enough to describe you RUINING MY LIFE."

"Dude, chill. Why are you yelling? I'm like one foot away from you, if that."

His left eye twitches. "You're insufferable."

"You've said that before," I point out. Pretty sure I've used the term to describe him as well, at least in my head.

He pinches the bridge of his nose as he shakes his head. "Why I thought giving you detention would be a good idea, I don't know. It seems like more of a punishment for me than for you."

Hopeful, I ask, "Can I go, then?"

Shaking his head more furiously, he emphatically declares, "Absolutely not. You still need to be punished."

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