12 | damsel in waiting

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d a m s e l   i n   w a i t i n g


The next morning dawned bright and clear, and I woke up to the sounds of laughter - rich chuckles from Ean and Dad, hearty light ones from my Mom. As the sole late-riser in my family, their laughter had become the alarm clock that dragged me out of deep slumber each day.

I lay in bed, watching the sunlight stream through the thin curtains. For a moment, I felt completely at peace, the kind of lull that one enjoyed while half-awake, barely registering the craziness reality often brought.

Then my cell had to ring.

Flicking a wary gaze at it (no one ever called me this early), I reached over to the bedside table and swiped at the screen. I hardly registered the name on the screen as I pressed the phone to my ear. "Yeah?"

"Oh, good, you're up," it was Marcel, her voice crisp and impatient. "I would've killed you if you weren't, because I got up early for this. Anyway, you should know that the ninth round of initiation takes place, like, now."

I bolted upright in bed and winced when I experienced vertigo, black spots dancing in front of my eyes briefly before fading away. "What? Why did you tell me only now?"

She clicked her tongue in annoyance. "Because Liam left for the campus last night and he didn't tell me about it. It wasn't till I got up this morning and wondered where the hell he was that he actually told me."

"What?" I repeated, blankly, as it seemed like the only word I was capable of saying. Then my eyes narrowed at no one in particular. "Why doesn't Liam tell you anything? Why didn't you ask?" I was well aware that my voice was shrill, jarring amidst the silence of my room, but I couldn't help it. The panic that rose within me was too quick and overwhelming to quench.

"Oh, please. I know you think that Liam and I are madly in love and that our lives revolve around each other twenty-four seven. But it is not necessary that he tell me every little bit about his life and vice versa. Besides, you know that Liam is rather tight-lipped about everything since he is obliged to be loyal to Corvus. Tipping me off is already the most he can do and you know that's not - "

"Okay, okay, I got it," I cut in wearily. Marcel could talk a mile a minute, and boy did I know it. "So where is Miles?"

The pause that followed gave me the answer I needed to know. I could almost imagine her rolling her eyes at me on the other end of the line. "Campus, obviously. These boys lack a lot of imagination when it comes to the setting, I'm telling you."

"Got it." Clambering out of bed, I was just about to end the call on her when I paused, and pressed the phone to my ear again. "Hey, Marcel?"

"Yeah?"

"Thanks," my voice was soft, "I really appreciate all your help. Miles and I couldn't have come this far without you." And I did. Marcel had proven to be the most useful person during the Hell Weeks, tipping me off even though we both knew very well it wasn't her duty to do so. Gleaning information about Corvus from Liam had probably taken her a lot of time and effort to do so.

Her laugh was amused. I could almost imagine the satisfied smirk on her face. "Alright, quit kissing my ass and be on your way. Your knight needs saving."

I ended the call with a tight smile on my face. Right. The initiation. I wondered why Miles hadn't told me. The thought of that sent a little sting in my chest, because weren't we together in this? Or did he still think it was a lone battle, even though we'd come so far?

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