Chapter Ten

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I clung to the memory of that night with Luke, and for the next few days it was all I had of him. Noah well and truly put his foot down about my training. Every morning before college and every afternoon when I got back, he had me in the garage, working out or sparring. By the third day I was exhausted, my muscles were stiff and painful, and Noah was the only thing I wanted to throw a punch at. Sometimes Ethan joined us and I got the impression he was trying to make the training easier on me, but that wasn't what I wanted. What I wanted was to stop training altogether. I'd never been happy with my life, but now I was truly starting to hate it.  

Worst of all, I didn't have a single opportunity to sneak out to try and see Luke. Something in my chest ached when I thought of him, standing outside Greylark, hoping, night after night, that I was going to show up. How long before he stopped waiting and just gave up on me? 

I was so fed-up and exhausted that I completely forgot about the party Riley had arranged for us to go to. When my phone buzzed and I read her cheery text, I groaned aloud and buried my face in my pillow. Much as I craved a normal life, a party was not what I needed tonight. Lots of noisy, drunk people, and none of them were Luke.  

I must have fallen asleep because the next thing I knew, Riley was bounding into my room and shaking me awake. Ethan hovered in the doorway behind her. His eyes met mine, I told you so written plainly across his face. Just a few days ago I had assured him that Riley wasn't going to start hanging out at my house, so we didn't need to worry about her exposing who we really were. Now she was here for the second time. Worry gnawed at my gut.  

Riley put her hands on her hips as she looked at me, and shook her head. "K-girl, why are you still in bed?" 

I didn't have an answer for that. It wasn't like I could tell her I was exhausted because my domineering father had enforced a brutal training regime over the last three days to make me a better vampire hunter.

Riley stripped the covers away from me and prodded me with a hard finger. "Up. Get up." 

I sat up, smoothing down my bed-hair. 

Riley pursed up her lips in disapproval. She was wearing a darker lipstick today, and her mouth looked like a cross plum. "It's a good thing I'm early." 

I blinked owlishly up at her, trying to think of an excuse why I couldn't go to this party. There was no point telling her I just didn't want to, she'd never accept that. My mind was a blank. 

Riley emptied the plastic bag she was carrying onto the bed. I caught glimpses of makeup and sequins, and my heart sank. Obviously we were playing dress-up again tonight. 

"Now I know the sorry state of your wardrobe, I made sure I brought an outfit for you." 

I looked her up and down. Riley had squeezed herself into a tight red dress, cut so low in front that her cleavage practically spilled out. Her plum-coloured lips curved up in a smug grin. "You like?" 

"I hope you've haven't brought me anything like that," I said. 

"Relax, I know I'm not getting you into anything daring." 

Riley extracted an article of clothing from the jumble of stuff she'd tipped onto my bed. It was a simple dress, with long sleeves and a scooped neckline that was stitched with dozens of tiny sequins. It was dark green, like ivy. Riley flapped it at me. "Come on, girl, we don't have all night." 

Reluctantly, I shimmied out of my training clothes. I made sure to turn away from Riley as I did so, not to protect my modesty, but so she couldn't see the knotted scar tissue that snarled over my left shoulder. She might be the best friend I'd ever had, but I didn't want her seeing that. 

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