Chapter Twenty-Six: The Plan

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I had left Nero in such a huff, I'd forgotten about my last two classes for the day.

I'm leaving, anyway. I shrugged inwardly. What's the point of going to class?

So I didn't go. Instead, I roamed the halls of Lachlan University, trying to look nonchalant as I searched for Lucius.

He wasn't in the banquet hall, the clinic, or any other part of the dorm building. He wasn't in any of the academic buildings, either, nor was he at the dock.

I thought about checking the cave, but decided against it. That place was nightmare fuel; there was no way I was ever going to set foot in there again.

The only other place I hadn't checked was the laundry room. And sure enough, that's where I found him.

"Ah, Miss Ridley. It's a pleasure to see you again."

He was closing up one of the dryers, jet-black hair tied back with a simple white string.

"Hey, Lucius." I said, timidly.

I wasn't sure how to broach the subject of my leaving. What if he changed his mind and decided I should stay?

He stood up away from the dryer after turning it on, his onyx eyes alight with curiosity. "Is something troubling you?"

"Well, yes, sort of." I fiddled with a thread on the hem of my shirt, avoiding eye contact. "Do you remember yesterday, when you were going to send me away?"

"I do,"

"I was just wondering...is that still an option?" I finally glanced up at him, and added, "could I really leave if I wanted to?"

"Do you want to leave?" He asked, arching a thick, dark brown.

I nodded.

"Then, you are free to leave." He gave me a slight bow. "But, I'm afraid you will have to until Saturday night."

"Why?"

"Because that's when our next supply shipment is scheduled to arrive."

I cocked my head to the side. "Supply shipment?"

He nodded. "Yes. We'll use the supply ship to smuggle you back to the mainland."

"Um, I'm not sure how I feel about being smuggled anywhere." I said, crinkling my nose. "Couldn't you just arrange for a boat to get me, like yesterday?"

I didn't want to seem ungrateful or picky, but I was in a bit of a hurry. The longer I stayed on Lachlan Island, the harder it was going to be for me to leave.

"Aiden hasn't told anyone of yesterday's failed attempt," he stuffed his hands into his pants pockets, leaning back against a dryer. "But he hasn't forgotten it, either."

I was starting to feel glum. "So, he'll probably be on the lookout for another unexpected docked boat, huh?"

"Right. Aiden will be hyper-vigilant, and will undoubtedly report to Gabriel if he suspects I am trying to send you away again."

"What if Dean Lachlan finds out what you're up to?" I prompted, unsure if I wanted to know.

"I would likely be executed." Lucius replied in a calm, indifferent tone. "Or, tortured to the point of wishing I were dead."

I shuddered, both at his aloofness and at the idea of Dean Lachlan killing him.

"Would he really kill you?" I croaked, shocked.

Surely, the Dean wasn't capable of murder...was he?

I thought of how he'd reacted when he found out Nero had drank my blood. He was so angry...no...not angry. Dean Lachlan had been seething with fury that day. Nero was shot, and the Dean violently shoved him onto my bed in a fit of rage.

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