~22~

4.4K 399 109


Since we have to leave for the party straight from class, Victor meets us by Kota's car and hands me a little velvet bag.

"What's this?" I ask while loosening the drawstrings. I tilt the bag and a delicate silver charm bracelet slides out into the palm of my hand. I gasp as a tiny pink heart sparkles in the light, and Victor's eyes smolder at my reaction.

"It's a little something from all of us, Princess." He takes it from my fingers and rotates it slowly. "There's a charm from each of us on here, and it serves a function as well as being fashionable." He gently holds my wrist and clasps the tiny hooks closed for me. "There's a tracking chip in each one of these, and I managed to wire it for short range transmissions, in case you break your phone again-"

I cut him off and cover my mouth with my hands in horror. "I knew it!" Kota gives me a weird look and I shake my finger at both of them. "I knew that it was a different phone," I explain. "I didn't know how to bring it up, though. I mean," I turn to Victor and bite my lip, "why didn't you say anything? I'm so sorry that I broke your gift." I lower my gaze and dig my toe into the dirt beneath me.

A finger touches under my chin and lifts my face until I'm staring directly into Victor's fire eyes. "I'm not mad, Sang. You had no control over what was happening that night, and I'd let you break a thousand phones if it would spare you what you had to go through. It's not a problem, I promise."

I nod, and Kota delicately flicks the charm that looks like a wobbly stack of books. I smile at the memory it brings forth and he lifts one corner of his mouth in a lopsided grin. "The mic is in here, and so long as one of the guys is within half a mile, they'll hear you loud and clear. I'm not really sure where you've hidden your phone, but the mic on that is different, and can be heard from any of our phones no matter where we are." He wraps me into a hug and I inhale his rich spice scent. "We've got you covered, Sang. You'll be safe wherever you go."

"I just wish you all would stop spending money on me. There's no possible way that I'll ever be able to pay you back," I mumble.

Victor rolls his eyes and shushes me. "I meant it when I said that it wasn't a problem, Princess. Just say, 'thank you' and accept it."

This time it's me that rolls my eyes. "Thank you, Victor," I say shyly, and Kota gives me an extra squeeze.

"Alright." Victor hands us each a tiny earbud, and Kota shows me how to fit it in. "Mr. B...I mean, Owen, will be on comms, and Nate and Silas will be just around the corner if you need them, got it?"

I nod and Kota smiles. "We're good, Vic. Thanks for getting this all set. Let's get going."

Victor jogs off toward the other parking lot, and Kota opens my door for me. "You're going to do great, Sang. Be confident."

I lower myself into my seat and buckle up while he gets in himself. He starts the car, but turns to me instead of pulling out. "Sang?" he asks with a hint of apprehension in his voice. "I wanted to talk about how we interact around people tonight." He looks down at my fidgeting hands and then back up to my face. "You're a beautiful girl, and there are going to be some less than reputable people there tonight." He takes my clenched fingers in his hands and smooths them open. "They'll all know that you're my girlfriend, but I want to know what you're willing or unwilling to do in order to pull off the charade."

I swallow loudly and look at Kota's nervous expression. "Um, well, I don't really know. I feel more comfortable around you and the guys than I've ever felt around anyone, but I've never had a boyfriend. I mean, I've seen the way couples act in the halls at school, and I know the dynamic of it, but I've never really," I bite my lip, and he squeezes my hand in encouragement, "um, kissed anyone before?"

On Broken WingsRead this story for FREE!