Chapter Twenty-Nine: Devoured

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Dedicated to CrimsonEyedSinner

I ripped my ring off and flung it on the ground. Spitting on it for good measure came across my mind, but I decided against it. Instead, I turned and headed back to the university, my thoughts battering me to the point of tears.

They were using me.

All of them.

All of them...except for Lucius.

It helped, thinking that at least one of the vampires had my best interest at heart.

I knew better, though.

Deep down, I knew that--aside from Dean Lachlan's hasty marriage proposal--none of the vampires had given me a reason to suspect they had ulterior motives for getting close to me.

They've all said they cared about me. Nero said he loved me. Duke told me about his time as a human, something he had never told anyone.

Would they have done those things if they had just planned on using me?

Maybe...

Or...maybe I was looking for an easy way to let them go?

It doesn't matter. I thought, trudging upstairs. I won't have to worry about any of this after Saturday.

And willing myself to not think about anything else but a shower, I went to my dorm to wash the day away.

~~~

Duke was waiting on my bed when I got out of the shower. Luckily, I'd thought ahead and changed into my nightshirt in the bathroom.

"Here for your shirt?" I asked cautiously, nodding to the grey thermal he had let me borrow, which was now draped over my footboard.

"What are you planning on Saturday?" He wasn't looking at me, but at his knotted fingers resting between his knees.

My heart stopped.

"Nothing," I mumbled.

"Please," he whispered. "Please don't lie to me."

I took a timid step toward him. "Duke--"

"I heard you," he interrupted, snapping his head up to stare at me. "I followed you to try to talk, and I heard what you were thinking."

Damnit.

"Why?" He rose to his feet, caramel eyes searching mine. "Why won't you have to worry about any of this after Saturday? What are you planning?"

I tore my gaze from his to focus on my feet, drudging up any and all random thoughts to keep him out.

Why is the sky blue?

Which came first: the chicken or the egg?

To make something wet means to fully saturate it with liquid. And seeing as how water is a liquid, it cannot saturate itself, ergo, water isn't wet.

"This won't work," he spoke, nearly shouting. "You can't shut me out forever."

I glanced up to see him covering his ears, eyes screwed shut.

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