Chapter Twenty

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THIRD PERIOD WAS biology with Luc. We had a lab to do in teams of two. Don't ask me why or how but we ended up together. It concerned proteins and their denaturation. We needed to note at which temperatures some substances changed then answer questions in the report. We gathered all the material required from the counter, which included an egg, milk powder, several bowls and strands of each other's hair. I placed the strand I plucked onto a small ceramic plate. 

"All that's missing is the blood of a virgin."

He rose an eyebrow. "Hilarious."

"You're no fun," I said as I cracked the egg and placed it in a bowl. "Can't you be in a good mood for once in your life?"

Deadpan, he uttered, "I am in a good mood."

He proceeded to reconstitute milk out of water.

"No, you're not." I thought of the picture in his living room. He hadn't seemed over-the-top happy, but it was a hell of a lot better than now.

"You're in an awfully good mood considering we're in the same team," he observed, heating up the ceramic plate with our hairs. "What's gotten into you?"

Everywhere around us, instruments clinked against glass above the general chatter. I knew why I was in a good mood. Sooner or later, I'd have to tell him about it. The teacher was busy in the opposite corner of the classroom. Good.

"I'm going to the movies tonight."

He stopped what he was doing and eyed me thoroughly. "That's what has you so excited? Do I need to remind you that you can't go out after dark?" He threw his head back, focusing his gaze. "Wait, who are you going with?"

"That's none of your business."

"Sunshine, this is a bad idea," he reproached. "I thought you understood."

I breathed in and out, feeling like I had to choose my words carefully.

"I get it, Luc. I really do." I set my arms out on the counter and lowered my voice. "But you can't just lock me up in my own house and expect me to be okay with it. It's not fair to me and it's not fair to you guys who have to keep an eye on me. I go to the movies and have a good time. You get a break."

"No, that's not how it works."

"I'm going to be far enough from the forest, they won't try anything so close to the town centre."

Luc leaned in, a look of warning in his face. "You're underestimating what they can do. Those bastards can recognize your scent anywhere. I don't think night or day even matters at this point. And if you really do this tonight, you're putting another person in danger and possibly dragging that someone into something they're not supposed to know about. I can't have that."

My lungs shrivelled all of a sudden. I'd never do that to Adam, but how would I tell him I changed my mind?

"I just need you to wait it out," he added. "And you won't ever hear me complain again. I promise."

God, I hated Luc. Especially when he was right.

▲▲▲

I closed my locker, eyeing Luc beside me who was stuffing books in his bag. Classes were over. I had to hop in his car yet again and publicly humiliate myself. Ever since that talk we had in Biology, the chipper feeling I've experienced vanished. It was like being grounded on a whole new level and it sucked donkey ass.

"So, do you want me to pick you up at seven tonight?" a voice issued next to me, and I turned my head around.

My stomach fell to the floor as Adam stood there, a light smile carving his dimples. I still hadn't found an excuse to get myself out of this hole, and I dreaded the idea of deceiving him. His eyes flickered to the boy behind me, and I could imagine Luc returning the stare times a million. I could almost hear him beckoning me to say no, to turn Adam down. As much as I hated doing this, I had to agree. I had no choice, for his safety and for mine.

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