40 4 0

"Dakota, hey, I'm glad you came to class today," Judy's voice called out from behind me.

I stopped in the hallway just outside Econ and faced her. She had an ancient name, but she totally owned it with her swan-like neck, ballerina-like posture, and light step as she navigated the people pouring out from the classroom.

"Hey, Judy, what's up?"

"Oh my gosh, Dakota, what happened to your neck?"

I slapped my hand over it, silently cursing myself I hadn't worn a scarf. Despite the fact that I never wore them, and I didn't have the wardrobe to match it, but still, I had a massive demon lovebite, I should have remembered to cover it up.


"Who's the guy and you better start telling me details now." She wove her arm through mine and tugged me toward the door. "That is one massive hickey. I can't even believe it, you little slut. Who is he? Do I know him?"

For a human friend, Judy was pretty cool. Came from a rich family but totally didn't shun poor people like me. Sure, TLC paid me a bunch of money to be a college student, use my skills, and try and keep me alive, but I really never got any time to spend the money, and I had no sense of fashion, so, I pretty much looked the part of a poor college student.

"Details, please?" Judy said as we marched outside and into the sun.

"Oh, yeah, sorry. Um, his name is-well-yeah, I don't remember his name. It was a one night stand type thing."

"You are a slut." Judy hip-checked me, and despite her five-foot-two, size zero body, she packed a wallop.

"Who are you calling a slut?" Sean asked.

He came into view off to my right as he navigated the stream of students coming from the Econ building. "I was telling Judy about my little date the other night." I wiggled my eyebrows and opened my mind to him so he knew the story I'd fabricated about my bite.

"Oh. Yeah. You are a slut," he said with a smile. "Judy, can you believe her?"

"Who kicked the crap out of your face?" She looked at me. "Or did you rough this cutie up for givin' you that hickey?"

I jabbed her with my elbow.

"Her rough me up, that'd be the day." Sean draped his arm around my shoulders. "Naw. Some guy made a play for my girl here and I had to intervene."

"Okay, enough. So, Judy, you said you were happy that I came to class today, what's up?" I pulled her to a stop at the intersection of sidewalks.

To the left led to my dorms, where I so wanted to go and crash. Late night with Sean, heavy load on my mind about the death attempt, and the early morning meeting with Mr. Smith tugged at my eyelids big-time.

"So, check it. There's a big party next Friday at one of my friends' house. She got this stellar job and is celebrating."

"Oh, yeah? Who?" I asked.

Sean stood close, his arm still around me, but for once, it didn't tick me off. He scanned the area, then looked at me and winked.

He was probably watching out for me.

He nodded.

I pulled my eyebrows together and glared at him, hoping he'd get the vibe that he needed to stay out of my head.

His cheeks turned fire-engine red, and he studied the ground.

"Oh, it's Sally, she graduated last year. Her daddy set her up with a killer VP job at one of his companies, so it's party time. You're coming, okay?"

CHARGED {Complete}Where stories live. Discover now