"I'm surprised you're talking to me," Nate speaks for the first time since we left school grounds

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"I'm surprised you're talking to me," Nate speaks for the first time since we left school grounds. The bell chimes above us as we enter the store which immediately smells of dust. "I should rephrase that as not ignoring me like you are Rhys."

I let the door shut on its own moving along the back wall of the shop. "I'm not ignoring Rhys."

Stopping infront of the posters I scan over the possible combinations I could get. As I found out from Blair the party on the weekend is themed Halloween - despite it being way off the holiday - it's Lachlan's favorite theme.

Which means I need to find some ridiculous costume to wear. I could have brought Blair with me but she's agreed to go with Derek. Taylor's going to visit her grandparents this weekend meaning she won't be coming. Overall, Nate was my second last option.

"That's not what I heard from Rhys who said you actually went the long way around to get to your classroom to avoid talking to him," I glance at Nate who has an amused look on his face before going back to the costume sets. "I think that's avoidance."

I give a shrug and sigh. "Avoidance is him not telling me about that Tyler guy. The word dangerous is repeating in my head and I'm starting to question what I'm being told. Especially what I'm not."

"Why should Rhys tell you?" Nate questions. I turn and lean on the wooden counter holding various wigs. "I'm not trying to sound rude but why do you think he should?"

"Because Tyler isn't the first person to tell me that being around Rhys isn't the best idea. I've had five people tell me he's only going to get me hurt," I run my tongue over my teeth and shrug shyly. "Your brother has a reputation for a reason and I don't know whether to believe it or not. To me he isn't the violence monster everyone else sees him as."

"Then why are you listening to these people?"

"Because Rhys hasn't denied or confirmed anything," My eyes drift back to the costume sets. "You were terrorized because of him. I want to know if I have to face the same thing because I want to know if I'll need to learn to defend myself. Now can you help me choose a costume?"

For a moment it's silent and I wait for Nate to respond. When he doesn't I walk further into the shop and towards the section for Halloween speficially. I sift through the hangers of witches and almost roll my eyes when I reach the section for adults.

I shouldn't be surprised by the shorter and more revealing get up.

The rack shakes and I see Nate leaning on it with a smile. "So you would learn to fight rather than ditching my brother?"

"If it were Blair or Taylor I wouldn't run," I move down to the vampires but stop sifting for a moment. "I'm a loyal person which I don't think your brother understands fully. He's a friend to me and I don't have many of those so why would I throw away someone who's done nothing but care about me."

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