CHAPTER 6

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"Hello. Watch where you're going," I said, colliding with what felt like a tree trunk. I reached out to steady myself against the wall.

A pale, white face stared down at me, but it belonged to the two most brilliant brown eyes I'd ever seen. They looked like pools of dark chocolate-but better.

"In a hurry?" The guy smiled.

Dark wisps of hair spilled forward as he leaned toward me. What was up with everyone being so tall? I instantly despised my tiny five-foot-three status.

I batted strands of hair off my forehead, thankful for the dim, windowless hallways leading from the campus rec room. I would have cleaned up more had I known I'd be running into Mr. GQ. Oh, and nice-smelling GQ. Was that Envy cologne tickling my nostrils?

"Dakota Summers?" The guy held up an index card.

"Yeah?" I stepped back, fighting with my constricting lungs to catch a breath. It was like this guy sucked all the air out of the hallway.

"Mr. Smith sent me here to find you. I'm-." He looked side-to-side and smiled. "I'm new here. He said you'd show me around?"

"I'll whaa-?"

His gaze shifted beyond me, then to the index card in his hand.

"Um, I'm...new. He said-"

"Oh. New student. New..." Finally, the synapses started firing. New...meaning new to the team. New Powers. New everything

This guy's chocolaty eyes must have melted my brain. I probably looked like a pretty impressive mentor-type right now.

I'd stayed up way too late with Briana the previous night watching sappy romance movies, ruminating on what we'd probably never have. We'd both decided to swear off men, but when this dark-eyed stranger looked down at me, my skin prickled. Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome looked mighty-

"Hey, Red, you okay?"

I swallowed hard. "Red?"

He pointed his forefinger toward my head. "The hair. Sorry it's a habit. I give nicknames to pretty-well, I just give people nicknames." He cleared his throat and rubbed his hand up his arm.

I tugged at my stringy locks. "Oh. The hair. I get it. So, new student. I'm with ya now. Sorry."

He smiled, and those eyes all but sparkled. It was genuine, though, I could tell, the way his whole face smiled.

Oh-boy.

"Um. Let's get out of here." I plowed down the hall, thankful for the dim lighting. For as much as they burned, I could only imagine how bright my cheeks were.

How embarrassing.

I cranked the stairwell door open. Metal slamming against metal echoed against the brick walls surrounding me. Mr. I-could-melt-in-your-arms followed so close, the warmth from his body wafted over me. It sent my stomach tingling like I was about to give a speech in front of a packed auditorium.

I smacked my lips, searching for a bit of moisture for my arid-dry mouth. "Okay, so I didn't catch your name."

He coughed. "Name? Oh, it's Tom."

"Where are you from?" I glanced up. One more flight of stairs to reach ground level.

The lights flickered out.

"Whoa." Tom's voice ricocheted off the walls.

"Don't move." I reached behind me and sent a little charge of electricity to my fingertips. "See my hand?"

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