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The news that Cayden and I are "finally together" as Lacy put it, goes better than expected until Jake gets to the lunch table smelling like he bathed in whiskey.

"You've got to be kidding me," he says, looking between Cayden and I with clear disgust.

"Oh go away," says Christine. "Your constant negativity is not needed, bro."

"That's disgusting," says Jake, directing his gaze at me. "You're really into him?"

I frown. "Yes. I'm sorry we didn't work out Jake, but..."

"He's a fucking abomination!" he shouts.

Cayden stands up and gets within an inch of Jake's face. "I don't give a fuck what you think of me," he says, voice deadly calm. "I know what I am and I've made peace with it. But you need to check yourself. Think about the other people in here."

He glowers, and the lights overhead flicker. Nobody else seems to notice. "I could not give a fuck about them," Jake says. "They're nothing."

"Jacob," I say. "Don't you have, I don't know, a Council meeting to get to?"

The air whooshes out of him as if I'd sucker punched him. "What did you say?"

I smirk. "I said, don't you have a meeting with the guidance counsellor? Or are you so drunk that you didn't realize what I said? Be careful about that, Jake."

I know what you are, I think to myself. Out loud, I say, "What are you gonna do?"

He shakes his head. "You don't know what you're getting yourselves into. It's suicide."

"What are you even talking about?" Lacy says exasperatedly, breaking the awkward silence that follows.

He shakes his head. "Doesn't matter. It's the booze."

"Better get going," says Cayden. "Before I make you."

"You don't how the power you think you do," Jake says, his voice dripping contempt. "I have ten times more power than you do in your pinkie toe."

"Leave," says Cayden, unshaken. The lights above us flicker just once, enough for everybody to notice.

"It's cold," Ana whispers to me. "You have to get him to stop doing...whatever it is."

I nod, stand up and place my hand on Cayden's back. He turns to me, pupils large, and nostrils flared, "Spencer, step back."

I shake my head. "Nothing is going down here."

He blinks at me, his eyes returning to their normal cat-eye green. "Okay. You're right."

Jake walks backwards and says, "You're not safe. I wasn't going to say anything to them before, but now? You're both in trouble. You'd better run, or prepare yourselves for what's coming."

"What the fuck," whispers Avery, her eyes wide. Josh is holding her hand.

Suddenly I realize the whole cafeteria is quiet, watching us. "Cayden, I think we'd better..."

"You covered for me, I'll cover for you," says Ana. "Both of you." She turns to our friends and says, "You'll vouch for them?"

They all nod, looking confused but willing to go along with whatever...whatever this is.

Cayden closes his eyes for a moment, and shudders. When he opens them, the cafeteria goes back to normal, with everybody chatting, except for our table.

Such Wicked Serendipity (Book 1 in the Shade Without Colour series)Where stories live. Discover now