Chapter 18

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I woke up to the sound of my cellphone's unexpected ping. Groaning, I rolled onto my left side and reached out to grab the offending item. With a flick of my thumb, I hit the button and silenced the sound.

The device's interface appeared. I entered my pin code and unlocked it. Several strokes of my thumb took me to the messaging screen. Quite a few messages were waiting for me. The first was from Myrla. Hesitant, I opened it up, prepared for her scolding.

Why aren't you answering the phone?

I chuckled and sat up, typing out a message to her.

Because I was sleeping.

Her reply back was instant.

Such a lazy little git, aren't you?

I sent back another reply.

No. Bored and tired, actually.

The phone pinged with an incoming message.

Figures. Been trying to reach you. It's . . .

Amused, I waited for the rest of what she had to say.

. . . six o'clock. We've got places to see and people to do, you know.

I burst into laughter. Her subtle jibe wasn't so subtle. I sent her my reply.

I'm staying in tonight.

The cellphone beeped.

Nope. Don't think so.

I forwarded her my answer. We soon engaged in a text war.

Why not?

Because I said so.

Not good enough, Myr. Don't you have something to do with your dearest Aiden?

Yes, I do. And you, young lady, are coming with us.

Heck no. I don't play third wheels.

You won't be a third wheel. Dillon's gonna be there, too.

Be where?

We've been invited to a masquerade ball.


So you're coming to the party.


I ain't taking no for answer. I'm serious. I left you the goodies for this party at the foot of your bed. Shower if you have to. Or don't. I don't care. Either way, you're gonna join us.

I glanced at the foot of the bed. Sure enough, several boxes waited for me to inspect them. The mere sight of them piqued my curiosity. Nevertheless, I ignored the urge and typed out a reply to her.

If I agree to this, will you then decide when we're going to head home?

Several minutes passed before she answered my question.


I sent her my answer.

Not good enough. When?

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