CHAPTER 7

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"I'm so glad you decided to go out with me tonight, Kota," Sean said as he reached for my hand.

"Hold on, partner." I dodged out of his reach. "This isn't a date. Smith said he wanted us to check this place out. Patrols this week showed a few hits here."

"But he said you could go with anyone, and you chose me." Sean grinned. "So, in our world, that's a date."

I shook my head, suppressing a laugh threatening to burst out. Sad thing-he was pretty much on target with that. Unless we dated humans, which meant getting time off, going to the normal parties and movies and stuff, dates for TLC Agents were pretty much stake outs.

And yeah, what was with me choosing Sean? I was trying to lead this group of Agents to keep this campus and town safe, but making decisions with my heart wasn't a good way to do that. I must have had a moment of weakness when Smith made me choose someone to take.

We strolled up the sidewalk in silence, and I let the subtle breeze cool my burning cheeks. A tall, skinny guy and a short, stalky girl approached us. Their hands were clasped and swinging slightly as they moved.

I stared at the cracked cement at my feet as we neared them, resisting the urge to grab Sean's hand.

It sure would be nice to have a boyfriend.

"You've been avoiding me all week. Was it because of what happened in the TV room?" Sean asked.

My stomach flopped at the mention of it. Our mega-make-out session lasted a long time, but I turned down his offer to go back to his room. Not that I didn't want to have sex with him, I just didn't want to.

I'm a mess.

He brushed some of my hair off my shoulder. "That's okay. I'll wait."

"That's not one of your skills, Sean."

He keeled over and grabbed his side. "That hurts, D. That hurts bad."

"You know the saying about the truth hurting." I shrugged.

We moseyed toward the movie theater. People scurried from every direction toward the ticket counters. A new action flick had opened the previous night, and it seemed half the town had chosen to see it right then.

It always made it difficult for observation and mind-reading when it was so crowded. Sean's fingers intertwined with mine, and I glanced at him.

"Oh, come on. Just play the role. We're out for a stroll, enjoying the warm night." He raised an eyebrow at me, then winked.

His warmth radiated up my arm and to the base of my neck. "Stay out of my head, then."

"I'm busy reading everyone else's anyway." He squeezed my hand. "Besides, what are you trying to hide?"

"Nothing." I answered that way too fast.

He arched an eyebrow at me. I hated when he did that, because I felt like he was probing my brain, and that I had no power to keep him out. That same look also heated my blood into molten lava.

He gazed at a huddle of several people across the street, in front of a bright frozen yogurt shop. My pulse spiked, thinking he sensed some trouble.

"So, what do you think of the new guy?" he asked.

"Tom?"

"Yeah, whatever his name is."

I looked at Sean, he still focused his attention on the crowd, but his crinkled forehead smoothed, so it must not be anything major. "Um, don't know him much."

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