CHAPTER TWELVE: STORMED

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"Nah, I'll show you something cool."

Before I could reply, the line went dead and I saw him putting his phone back in his pocket. Next thing I knew, he was draping an arm over one of the lower tree branches and using it as support to climb up.

A couple of swift movements later, through the thickness of the leaves, I saw him popping up next to the window with a smile tugging on the edges of his lips. "Mind stepping a little bit back, milady?" he asked over the rain.

I did so, making sure my room's door was closed. The last thing I wanted was for either of my parents to step in while a guy jumped from the tree to the window's stool and climbed inside. Even worse, if they saw him this way. His built figure was soaked head to toe, his hair disheveled in quite an attractive way, and his lips stretched to a wide grin.

"Hey, there," he said, stepping closer. He smelled like rain and cologne—oddly well combined. "Sorry for dropping by so unexpectedly, but I didn't really feel like waiting."

"You just climbed a tree." I snorted, keeping my voice low.

"For you? Yes, I did. I think I even saw a squirrel there."

"A squirrel?" My brows rose and he nodded, a soft chuckle escaping his mouth. "Gosh, you're soaking wet."

"Not for long," he said, stepping even closer. "Want to see that cool trick?"

I nodded, and he took his jacket off, making my heart pound inside my chest. Part of me worried he might've started to get rid of the rest of his clothes, but all he did was throw the jacket to the floor. Then, slowly curling his fingers into a fist, tendrils of clear smoke started to form around it.

Soon enough, they became a light fog—more like steam—that moved up his body, the water evaporating as it passed by. His drenched clothes dried up, and the same happened to his hair and face. "Pretty cool—right?"

"I'm...fairly impressed, yes." I looked back at the door, honestly fearing either of my parents walked in and witnessed the guy who could dry himself up with a magic vapor. "But what are you doing here?"

"Well, we didn't finish our conversation."

I rounded him to get to the window, closing it so that no more rain got inside with the wind. "And I'd like to finish it, Hunter, but if my parents find you here—"

"Don't you worry, Liv," he said, taking a seat on my bed. "They aren't even home."

"Wait—what?"

"I saw the car going out like half an hour ago."

"Then why did you climb up the window?"

He gave me a smug smile. "Is it bad that I wanted to impress you?"

My eyes narrowed, and I decided not to play along. We had more important issues to worry about, which is why I didn't waste any time and opened the door. "Mom? Dad?" Ten quiet seconds went by. "Anyone?" Still nothing but the rain and Hunter's distinctive presence behind me.

Where the hell was everybody?

Without warning, Hunter's voice came up behind my ear, warming the skin around it and making it tingle. "Is this where we act like normal teenagers and take advantage of being home alone?"

I turned back, eyes locking with his before I stepped outside the room. He couldn't be serious. "This is where you finish explaining why my entire life has been a lie."

He walked downstairs behind me, his tone becoming slightly humorous. "Not a lie, technically. You've just been seeing it with the wrong pair of eyes."

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