THIRTY-SEVEN

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"You won't find him in here."

I jumped, stifling a cry as Alex gasped next to me. We simultaneously turned in the direction of Max's bedroom door, towards the voice, wearing the guilty expressions of the intruders that we were.

Isabel was casually leaning against the doorframe, wearing a somewhat amused expression. She raised one well-plucked eyebrow at Alex and stated simply, "Alex."

"Isabel," Alex confirmed next to me.

"So," Isabel said suavely, looking at me, "Breaking and entering, huh?" She put her head to the side, her eyes turning incredulous. "What's it going to take for you to back off, Liz?"

I opened my mouth to answer, my heart beating harshly in my ribcage, but Isabel simply raised her hand in a 'Quiet, please'-gesture and looked at Alex. "And you... Helping her?" She pursed her lips. "Let me guess; you're trying to get on her good side again?"

Pushing off the doorframe, a delicate frown settled in the porcelain skin of Isabel's forehead, and she stepped into the room.

"I didn't know she meant so much to you, Whitman," she mused. Shaking her head with a disapproving clicking of her tongue, she added, "Risking your well-being like this. For a human."

I froze. She knew. Isabel knew that I knew. She obviously didn't have any trouble insinuating that neither she nor Alex were quite human in front of me.

Maybe it had been foolish of me to assume that my discoveries had been kept secret. Had Max told Isabel? Were they close? Did they talk about these kind of things?

But most importantly; was Isabel's knowing going to be a good or bad thing for my situation?

"I'm surprised you still trust him," Isabel said, obviously addressing me, but keeping her eyes on Alex.

It was as if I was not in the room. Whatever was going on was between Isabel and Alex. I could feel it in the vibrations in the room, the way the air wobbled around us.

"I mean," Isabel said slowly, stopping right in front of Alex. Isabel was fairly tall for a girl, which meant that Alex was one of the few guys I had seen actually rise above her height. She placed a dark red painted nail to his lower lip, her eyes drawn to the location of that finger while Alex stared back at her silently.

"How would you know that he is good..." a slow smile spread across her full lips as she looked up and met Alex's stare, "...or bad?"

I felt a blush spread across my cheeks, locally warming my cold face, and watched the same thing happen to Alex's face.

Isabel ran her tongue slowly over her bottom lip as she pressed down on his lip with her finger, making it press downwards until she released it and it plopped back into place.

I gasped as strong desire whipped through me and Isabel's soft laughter was like an abrupt cold shower.

"Has he told you of his ability yet?" Isabel asked and turned her head to look at me with curiosity.

I numbly shook my head, desire rippling through me while at the same time (oddly enough) I felt like grabbing her roughly by the shoulders and teaching her a thing or two about playing with my emotions.

"You're probably feeling the effects right now," Isabel said, her smile white against her slightly rosy cheeks. She looked as flustered as I felt. "At least, I can."

Huh?

Isabel looked back at Alex and her voice turned almost condescending, as if she was speaking to a child, "Alex doesn't have that much control over his powers yet."

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