Η δόση μας από το "Νυχτερινό Σχολείο" σε 8 αποσπάσματα...
Γεια σας αγαπητοί αναγνώστες μου!!!
Προχτές σας παρουσίασα την κριτική μου για το «Night School: Resistance –
Νυχτερινό Σχολείο: Αντίσταση» (Βιβλίο 4ο από 5). Ήθελα να γράψω την κριτική εκείνη όταν
θα ήμουν τελείως ψυχολογικά έτοιμη. Όταν το τελείωσα χτυπιόμουν (υπερβολή) γιατί θα έπρεπε να περιμένω αρκετό καιρό για να το πάρω στα
ελληνικά και για να πάρω το 5ο. Για αυτό έψαξα σαν τρελή να βρω αποσπάσματα από
παντού σχετικά με αυτήν την υπέροχη σειρά. Ότι υπήρχε (εκτός από τα πρώτα
κεφάλαια των βιβλίων που είδη σας έχω παρουσιάσει). Και βρήκα κάποια αρκετά
αξιόλογα πράγματα που θέλω όπως και δίποδε να μοιραστώ μαζί σας. Είναι 8 αποσπάσματα. Εγώ όταν τα διάβαζα έμενα γιατί μόνο σε ένα από αυτά
θα μας «μιλά» η Άλι. Στα άλλα ο Κάρτερ και ο Σιλβέν. Όσοι είστε ομάδα Κάρτερ
ετοιμαστείτε. Όσοι είστε ομάδα Σιλνέν απλά θα τον αγαπήσετε ακόμα περισσότερο. Δεν υπάρχει περίπτωση να μην σας αρέσουν αυτά που βρήκα. Αλλά θα
σας τα δείξω προοδευτικά. Με την σειρά της ιστορίας. Κατά πρώτον θα σας δείξω
τους τίτλους και μετά θα σας τα εμφανίσω. Αρχίζουμε λοιπόν???
Γεια σας αγαπητοί αναγνώστες μου!!!
Προχτές σας παρουσίασα την κριτική μου για το «Night School: Resistance – Νυχτερινό Σχολείο: Αντίσταση» (Βιβλίο 4ο από 5). Ήθελα να γράψω την κριτική εκείνη όταν θα ήμουν τελείως ψυχολογικά έτοιμη. Όταν το τελείωσα χτυπιόμουν (υπερβολή) γιατί θα έπρεπε να περιμένω αρκετό καιρό για να το πάρω στα ελληνικά και για να πάρω το 5ο. Για αυτό έψαξα σαν τρελή να βρω αποσπάσματα από παντού σχετικά με αυτήν την υπέροχη σειρά. Ότι υπήρχε (εκτός από τα πρώτα κεφάλαια των βιβλίων που είδη σας έχω παρουσιάσει). Και βρήκα κάποια αρκετά αξιόλογα πράγματα που θέλω όπως και δίποδε να μοιραστώ μαζί σας. Είναι 8 αποσπάσματα. Εγώ όταν τα διάβαζα έμενα γιατί μόνο σε ένα από αυτά θα μας «μιλά» η Άλι. Στα άλλα ο Κάρτερ και ο Σιλβέν. Όσοι είστε ομάδα Κάρτερ ετοιμαστείτε. Όσοι είστε ομάδα Σιλνέν απλά θα τον αγαπήσετε ακόμα περισσότερο. Δεν υπάρχει περίπτωση να μην σας αρέσουν αυτά που βρήκα. Αλλά θα σας τα δείξω προοδευτικά. Με την σειρά της ιστορίας. Κατά πρώτον θα σας δείξω τους τίτλους και μετά θα σας τα εμφανίσω. Αρχίζουμε λοιπόν???Τίτλοι:
1. Prequel Chapter: Allie’s first day at Brixton Hill School
2. Caster the night of Summer Splash
3. The scene in Carter’s bedroom from Carter’s point of view
4. Allie at Rachel’s house – An out-take from Night School Legacy
5. Legacy Reverse POV: The fight in the woods with Gabe From Sylvain’s point of view
6. The Winter Ball, from Carter’s POV
7. See that night from Sylvain’s perspective:
1. Prequel Chapter: Allie’s first day at Brixton Hill School:
“I see your record at your last school was… problematic.” As he spoke, the headmaster peered at Allie over the tops of his glasses.
Perched on a dingy plastic seat facing his desk with its ostentatious sign reading “Headmaster Ross” in block letters, Allie affected abject boredom as she studied her sparkly purple nails.
They need to be filed, she noticed absently. Must do that.
He was still talking. “I’ve seen your previous records, though, and I know you are capable of better things. You were a high achiever just over a year ago – on your way to university and then who knows what kind of brilliant career. But it’s as if your marks went off a cliff.”
That’s actually a pretty good way of putting it, Ross-o. Her eyes skittered off his face.
She thought he was strangely unattractive, with bulging eyes and a bald head that was perfectly egg-shaped. But he didn’t seem unkind.
“That doesn’t just occur in a vacuum,” he said. “What happened, Alyson?”
She looked back down at her nails.
After an uncomfortable pause, he continued. “Your parents have sent you here because they’re hoping teachers who are skilled in working with difficult children will be able to help you.”
“I’m not a child.”
It was the first thing Allie had said since she’d walked into his office and for a moment he blinked at her in surprise.
“You’re fifteen years old, Alyson.”
“So what?” She raised her resentful grey eyes to meet his gaze. “That’s a number. It doesn’t make me a child.”
“Then what are you?” He leaned back in his battered black faux-leather chair, crossing his hands across his narrow waist. “Because you’re certainly not an adult.”
“I am,” she said after deliberation, “an angry young woman.”
“Our teachers can work with those, too,” he said dryly. “Follow me and I’ll introduce you to them.”
Sighing dramatically, Allie stood, flipping her arrow straight, jet-black hair out of her eyes. She’d dyed it yesterday in honour of her first day at her new school. Her mother had been furious.
At least she noticed.
Someone had painted the walls of Brixton Hill School a pale olive green; it gave the hallway a vaguely militaristic look. The painting had clearly happened some time ago, though, as the walls were scuffed and dusty. Spots of brighter paint showed where something – graffiti probably – had been more recently covered up.
The linoleum floor was stained and dirty, and dead bugs slowly decayed overhead in the covers of the fluorescent strip lights. It all conspired to give the building a depressing, muddy hue. It felt like the last school at the end of the world.
This place is awesome. Thanks Mum and Dad. I’m sure I’ll get the best education here and go on to do great things with my life...
Allie’s resentful thoughts stopped as the headmaster tapped on a white door with a square window. The paint was flaking off it in chunks.
The door opened just a little, and a small woman looked up at him through the crack. She was unnaturally thin, her wiry black hair shot through with threads of grey. Her skin seemed to sag on her face, as if it had given up. As she peered at him, her expression was weary.
“Headmaster Ross,” she said. Her eyes skipped to Allie’s face and then back again to his. “The new student?”
“Mrs Williams,” he said, “this is Alyson Sheridan Alyson, Mrs Williams will be teaching you English and History.”
With a look on her fact that said admitting another truculent teenager into her classroom was the last thing she needed right now, Mrs Williams held the door wider for Allie to pass through.
Inside the room was crowded with students in a varying array of rebellious attire. Allie was surprised to see so many in one room – the class was even bigger than those at her last school. It smelled of sweat and cheap perfume.
“There’s a seat at the back,” Mrs Williams said. “I suggest you take it. And watch your bag. They steal.”
With that endorsement ringing in her ears, Allie stepped over the legs stuck out into the aisle, and around the backpacks that spilled their contents onto the floor to a wobbly desk in the middle of the room.
Two boys sat next to it. One had a narrow, interesting face, with sharp eyes and shaggy hair dyed jet black, much like Allie’s. The other had chubby cheeks and spots. He’d bleached his hair pure white and added a blue streak to one side.
Both of them openly stared at Allie, as she sat down without acknowledging them and pulled out her notebook.
Her skin crawled with the sensation of being observed.
“What are you staring at?” Lowering her heavily painted eyelids, Allie turned to face the dark haired boy. “Haven’t you ever seen a girl before? Jesus.”
Undaunted, he continued to stare.
“What did you do?” Blue Streak asked her.
With exaggerated patience, she turned to face him. He had a perpetual mischievous expression. Something was tattooed on his hands but Allie couldn’t quite make it out.
“I don’t understand the question.” Her voice was flat.
“He means to get in here.” Black hair was studying her, his gaze steady but curious. “You have to do something to get in here.”
“I set my mum on fire.” Allie said coldly. “And fed her to the nanny.”
Blue Streak smiled at Black Hair. “I don’t think she likes us.”
Black Hair gave an impatient shrug. “She doesn’t know us yet.” He turned back to Allie. “It’s just a question.”
Allie sighed. “Nothing.”
“What kind of nothing?” Black Hair pressed her.
Under cover of her thickly mascaraed lashes she studied him. She could see the small holes in the worn material of his black t-shirt, which bore the message “Kill Your Heroes” in faded white letters. A skinny white knee poked through a rip in his jeans. The dyed hair cast his pale skin in stark relief; his complexion was like china. She noticed that his fingers twitched with repressed anxiety.
“The kind of nothing in which you don’t go to school when you’re meant to,” Allie said. “I have a bad attitude.”
He nodded as if he’d suspected as much.
“What about you?” Her voice held a challenge.
“I graffiti things.” He sounded proud. “I’m quite well known, actually. He,” he pointed at blue streak, “has an anger problem.”
Blue Streak grinned at her broadly. He was missing a tooth on the right side.
Black Hair was still looking at her. “What’s your name?”
As usual, she thought about lying. Sometimes she did, but it could get confusing and today she didn’t really care what people called her.
“I’m Mark.” He pointed at the boy with the blue streak. “This one’s Harry.”
Allie nodded to show she understood but before she could speak, Mrs Williams called for quiet in a shrill voice, and she turned to face her.
Mark touched her arm to get her attention – his fingertips were calloused but his touch was surprisingly gentle. Surprised, she glanced over at him.
“You should come out with us tonight,” he whispered.
“Where?” she whispered back, frowning.
His smile was impishly crooked. “Does it matter?”
Mrs Williams was still talking but Allie wasn’t hearing a word she said. Nothing teachers had to say interested her these days.
When she glanced back up at Mark, he was still watching her expectantly. There was something in his eyes – a kind of… hope, maybe. An offer of friendship. A connection.
After a long pause, she inclined her head very slightly.
“OK,” she said. “I’m in.”
2. Caster the night of Summer Splash:
http://www.wattpad.com/54373504-reverse-pov-scene-carter-the-night-of-the-summer (Αυτό δεν μπορώ να το αντιγράψω για να σας το δείξω. Για αυτό απλά σας δίνω το site για να μπείτε.)
3. The scene in Carter’s bedroom from Carter’s point of view:
This scene takes place in Chapter 22 of the UK version of the book.
Carter shut his bedroom window with a thump. He needed to concentrate – with everything that had been happening lately, he was miles behind on his class work. If he didn’t catch up Zelazny would give him detention again. But it was after eleven and he’d only just now finished his essay on the War of the Roses.
There was so much left to do,
As he turned with weary resignation to his science assignment the words swam on the page. Rubbing his eyes, he picked up his pen and frowned at the book in front of him. He was writing the first answer onto a clean sheet of paper when something – a tiny movement, or a subtle change in the light – made him look up.
A face – made unnaturally pale by the darkness – stared back at him where nothing should be but sky.
With a startled cry he hurtled himself out of his chair and stumbled backward so fast his chair crashed to the floor.
Clinging to the window frame, Allie watched all this with obvious amusement.
In one quick glance he took in the smooth lines of her oval face and her dark hair swirling in the breeze as she stood on the ledge outside his second-floor window. Her white cotton blouse hung loose from the skirt of her uniform. Her lips curled up at the corners, the way they always did when she was about to laugh at him.
Trying to look cool, he strode back over and unlatched the window.
“What the hell…?”
“I can’t sleep,” she whispered. “Want to come out and play?”
Her words made his heart trip but he kept his expression cynical. “You’re mad. Get inside before you kill yourself.”
As she ducked down to climb through the arched, shutter-style window, her short pleated skirt fluttered against her thighs. He pretended not to notice.
“Katie is such a bitch,” she complained as she clambered across his desk.
Uh-oh. “No argument.”
As she told him what had happened that day she paced his room like a panther in a cage. Watching her, Carter frowned. She was a bundle of nerves. Her hands flew as she gesticulated and her shoes squeaked against the wood floor when she pivoted. Her voice was rich with righteous indignation and hurt.
When she described how Sylvain had intervened that morning with Katie and her friends, his muscles tensed. His hands curled into fists at his side.
What is it with sodding Sylvain? Why is he always in the right place when she needs someone? How does he always manage to be the one?
Suddenly he was as stressed out as Allie. It felt weird to care so much.
If Carter were perfectly honest, he hadn’t really liked her at first. He thought she knew more than she let on – that she was working some angle – a new girl pretending to be ordinary so she could get attention. A faker. But, over time, he’d started to believe she was who she said she was. Everything at Cimmeria seemed to blindside her. She did everything wrong. And her innocence made her vulnerable. So Katie and her friends bullied her and for a long time he’d thought Sylvain was doing the same. But now he wasn’t certain.
It wasn’t like Sylvain to be so persistent.
But lately his own feelings for her were confused. When she smiled at him his heart jumped. When she laughed at his jokes his whole day improved. He tried not to look at her amazing legs… Well. At least she’d never seen him looking.
The only problem was… They were friends. And if they became something else it would ruin their friendship forever. He wouldn’t let that happen.
But she was looking up at him now, blinking those grey eyes that seemed to miss nothing; waiting for him to comment on all that had transpired on her first day as “School Murderer”.
“Look,” he said, “It seems to me there are only two possibilities. Either Katie didn’t spread the first rumour and she’s just taking advantage of it, or she did spread the first rumour and this is all part of her evil plan to get to you. Make people hate you.”
She flinched a little at that.
“I think it’s the latter,” he concluded.
“What should we do?” she asked.
Without asking permission, she sat down on the edge of his bed looking as comfortable as if she were in her own room. With a sigh, she stretched out her legs.
He wished she wouldn’t do that.
“The rumours are intended to cause the most damage possible. This feels like a campaign to get rid of you.”
Her cheeks flushed an angry red as she leaned forward. “Ok, Carter. Enough with secrecy and all that bollocks. It’s time. Tell me about this place.”
He didn’t even have to think about it – he crossed his arms and set his jaw. “Allie you know I can’t….”
“Uh-uh,” she cut him off. “Not this time. Someone died. For all I know, whoever killed Ruth could go after me next. You know things. You are allegedly my friend. You have to tell me.”
When she got angry she had this way of tilting up her chin that was both adorable and threatening – she was doing it right now.
“I can’t. If I did – and if anybody ever found out…” He shook his head. “I just can’t – trust me.”
“How can I trust you if you won’t tell me the truth?” Under her breath she added, “Maybe I should just go ask Sylvain…”
That was too much.
The rush of anger and frustration left him seething. He stalked over to where she sat and leaned over her. He knew it was intimidating. He wanted to intimidate her. She needed to stop seeing Sylvain as an option – he wasn’t good for her.
“Do you want to know what you mean to Sylvain? Well I’ll tell you. Every year he picks a pretty new first-year girl, shags her and dumps her. It’s his thing.” So he was exaggerating; Sylvain didn’t exactly do that. But he came close to it. And she needed to stay away from him. “Each one thinks she’s so special. That’s who you are to him, Allie. His newest, naive conquest.”
“Stop it!” The colour drained from her cheeks and she shoved him hard, jumping to her feet. “If that’s true, why didn’t you ever tell me before, Carter?”
She stood right in front of him; practically touching him. Searching his face as if she could find all the answers there.
His tongue seemed paralysed in his mouth as he stuttered. “I… I… I tried.”
But she wasn’t letting him off that easily. “People say you’re into one-night stands. So… How are you any different than Sylvain?”
That stung. “Are these the same people who say you killed Ruth?”
“Whatever.” She tilted her head to one side. Judging him. “Is what they say about you a lie?”
What could he say? Yes… and no. His thoughts flickered back to Clare’s tear-stained face after he broke up with her last term. The way her friends had circled her as if to protect her from him.
“Yes, Allie,” he said with more confidence than he felt. “It’s a lie. Or at least an exaggeration. Look. I got this… I guess, reputation … because if I go out with someone and I can tell they’re not the right one for me I break up with them right away. I don’t want to hurt anybody, Allie. I really don’t. It’s just, sometimes…”
His voice trailed off. God, I sound so lame.
A long moment passed as she held his gaze. He waited for her to laugh, or shake her head in disgust. But she didn’t move. She was so close he could see the tiny flecks of dark blue in the grey of her eyes, and the way her dark eyelashes curled up at the very ends.
Then, to his surprise, she held up her hand.
“Ok.” Her voice was soft – her words like feathers against his skin. “I believe you.”
Her light scent danced on the air between them. For a second he closed his eyes – breathed it in. Why was she standing so close?
Walk away, Carter, he told himself. Don’t mess this up.
Instead, as if someone else controlled his body, he pressed his palm against hers. The warmth of her skin startled him like an electric charge.
“Thank you,” he heard himself say.
Shut up, Carter, he thought frantically.
“For what?” Her voice sounded small.
“For believing me.”
Her lips quirked up and his eyes were drawn to them. The muscles in his throat constricted.
His fingers entwined with hers.
This is such a bad idea…
He said something – he wasn’t sure what. Just anything that would keep her here, holding his hand.
She said something back but all he could hear was the roar of blood rushing through his veins as he pulled her towards him – now she was so close he could feel her breath soft and warm against his face. She smelled like peppermint and honeysuckle. It made him dizzy.
From here, kissing her was easy – all he had to do was lean forward.
When his lips touched hers she gave a little gasp of surprise. For a second he was so certain she’d pull away he almost let go of her. But then she reached her hands up to his neck and pulled him closer.
Relief flooded over him like cool water as he tightened his arms around her shoulders.
“I’ve waited so long for this,” he whispered.
In reply, her lips parted and she pressed her fingertips hard into the muscles of his back. He tasted the faint salt of her mouth against his tongue as his hands knotted in the fabric of her uniform. He crushed her in his arms.
She was so warm – his body felt hot wherever it touched her. Carter’s head swam as he clung to her. He wanted to pull her so close she could never escape. He wanted to feel her body pressed against his forever.
Slipping his lips across her jaw to her neck, he moved downy tendrils of hair aside to reach the skin behind her ear. When he pressed his teeth against the tender flesh of her earlobe she made a soft sound and his entire body responded – his breath shortened and his heart thudded as if it were trying to escape from his chest.
She was so soft against his body. Soft but strong and eager – her fingers tangled in his hair as she pulled his mouth back to hers. He could get lost in this so easily. Lost in her. Forget about all the awful things that had happened and just think about this. Nobody knew they were together. Nobody was going to walk in on them. And something told him that for whatever reason – maybe for all the wrong reasons – she wasn’t going to be the one to step back.
But one thing held him back: This was Allie.
He had to be careful. It would be so easy to screw things up now. To go too far and ruin it all. To lose her.
To lose everything.
Cupping her face in his hands, he kissed her one last time. Then, regretfully, he extracted himself from her arms and backed up until he leaned against the cool wall by the door, where he tried to calm his rapid breathing and stop himself from running back to scoop her up and carry her to his bed, which was right there.
She stayed frozen where he’d left her, her worried gaze locked on his.
He held out his hands. “I hate to do the grown-up thing, but…”
What had happened between them seemed to have lowered her defences – for a brief moment her every emotion was written clearly on her face. At first she looked confused. Then colour stained her cheeks and he knew she was embarrassed.
Holding her gaze steadily, he waited for her to understand that he wasn’t rejecting her. He knew she would. She could always read him like a book.
And after a long second she did. Then she smiled a knowing smile so beautiful she seemed to glow.
“So,” she said. “There’s that.”
4. Allie at Rachel’s house – An out-take from Night School Legacy:
The morning after Allie is chased through London:
“That is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard!”
Rachel sat next to Allie at the kitchen table, a piece of toast lavishly coated in jam forgotten in her hand. The sunlight pouring through the window behind her glinted off her dark hair and illuminated her almond-shaped eyes. “They actually chased you through London? Where were the police for God’s sake?”
Rachel’s mum tutted from the Aga where she was scrambling eggs. “Police don’t just stand outside your house on the off chance you get into trouble, Rachel. Even in London you have to call them.”
It was late morning. Because she’d arrived so late, they’d let Allie sleep in; now she was ravenous.
“Your dad totally saved me,” she said, buttering a piece of toast. “Basically he’s a hero.”
As she piled eggs onto a platter that already held bacon and sausages, Rachel’s mother smiled. “He was just doing his job, Allie.”
“But he was so cool and calm, even with those guys running down the street at us,” Allie enthused. As the food was set on the table in front of her she added politely, “Thanks for breakfast, Mrs Patel.”
“You’re very welcome.” Turning to Rachel, Mrs Patel changed the subject. “After breakfast you’ll have to show Allie around the grounds. Isabelle says she’s going to be here for a few days. You two might as well have some fun before school starts again.” She turned back to Allie. “Do you ride?”
“Motorbikes?” Allie asked through a mouthful of sausage.
Rachel and her mother both giggled.
“I wish,” Rachel said. “She means horses.”
Allie flushed. “I haven’t ever ridden a horse. There aren’t a lot of horses where I grew up.”
“We’ll go down to the stable later,” Rachel said. “If you want to try it out, Mum’s horse is really calm. She can ride Sage, can’t she Mum?”
Mrs Patel seemed to understand that Allie felt uncomfortable.
“Only if it’s something Allie really wants to do, Rachel,” she said. “Horses aren’t for everyone.”
Allie, who had been taking in this conversation, set her knife down slowly.
“You seriously have your own stables?”
Rachel nodded. “I’ve been riding since I was little. Let’s walk down later and you can meet Angelica.”
“Rachel’s horse.” Mrs Patel smoothed her daughter’s hair. “They love each other.”
“It’s true,” Rachel said dramatically. “I’m in love with a horse. They say we can’t be together. That cross-species love is wrong…”
“Eat your eggs,” her mother laughed, turning away to stack dishes in the dishwasher.
* * * *
“So, how did things go at home? I mean, before the randoms in suits showed up.”
Rachel and Allie were stretched out on lounge chairs beside a long, azure pool. If Allie had been impressed by the stables, the fact that there was a pool had been even more exciting.
“It was… strange.” Allie straightened the narrow straps of her borrowed blue swimming costume and squinted into the sun. “I don’t know where to start.”
“Start at the beginning,” Rachel suggested. “What happened when you first got home?”
That part was easy.
“At first, it was really, really good.” Allie rolled over onto her stomach and propped herself up on her elbows, pushing her shoulder-length hair out of her eyes. “My parents were super nice and everything was like, you know, ‘Yay Allie! You didn’t fail English!’”
“You made all As in English,” Rachel corrected her.
“You know what I mean.” Allie shot her a look and Rachel smiled.
“So,” Rachel said, “everything was aces, and then…?”
Allie sighed. “I knew I had to ask all the hard questions. Like why did you tell me my grandmother was dead when she’s not? And why are your old mates trying to kill me?” She paused for a second before adding, “And I knew that would ruin everything. So I didn’t want to do it. But after a few days I finally did.”
Rachel shielded her eyes from the sun so she could see Allie’s face. “And how did that go?”
“Awesome,” Allie muttered grimly.
“I thought it would be best if I talked to mum alone,” Allie sighed. “One day when dad was out I just went up to her and said, you know, ‘Hey, can we talk?’”
Her mother had been folding laundry at the time, Allie explained, but she’d stopped immediately and even smiled when Allie sat down on the chair across from her. Her smiles had been so rare in recent years that for a second Allie thought she couldn’t bear to say what needed to be said. But there was no other way.
“Of course.” Her mother looked at her expectantly as she continued folding shirts into neat fabric rectangles of white, yellow and pale blue. “What would you like to talk about?”
Allie lowered herself to the edge of a chair and crossed her legs, studying the newly painted magenta toenails that peeped out from the ends of her sandals.
“A lot happened over the summer,” she said finally. “And we’ve never talked about it. I learned a lot… about us. Our family, I mean.” As Allie had known it would, the smile disappeared. “I need to understand what it means. I think you’re the only one who can tell me.”
“What would you like me to explain?” Her mother’s voice was even but Allie could see the tension in the way her hands tightened on the t-shirt she held.
“Isabelle says it’s time for you to tell me about Lucinda,” Allie said. “And I think she’s right. Lucinda… She’s my grandmother, isn’t she?”
For a fleeting second Allie thought her mother would lie and if she had she would never have forgiven her. But after a second her shoulders drooped and she set the shirt down before sitting on the bed across from Allie.
She looked, Allie thought, almost relieved.
“I think I always knew you’d find out someday,” she said. “Yes, Lucinda is my mother – your grandmother.”
Since she’d been so sure that this would be the answer, Allie should have been ready to hear it. Instead she felt stunned. She leaned back a little on the chair and stared at her mother as if she’d never seen her before.
“But why? Why would you lie to me about something like that? My whole life I believed my grandmother was dead and you let me think that. We could have got to know each other…” her voice trailed off.
“I know it’s hard for you to believe this,” her mother kept her voice gentle, “but everything I have ever done was to protect you. To keep you safe.”
“But that’s a terrible thing to do,” Allie protested. “To lie to your child.”
Her mother took a sharp breath. “It is… it was a terrible thing to do. And I am sorry. I just didn’t know what else to do. Maybe I should have just told you the truth – that we were estranged. But I was afraid if I did you’d insist on meeting her, and then everything would have been ruined.”
“Ruined? How?” Allie asked, baffled. “How would my knowing my own grandmother have ruined everything?”
“Because then she would have had you,” her mother said without hesitation. “And I would have lost you.”
“Like you lost Christopher.” Allie’s words were more bitter than she intended and her mother flinched.
“I’m sorry,” Allie said immediately. “That wasn’t fair…”
“No.” Her mother held up her hand to stop her. “Don’t apologise. It was fair. It just hurts.”
Allie didn’t know what to say to that, so she waited, twisting her fingers together in her lap.
“Lucinda,” her mother said with abrupt anger, “is a powerful and dangerous person. She gets what she wants – it’s just how she is. Nothing gets in her way. I…” She stopped and thought for a moment; when she started again, her voice was quiet. “When I was your age, I was very different from her. She is a very controlling person, and she dictated my life down to the most elemental detail. What I wore, who I knew, what I studied, where I went – everything was decided by her. At first I accepted it, but as I grew older I rebelled. I didn’t want to be like her. I didn’t want to be rich and miserable. I didn’t want what she had. I wanted to be myself. To make my own decisions. Every second of my life was controlled by her until the day I walked away.” She looked at Allie searchingly. “I should think if anyone would understand that, it would be you.”
And Allie did.
“I would have run away too,” she announced, her tone emphatic. “If she was like that, then running away was the right thing to do. But lying to me and Christopher about it wasn’t right. I have to make my own decisions too. Just like you did.”
Her mother’s eyes dropped. “Isabelle says exactly the same thing. And I’m sorry for not trusting you.”
“Isabelle is your friend, isn’t she?” Allie asked. “You went to Cimmeria together.”
For a second her mother looked like she was going to deny it. Then her shoulders drooped a little. She nodded.
“You didn’t tell me that either,” Allie said pointedly.
The colour rose in her mother’s cheeks and she chose her words carefully.
“I… let you believe that Isabelle and Cimmeria were unfamiliar to me. That was selfish of me – I just didn’t want to explain everything.” She paused a moment before adding, “And I was angry at you.”
That surprised Allie. It hurt to know her mother felt vindictive towards her. But she kept her expression blank. There was more she needed to know.
“Who is Lucinda anyway?” she asked. “Everyone seems to think she’s some huge big-wig. What is she… the other prime minister? The Queen? God?”
“Not quite,” her mother said. “But close.”
Something in her mother’s tone gave Allie a strange sense of trepidation. “What does that mean?”
Her mother spoke very deliberately. “Her last name – and my maiden name – is Meldrum.”
Allie gasped out loud.
“No. Way.” She’d looked at her mother in disbelief.
“It’s the truth.” Her mother held up her hands helplessly. “Lucinda Meldrum is your grandmother.”
As Allie finished saying the words, Rachel sat up straight on the lounge chair, her face a mask of astonishment.
“Get out of town.” She looked at Allie with suspicion. “This is a joke right?”
“Afraid not,” Allie said. “Lucinda Bloody Meldrum is my grandmother.”
“Who’s Lucinda Bloody Meldrum?”
The piping voice came from behind them, and they both turned to see a girl with a heart-shaped face and a mass of dark curls sitting on a bench nearby, her chin in her hands. A beach towel and inflatable yellow duck rested at her feet.
“Mina, you little spy!” Rachel said accusingly. “I thought you were at your violin lesson.”
“I finished. Mum said you were at the pool and I should come down too.”
The ten-year-old wore a terry swimsuit cover with a design of big pink daisies scattered against a white background. Her tone was defensive but Allie smiled at the way she stood her ground against her elder sibling.
“Allie, meet my sneaky little sister.” Rachel sighed.
Mina turned her wide brown eyes towards Allie. “Who’s Lucinda Meldrum?”
Rachel answered for her. “You’ve seen her on TV, Midget. She’s the lady with the grey hair who’s always being interviewed about money. You know – the one who wore that green silk jacket you liked with the dragon on it.”
“Oh that one!” the girl smiled as recognition dawned. “I do like her. Why do they always talk to her about money?”
This time Allie answered. “She’s like an expert. She ran a bunch of banks, and then she was… What do you call it?”
“Chancellor,” Rachel said.
“Yeah, the first woman Chancellor. And now she’s head of the thingamajig.” Again she turned to Rachel.
“The International Banking Committee,” Rachel said automatically.
“Yeah, that. She’s super famous for being really clever,” Allie said. “All the important people go to her for advice.
“She has pretty hair,” Mina said.
“She does have pretty hair,” Allie agreed.
“This is ridiculous,” Rachel muttered. “We can’t have a real conversation while Midget’s here.”
“Yes you can!” Mina looked wounded. “And don’t call me Midget.”
“Of course we can,” Allie said. “You can tell me what your grandmother’s like. Is she like mine?”
“No! Mine’s not as pretty and she lives in Yorkshire.”
Rachel sighed dramatically but Allie, secretly glad not to be talking about her own family any more, pretended not to notice.
“Tell me all about her.”
* * *
“So, what are you going to do?”
It was late that same night, and Rachel and Allie were sitting on the bed in Allie’s room in their pyjamas, talking quietly.
“I don’t know.” Allie nibbled her thumbnail nervously. “I mean, I know that she knows about me because I found that note from her in my student file. So it seems like… if she wanted to meet me she’d have done something about it.” She pulled her feet up closer and wrapped her arms tightly around her knees. “I mean, she’s Lucinda Meldrum. She can do whatever she wants.”
“Yeah, but…” Rachel leaned back against the footboard, wrinkling her nose as she thought. “…she and your mum probably have some sort of an agreement that she won’t try to meet you. Seems to me your mum is pretty much president of the Anti-Lucinda Brigade. So maybe she’s just honouring that agreement until you get in touch with her.”
Allie rested her cheek against the top of her knees and looked out the open window. A cool breeze fluttered the pale yellow curtains.
“Knowing I have a living grandmother makes me want to meet her. Does that sound weird?” She raised her head to meet Rachel’s eyes. “I mean, my parents kind of suck right now, even though I get that they’re trying. But Lucinda could be … like, amazing, for all I know. But at the same time, I want her to want to meet me. I don’t want to go to her like…” she held out her hands as if they were holding an imaginary bowl, “Can I have some more grandparents, please miss?”
“I hear you,” Rachel said. And I don’t know what I’d do if I were in your shoes.”
“Your feet would hurt because they’re much bigger than mine,” Allie said.
“Whatever. You know what I’m saying.” Rachel didn’t smile, and Allie made an apologetic face. “I’ll tell you one thing,” Rachel said, stretching out her legs. “I wish you’d let me talk to my dad about this stuff. He knows everything. And you can totally trust him.”
Allie shook her head vigorously. “No! I mean, well, not yet.” She softened her tone. “Has he said anything about what’s going on at school? Do they know more about where Gabe is?”
Rachel shook her head. “Not a lot. Jo’s story was confused – he obviously didn’t tell her everything. But they think he’d been working with Nathaniel for quite a while. Apparently he would sneak out when he was supposed to be doing Night School stuff, and go meet with Nathaniel.”
“What a complete arse,” Allie fumed. “I mean, he betrayed people he’d known his whole life. He put his own girlfriend’s life in danger. How do you just… do that?”
“The thing is,” Rachel said, “Dad’s said some things that make me think Gabe didn’t act alone.”
Allie felt a chill run across her skin. “I don’t… What do you mean?”
Leaning forward, Rachel lowered her voice to a whisper. “One night I heard him talking to Mom. He said Gabe’s not the only one who agreed with Nathaniel.” A line creased Rachel’s forehead and her eyes looked worried. “There are others.”
“What?” Allie was whispering now too. “At school?”
Rachel’s voice was barely audible. “And on the board.”
Allie stared at her. “But they wouldn’t… you know… do anything. Would they?”
Shrugging, Rachel held up her empty hands.
“What can we do?” Allie asked.
“I think if we told Dad you knew about Lucinda, he’d probably tell us more – he might be able to help. Then we wouldn’t just be in the dark.”
Rachel sounded confident and Allie had to admit she made sense. But Carter had been completely opposed to including anyone else in the information they’d gathered over the last weeks of the summer term.
“Let me think about it,” she said.
“Think fast,” Rachel said.
* * *
Over the next few days, though, Allie found it increasingly easy to put Gabe, Nathaniel and all of the things that had happened in the last few weeks out of her mind as she slipped easily into the Patel family life. Sunny afternoons were spent by the pool, or watching Rachel and Mina ride horses. Rainy afternoons were filled with reading books and playing games.
Sometimes Allie would see people dressed in dark clothes flitting between the trees that surrounded the house. Catching a glimpse of them out of the corner of her eye made her jump. But she knew they were Mr Patel’s security guards. And after a while she got used to them. Soon she didn’t really notice them anymore.
Meal times were raucous affairs of animated conversation on endless topics. Sometimes Mrs Patel would propose a subject at the beginning of the meal and it would be discussed until the dessert dishes were cleared away. One night they spent an entire evening discussing whether eating meat was justifiable. (“I love chickens,” Mina said at one point, frowning fiercely. “But I love roasted chicken just as much!”) In the end they decided they were all omnivores (after Mrs Patel explained what omnivores were), but Allie and Mina ageed they would never eat deer because they were too beautiful, and Rachel said she would never eat octopus because they were too intelligent.
“Omnivores,” Mrs Patel had laughed, “with borders.”
On her last full day with the family, Allie stood close to Mrs Patel at the edge of the paddock as Rachel saddled docile Sage.
“She’s a lovely horse,” Rachel’s mother assured her. “Very gentle.”
Allie nodded and focused on breathing normally. All week long she’d watched the others ride. It looked easy enough.
But up close the horses are … huge.
With a coat the colour of mahogany and a jet black mane and tail, the plump mare waited patiently as Rachel tightened the girth and lengthened the stirrups with quick, expert moves. Nearby Mina was holding the reins of the other two horses.
When everything was in place, Rachel gestured for Allie.
“Good luck,” Mrs Patel whispered, giving her hand a squeeze.
With her hand on the pommel, for a brief second Allie hesitated. Everybody was watching her – Rachel and Mina, Mrs P leaning against the fence nearby. Even Sage had turned her head as if to see what the fuss was about.
“Just put your foot here,” Rachel explained, tapping the stirrup. “Then swing yourself up.”
I can do this, Allie told herself. I’m not going to be afraid of a horse.
Placing her left trainer-clad foot in the metal and leather stirrup, she sprang into the saddle. It was easier than she’d expected – in a second, she was in place. For the first time she felt the odd sensation of a horse beneath her – warm and alive. And moving. Every movement Sage made seemed to throw her off balance. As the horse shifted her feet, Allie clung to the pommel as if that tiny movement could send her hurtling to the ground.
With a last few words of encouragement, Rachel handed her the reins and walked over to Angelica, a big grey mare with a pure white mane. Mina had already hopped lithely onto Petra, a small bay who pawed idly at the straw on the ground.
Angelica walked up beside her, Rachel looked relaxed in the saddle; Allie held the reins and the pommel in a death grip.
“The key is to relax and to trust Sage. She’ll never hurt you.” Rachel’s confidence was so complete, Allie felt like an idiot for being scared. “Hold the reins like I do and just move with her. Try to loosen your shoulders a bit – keep your back straight and hold on with your legs, not your hands. Trust her.”
Reluctantly Allie loosened her grip on the pommel. Shaking her shoulders to loosen the tight muscles, she held Sage tight with her thighs. She took a deep breath and then nodded at Rachel.
“I’m Ok,” she said.
Reassured, Rachel and Angelica ambled ahead.
Leaning forward, Allie stroked the horse’s dark mane, coarse and silky beneath her fingertips.
“Ok, Sage,” she whispered, “Rachel says to trust you, so I’m trusting you. Get me through this alive and I will give you the most beautiful carrot you have ever seen in your life. Also sugar cubes. And hay.”
Sage’s long ear’s twitched and she chomped at the bridle with her huge square teeth. Allie smiled, and for the first time she did relax, just a little.
“Let’s go,” Rachel called, twisting around in her saddle to see Allie and easing Angelica into a slow walk. “Once around the paddock first, then we’ll try the field.”
As Sage instinctively followed Angelica, the unfamiliar swaying caught Allie off guard and she grabbed the reins. Sage pulled up, shaking her head unhappily, and Allie rocked forward in the saddle, clinging to the pommel.
“Hold her with your knees,” Mrs Patel called out from the side of the paddock. Gritting her teeth with determination, Allie loosened the reins and touched the horse with her heels the way Rachel had done. Sage took a tentative step forward. This time Allie was ready for the movement, and she gripped with her legs.
Slowly the three horses made a full circle of the muddy paddock. When they’d completed it, Mrs Patel unlatched the wooden gate and pushed it to one side. Rachel walked through first, holding Angelica to a slow walk. Mina pranced through next, and then Sage lumbered slowly by.
“You’re doing well, Allie,” Mrs Patel said, giving Sage a gentle pat on the neck as she passed.
“Thanks Mrs P,” Allie said, her brow furrowed with concentration.
Rachel circled back to ride next to Allie.
“How’s it feel?” she asked, surveying Allie’s posture with a critical expression.
“Good, I think.” Allie panted from the exertion of hanging on to Sage. “But so far I have to say I’m not sure what you see in it.”
Rachel laughed. “Give it time. It’s like…” she thought for a moment, “skating. The first time you skate it’s not a lot of fun, but it gets more fun the more you do it.”
As the horses padded out into the green grass of the pasture, Mina kicked Peter into a trot and dashed ahead. Rachel held Angelica back to keep pace with Allie but, looking after Petra with interest, Sage sped up on her own. Allie found the faster pace smoother, and looked over at Rachel and smiled.
“I think I’m getting this,” she said.
“Keep going,” Rachel called, speeding up a little to keep Mina in sight.
Allie loosened the reins further, and leaned over to whisper to Sage, “You can go faster.”
As if she’d heard her, Sage broke into a trot. At first, Allie felt like a ragdoll in a washing machine, holding onto the saddle and Sage’s mane, but then she remembered to cling with her legs and move with the horse. Suddenly the ride felt smooth and safe. She laughed from the sheer exhilaration of it.
Back at the stables later, as she climbed down to the ground she threw her arms around Sage’s sweaty neck.
“Thank you,” she whispered, breathing in the bittersweet scent of the horse’s skin. “I owe you one freakin’ massive carrot.”
* * *
“Is that everything?” Raj Patel survived the tightly packed car boot, his expression dubious.
“I think so.” Rachel looked around to see if she’d missed anything.
“It better be.” He shoved the lid down until it locked reluctantly in place. “There’s not enough room in there for another sandal.”
“Oops. Forgot my sandals!” Rachel said, sounding panicked. When he shot her an exasperated look she giggled. “Just kidding, dad.”
Watching the teasing exchange, Allie smiled. During the week she’d spent sheltering at the Patels sprawling farmhouse, she’d grown to love the way they interacted, with a kind of casual affection. It was clear it never occurred to any of them that the time might come when they didn’t adore each other. Even when they were irritated with each other, they hugged.
It was so different from her own home life… Thinking of how little time she’d spent at home before Nathaniel’s men showed up, she frowned. Who knew when she’d get to go back there again. Then again, did she really want to go back?
“Come on, Allie!” Rachel’s voice dragged her back to reality. “Quit glowering at nothing and get in the car.”
“I’m not glowering at nothing,” she responded mildly as she reached for the car handle.
It had been a good week, but now it was time to get back to school. The air was heavy with morning damp, and the sky was an ominous dark grey. The wind blew from the south, and she could smell the horses on the air – an earthy, warm scent. Autumn was on its way.
“I’m going to go tell your mother we’re ready to go,” Mr Patel said, heading to the front door.
“I wish we could stay longer,” Allie said as he walked away.
“It was good, no?” Rachel said. “But I’ve gotta say I’m kind of looking forward to getting back. I want to see how the repairs are going after the fire. Besides, I need more reading and less of Dad trying to convince me to join Night School.”
“He does really want you to join.” Allie gave her a sideways glance. “Aren’t you ever tempted?”
The look Rachel gave her was withering.
“I’m not trying to make you join.” Allie held up her hands in surrender. “I just wondered why you never did.”
Looking up at the house as her parents walked out the front door, her sister Mina trailing behind, Rachel shrugged.
“That cops and robbers stuff just isn’t for me,” she said in a low voice before stepping away from the car to tickle Mina who giggled hysterically and pulled away.
“See you later, Midget.”
“Not if I see you first, Giant,” Mina replied impishly.
Allie was watching the sisterly interaction with a touch of melancholy when Rachel’s mother interrupted her thoughts by wrapping her in a hug.
“We’re going to miss you,” she said.
“I’m going to miss you guys, too, Mrs P.” As Allie hugged her back, fingers against the soft cashmere of her cardigan, she was surprised to feel tears prickling the backs of her eyes. She cleared her throat. “Thanks for having me.”
Mrs Patel held her firmly by the shoulders. “You are welcome here any time.”
As Rachel and her mother said their goodbyes, Mina walked over and slipped a paper into Allie’s hand.
“Mum took it. I wanted you to have it so you’d remember us and come back,” the girl whispered conspiratorially.
Looking down, Allie saw a photo of herself atop a horse, reins loose in her hands, laughing. Seeing the image of herself, confident and happy, the tears that had threatened all morning spilled over and she wrapped the girl in a quick fierce hug.
“Thanks Mina,” she whispered, striking the tears away. “I love it. I’m sure I’ll see you soon."
5. Legacy Reverse POV: The fight in the woods with Gabe From Sylvain’s point of view:
Crouched low amid the bracken, Sylvain stared out through a thick curtain of trees. In the distance, Cimmeria Academy was dark and still. Its tall brick walls and jagged roof looked imposing and silent against the night sky. Nothing stirred.
He glanced down at his watch again. Allie was late. He was starting to get nervous.
They’d planned this night down to the tiniest detail but it was always a risky operation. The guards could have made their rounds at just the wrong moment and spotted her on the stairs. Or another student could have got up for a glass of water and seen Allie slipping down the hallway.
That was all it would take.
He wouldn’t let himself think about any of the much worse possibilities. About Gabe or Nathaniel.
His jaw tightened and he squinted into the darkness. If anything happens to her…
His feelings towards Allie were intense – dangerously so. He’d never felt so strongly about anyone in his life. And no one knew better than him that this didn’t make sense. Being in love with someone else’s girlfriend was stupid. And he didn’t do stupid things.
But this time – this one time – he couldn’t seem to stop himself. There was something about her that drew him to her. He’d never met anyone so fragile and so strong at the same time. He hadn’t known it was possible for those two attributes to exist in one person.
She fascinated him. And she could have been his…
…if I hadn’t been such a bastard.
At his sides, Sylvain’s hands clenched into fists. Every muscle in his body tightened with self-loathing.
Merde. Why am I thinking about this now?
Closing his eyes tight, he tried to shove the memories away.
Through sheer strength of will he made himself unclench his fists. He shook himself hard, loosening his muscles.
He would do anything to make it up to her. To win her trust again. To prove he’d changed. And that was why he was here now. Breaking all the Rules he’d sworn to uphold for a girl he could never have. Because she’d asked him to do it.
Leaning forward, he looked up at the school again.
His breath caught. In the blue wash of moonlight, something moved.
He pulled a small set of binoculars out of his pocket and held them up to his eyes.
Bent low and moving fast, Allie was running across the lawn, her footsteps so swift and smooth, from a distance she appeared to fly.
Under his breath, Sylvain cursed. He’d been so lost in his own thoughts he hadn’t seen her leave the building.
Quickly, he scanned the grounds around her for any sign of pursuit but found nothing. She was safe for now. He turned the binoculars back towards her and watched as she swooped into the woods like a night bird.
The second she reached the secure cover of the tree line, he pocketed the binoculars and headed after her.
His eyes were fully adjusted to the dark by now and his steps were silent and sure. With the ease of practice, he avoided twigs and loose stones, anything that would make noise. He moved through the woods without a sound.
All his senses were alert. He was conscious of every rustle and creak in the forest as he searched for any sign that Allie was being followed by anyone except him.
He was good at tracking; very good at self-defence. But Gabe was out there somewhere tonight. And he was better.
Allie was quiet and careful but he still found her easily, even in the dark. She didn’t have as much training as he did. He heard a faint splash as she stepped into water. The snap of a twig breaking into under her foot.
Ducking low behind a wild holly bush he watched her make her way down the footpath towards the stream. Again he scanned the area around her.
Nothing. Despite the ruckus she was making, no one was following her.
In the distance, Allie clambered over a fallen tree, crashing noisily through the branches. Sylvain winced.
Well, if Gabe didn’t know she was here before he knows it now.
After that Sylvain didn’t try to hide from anyone who might be watching. If Gabe and Nathaniel were tracking Allie, they needed to know she wasn’t alone.
The sound of roaring water let him know they were near the stream where the meeting would take place and he hurried ahead of her to the hiding spot he’d chosen earlier that day.
From there he watched Allie make her way tentatively down to the waterside. The recent rains had swollen the stream until its waters roiled. The moon turned the froth to sparkling silver.
She looked so alone standing there in the dark, hands flicking anxiously at her sides, Sylvain’s heart went out to her. He knew how much this meant to her.
A sudden movement disturbed the trees across the stream. Allie had noticed it too, she looked up sharply.
Sylvain ducked lower as a young man stepped out onto the muddy stream bed. It was hard to see his face from this angle but he could hear his voice.
‘Allie.’ The way he said her name was both familiar and tentative.
Even from a distance Sylvain could see her body tense.
‘Christopher,’ she said, sounding as if she couldn’t believe it was true.
So this was the brother who’d ruined her life.
Tilting his head to one side, Sylvain studied him with open suspicion. He’d been curious about him ever since Jo had told him the story of how Allie ended up at Cimmeria. How her brother had run away, leaving a vicious note behind. The way the family had imploded. How Allie had struggled to bring her parents back to her by getting into trouble over and over again.
How instead that had just pushed everyone away.
And now, here she was, again. Putting her life in danger. Still trying to get her family back.
All because of her brother.
In the distance, Christopher took another step forward and the moonlight caught his face. He had her grey eyes – otherwise there was little similarity in their appearance. He was tall and slim, with a tight, nervous stance. He kept glancing over his shoulder as if someone might creep up behind him.
At first they talked about family things and how they’d missed each other. Christopher called her ‘Allie-cat’ and Sylvain could see how that touched her.
It must be his pet name for her.
Then their conversation moved on to Lucinda and Christopher’s expression changed. He looked angry now. Threatening.
Sylvain watched him closely for any sign that he might hurt her. But his anger seemed directed elsewhere.
‘So you know she lied to us our whole lives,’ Christopher was saying. ‘And that she and Isabelle conspired to keep us in the dark about our own family.
And now our grandmother . . .’ he spat the word out with contempt ‘. . . is denying us our family heritage. You do know that. Right?’
Allie held up her hands in a placating gesture. ‘Wait, wait, wait…’ Her tone was soothing but steady. She didn’t look frightened anymore. Now, she looked watchful. She was talking to him like an equal now, rather than a little sister. ‘How is Lucinda denying us anything?’
Good girl, Sylvain thought. Don’t let him confuse your emotions.
‘She refuses to acknowledge us as her family, Allie,’ Christopher said. He looked exasperated. ‘How can you not know this? It’s all because of Isabelle. She’s wheedled herself into Lucinda’s good graces, replacing our mother. The last thing Isabelle wants now is for two kids to come along – real blood relatives – and take their rightful place as Lucinda’s heirs. So she’s keeping you at Cimmeria where she can control you completely.’
Sylvain’s eyes narrowed. What he was saying was ridiculous. But the more Christopher talked, the more passionate he became. Now Allie was just trying to calm him down and to get him to say something more useful. Her goal was to find out what Nathaniel’s plans were.
‘You don’t know her, Chris,’ Allie said. ‘She’s not like that. She really cares about me . . . about our family.’
‘Oh she does, does she?’ The heat that had fired his previous words was gone, replaced by ice. ‘Then ask yourself this: Why did she lie about Ruth’s death? And if you died, what would she say about you?’
What? Sylvain stared at Christopher in disbelief. Is he trying to convince Allie that Isabelle is as bad as Nathaniel because of what happened with Ruth?
It was ridiculous. Gabe killed Ruth. After that, Isabelle had no choice. The incident had to be hidden. With Nathaniel manipulating the police, any scandal could bring Isabelle down, and perhaps ruin the entire school.
Surely Allie understood this?
But in the moonlight he saw Allie’s shoulders slump. Christopher’s words had done their job. He’d made her doubt the only adult she still trusted.
It was a cruel and heartless thing to do to her. And Sylvain could have happily punched her brother in the face for it, but this scene had to play out. So he stayed still and let them talk. Christopher was raving about Nathaniel now.
‘He’s going to change everything. Fix all the things that have gone wrong in the world because the wrong people are in charge. Put the right people in charge. You know what Cimmeria is, right? I mean, what it’s part of? If he ran the organisation, he could really do it, Allie. He could change everything. Fix everything.’
Putain. Sylvain thought, disgusted. He’s an idiot. He sided with a dictator and now he needs her to join him so he doesn’t have to realise he’s made a horrible mistake.
Allie asked all the right questions, trying to draw out more information. Christopher became charming again, talking about games they’d played as children, the trouble they’d got into.
At last, though, someone came for him. Sylvain could just see the figure of a man through the trees but couldn’t make out his features. He said something quietly to Christopher, who turned back to Allie and said an abrupt goodbye.
Then, as quickly as they’d arrived, the two men slipped away into the night.
When they’d gone, Allie stood very still.
Her hands twisted together in front of her as she stared down into the rushing water of the stream.
Sylvain had to restrain himself from rushing down to her. She had to do this on her own. He knew that’s what she wanted. Silently he willed her to get it together – to follow the plan.
As if she’d heard his thoughts, she straightened and struck the tears from her cheeks with a quick swipe of her hand. Then with slow, determined steps she turned away from the water and followed the rocky path up to the chapel, as they’d agreed.
Shadowing her from some distance away, Sylvain allowed himself to feel relieved. They’d done it. The plan had gone off without a hitch. All they had to do now was get back to the school building. Then they could discuss everything they’d learned. And decide what to do next.
He was thinking about what he’d say, and how best to handle it, when Allie disappeared.
One minute she was there on the path, and the next second she was gone.
A frown creasing his brow, Sylvain stared at the spot where she should be. Did she fall?
He stood still, holding his breath, waiting for her to reappear.
Then he heard a muffled grunt, as if someone were lifting something heavy.
His heart stuttered and he grasped the branch of the tree next to him.
Gabe stepped into the moonlight. In his arms, he held Allie in a vice-like grip.
She wasn’t moving.
* * *
Everything switched to slow motion.
Sylvain had no chance to do anything but react. Gabe was moving fast and he wasn’t trying to be quiet. Sylvain rushed through the woods, shadowing him as he’d earlier shadowed Allie. Only now his heart was filled with hate.
Hate filled him with cold clarity. Hate enhanced his senses and helped him move with stealth and speed. Hate gave him purpose.
Gabe had killed Ruth and betrayed them all. He was vicious. Sylvain had to get Allie away from him.
He kept his eyes on her body as he ran, willing her to move. She was so still, limp as toy in Gabe’s grasp.
After a long, painful minute, she finally stirred. The rush of relief made Sylvain’s knees weak.
She was Ok.
At first she moved slowly, then she began struggling in Gabe’s arms, frantic to get away. But her movements were inefficient. Sylvain could see she was panicking.
Come on, Allie, he urged her silently. Remember your training.
Sylvain was close to them now. If Gabe had looked to his left he’d have seen him, matching him step for step. But Gabe’s eyes remained straight ahead, as he walked with relentless purpose.
There must be a car waiting just off the grounds, Sylvain realised. They were taking Allie away – to Nathaniel.
She’d quit fighting now. Sylvain hoped that meant she’d come up with a plan.
And so she had. Without warning, she swung her legs out and back, bending her knees so her feet kicked Gabe hard in the groin.
Even Gabe – with all his training and power – couldn’t stand up to that kind of blow.
Crying out in pain, he doubled over, losing his grip on Allie, who tumbled hard to the ground.
She recovered from the fall quickly and scrabbled away, crawling on the ground but Gabe, still gasping for air, wasn’t done yet. Quick as a snake, his hand shot out, grabbing her ankle and pulling her back.
Screaming in frustration and pain, Allie kicked hard at his hand but Gabe’s grip was strong.
Sylvain was running at full speed now. Spotting a heavy, club-like branch on the side of the path, he grabbed it without breaking stride and hurtled towards them. Using all of his speed and power into it, he hit Gabe hard on the back of his head.
The cracking sound the wood made against Gabe’s skull echoed in the quiet like a gunshot. The larger boy groaned and reached for the back of his head, releasing Allie.
But he didn’t, as Sylvain had hoped, fall down.
Instead, he jumped to his feet and swung around to face him. His eyes were predatory, assessing and utterly without empathy.
‘Sylvain, you dick,’ he said. ‘That hurt.’
Still holding the club, Sylvain kept his face fearless.
‘Good,’ he said. ‘That was my intention.’
Blood poured down one side of Gabe’s face. His dark blonde hair was sticky with it. In the moonlight it looked black as tar.
Sylvain knew he needed to distract Gabe’s attention away from Allie – give her a chance to get away. He circled the taller boy like a panther, bouncing lightly on his heels as if he wanted nothing more right now than a fight with a psychopath.
‘Well.’ Gabe gave a lazy grin, ‘let’s do this.’
In a movement Sylvain would spend months trying to figure out, Gabe duck and spun so quickly his body was a blur. Caught off guard, Sylvain swung at him but Gabe had angled himself perfectly. Grabbing the club with ruthless strength, he twisted it in under-and-over manoeuvre. If Sylvain hadn’t let go it would have broken his wrist.
Now it was Gabe’s club.
Looking up, Sylvain saw Allie standing at the edge of the path, eyes wide.
‘Run, Allie.’ He kept his voice steady and calm, hoping this would convince her that he was in control.
He should have known better.
She shook her head stubbornly. ‘I’m not leaving you.’
Some part of him was touched by this – given hope. But if she stayed this was all for nothing.
Her misguided sense of loyalty would get them both killed.
‘Run,’ he said again, raising his voice. ‘Now.’
Gabe, who had his back to her so he could keep his eyes on Sylvain, spoke up then. ‘Yes. Run, Allie. You don’t want to see this. I’ll come get you in a minute. And I will pay you back for kicking me in the balls.’
His words sent a chill down Sylvain’s spine but he kept his gaze on Allie, begging her with his eyes to heed his request. Because of that, he almost missed it when Gabe swung the makeshift club at his head.
The only warning Sylvain had was the look of horror on Allie’s face. Moving on instinct, he ducked to the right but the club struck him a glancing blow that forced a cry of pain from him.
He couldn’t argue with Allie any more. He had to be in this thing completely.
No one had ever beat Gabe in training. He was the best fighter Night School had ever produced. And this fight was real.
Recovering, Sylvain whirled and lowered his centre of gravity to hit Gabe hard with an elbow in the torso. It was like punching a rock. Pain shot down his arm.
He heard the air leave Gabe’s lungs, but the other boy didn’t look like it hurt him as much as it had hurt Sylvain.
He glanced back to where Allie had stood but she was gone.
He hoped she was running fast. If she could bring back help they might stand a chance.
But even as he thought it he knew it was hopeless. There wasn’t time. They were nearly a mile from the school building. By the time help arrived he’d be dead.
Still, at least Allie would be safe.
And that was what mattered.
He’d taken things from her when they first met – her faith in people. Her trust.
At least he could give her the chance to live.
Watching his expression, Gabe’s lips turned up in a sardonic grin. ‘She’s gone now. You can relax. Bloody hell, Sylvain, I can’t believe you’re messing with Carter’s girl. That’s not like you. Usually you like them all fresh and unsullied.’
Sylvain spun a whirling kick at his face, but Gabe ducked the blow, swiping his foot away like a cat toying with a mouse, and punched Sylvain hard in the temple. The blow sent him reeling.
His head rang. Warm blood gushed down the side of his face making it hard to see.
I must have a cut above my eye, he thought, trying to stay rational. It’s nothing.
‘You’ll have to try harder than that, Sylvain,’ Gabe taunted him. ‘Have you been too busy messing with Carter’s sloppy seconds to practice? Looks like she’s got you whipped.’
Sylvain’s fist caught him on the jaw this time, a square blow that made Gabe’s neck twist.
‘You’ll pay for that.’ Gabe whirled on him with a roar.
Moving fast, Sylvain dodged him, aiming a kick at his knee as he passed. But Gabe was faster. Catching Sylvain’s foot he flipped him high into the air.
For a second, the world spun. Then Sylvain landed with such force all the air left his lungs. Some part of him wanted nothing so much as to lie there. But he couldn’t. Allie needed time to get back to the school building. He had to keep Gabe here longer.
With a groan, he staggered to his feet. But as he weaved his way back to the path it occurred to him that he would lose this fight. And that Gabe wouldn’t stop until he killed him.
‘Come on, Sylvain.’ Gabe said, cracking his knuckles. ‘Don’t give up now. I’m just starting to have fun.’
Sylvan spit blood on the ground. Then he turned to face his enemy again, hands clenched in front of him.
‘Why are you here?’ he heard himself ask.
‘What is that? A philosophical question?’ Gabe’s expression turned icy. ‘I’m here because my boss sent me. I’m here to collect a package and go home. That’s all I wanted to do but you got in the way.’
The punches seemed to come faster this time. Sylvain’s reactions were getting slower. But he held his own until Gabe’s fist struck him square in the jaw. For a split second, everything went dark, then it zoomed horribly back into focus again.
Shaking his head to clear it, he again pried himself up off the cold earth.
It was hard to see through the blood and sweat. Gabe looked blurry and indistinct. The night took on a kind of hazy unreality. Like he was watching himself fight and fall from far away.
Every part of his body hurt but he thought he could still kick. He struggled forward for one last try. Gabe smiled.
Grabbing Sylvain’s left arm, Gabe twisted it behind him sending a sharp pain through his shoulder. Sylvain struggled to free himself but each movement made the pain worse. He heard himself cry out.
Then Gabe wrapped his other arm tightly across his neck.
Sylvain was trapped.
‘That was an amateur’s mistake, Sylvain,’ Gabe tutted. ‘I’m disappointed. You used to be so good. What would Raj Patel say?’
He tightened his arm across Sylvain’s throat, cutting off his air.
Tendrils of panic wrapped around Sylvain’s chest. He knew self-defence; he understood the concepts of hand-to-hand combat. So he knew this game was over. There was no way to free himself from this.
His hands gripped Gabe’s arm, but he had no strength. Without oxygen he’d be unconscious in seconds. He could hear himself wheezing.
‘Oh, Sylvain,’ Gabe said pityingly. ‘What a way to go. All alone in the woods, Beaten by the traitor. All because of Carter’s girl. Who would have believed it?’
Sylvain wanted to fight but he couldn’t seem to move. His hands dropped to his sides. His eyes fluttered shut.
Gabe was wrong. It wasn’t a bad way to go, really.
Suddenly, as if from far away, he heard a shriek. Gabe’s entire body shuddered. His arms loosened and Sylvain fell free.
He couldn’t remember hitting the ground. The next thing he knew, Allie was there, fear in her eyes, pulling him to his feet with all her strength.
I must be dreaming.
‘Allie?’ He tried to say the word, but his mouth wouldn’t seem to work. His whole face felt broken.
Her arm was tight around his waist and he wanted to tell her it was hurting his ribs but he couldn’t say that either.
He looked around for Gabe and saw him lying on the path, a broken stake sticking out of his shoulder.
‘You little bitch,’ Gabe gasped, glaring at Allie. ‘You stabbed me.’ Grasping the stake, he tried to pull it out then screamed again, letting go.
The fear disappeared from Allie’s eyes. Replaced by rage.
‘You little . . .’
‘Yeah I know, “bitch”,’ she snapped, cutting him off. ‘You said that already.’
Adrenaline was making her brave and she leaned towards Gabe to say something else but Sylvain found the strength to hold onto her and pull her back to him.
Surprised, she turned to look at him.
‘We have to run,’ Sylvain explained reasonably, but the words came out as garbled mush.
He frowned, puzzled by his own inability to speak intelligibly.
‘What?’ she asked. ‘I don’t understand.’
She looked so brave.
He took a deep breath. He ordered himself not to feel the pain.
‘We have to run,’ he said again, more clearly this time.
This time he knew she understood, because she turned with him, and they ran together into the darkness.
6. The Winter Ball, from Carter’s POV:
‘Where the bloody hell is that shoe? Waste of sodding time …’
Grumbling to himself, Carter crouched down to search the back of his wardrobe, throwing out trainers, boots and a scarf he didn’t recognise before finally emerging a minute later, black dress shoes firmly in one hand.
His tuxedo jacket hung from the back of the wardrobe door, black as his mood.
The idea of going to the winter ball right now, given all that was happening, seemed patently absurd. Isabelle should have cancelled it.
The possibility of some sort of an attack was too high. And after what happened at the summer ball …
He sighed. The party was happening and there was no getting out of it.
He dressed quickly, clipping the cuffs of his crisp, white shirt with the cufflinks Bob Ellison had given to him on his sixteenth birthday – or rather, passed on. Made of silver with a faceted garnet stone at the centre, they’d once belonged to his father. But Carter had long since given up examining the cold metal for any connection to his dead parents. There was nothing there.
They were just cufflinks.
He stood in front of the mirror, knotting his black tie with the expert ease of familiarity. For a moment he studied himself, seeing the irritation in his dark eyes. The tight set of his full mouth.
He clenched and unclenched his hands, trying to force himself to relax.
It was nearly nine o’clock. He’d put this off for as long as he could.
* * *
The sound of the party hit him at the top of the stairs. In the great hall, a string orchestra played a lively waltz. The roar of conversation rose above the music like a wave cresting over a beach.
Squaring his shoulders, Carter walked into the crowds.
He would show his face, hang out with Jules for a bit then leave when no one was looking. That was enough.
The ground floor was packed with elegantly dressed strangers and Carter struggled to make his way through them, forcing a polite smile.
A familiar voice broke above the others and he saw Jules, reaching out through the crush of people.
‘Carter’s trapped! I will rescue him,’ she announced, grabbing his hand and pulling him through to where she stood talking to Katie and some of her vile acolytes.
Katie cast a bored smile his way. She looked white as milk in a dark green dress that clung to her figure but he barely noticed her. Because Jules looked incredible.
Her black, silk dress slid over her body like dark water. A slit from the ankle to the thigh exposed one muscular leg. Her silky blonde hair just brushed the very tops of her mostly bare shoulders.
‘Blimey, Jules. You look fantastic,’ he said, trying not to stare.
She blushed. ‘You scrub up pretty well yourself, Carter.’
Her words slurred slightly. He could smell the wine on her breath. His lips quirked up. ‘Why Miss Matheson. Have you been drinking?’
‘Only champagne.’ She blinked. ‘That doesn’t count … Does it?’
‘Not if I have some.’ He lifted two glasses from a passing tray held aloft by a hassled looking waiter and handed one to her. ‘If we must be here, the least we can do is get drunk.’
‘Intoxicated is the correct term.’ Katie took a sip from her glass and eyed a couple of glamorous looking adults nearby. ‘Drunk is what ordinary people get.’
‘And we’re not ordinary …’ her friend Ismay snickered next to her.
Recognising the couple Katie was watching as Sylvain’s parents, Carter shot her a bilious look. Jules didn’t miss his expression.
‘Shall we dance?’ She tilted her head to one side and looked at him thoughtfully as if merely considering this possibility. Then she made up her mind. ‘Yes. We shall.’
Without waiting for his response, she pulled him to the edge of the crowded dance floor. Carter, who didn’t want to dance but also didn’t want to talk to Katie, upended his champagne glass, downing its contents. Jules did the same.
Setting their glasses on a nearby table, Carter turned to her, taking her hand in his, and resting his other hand on her waist. She was more muscular than Allie, he noticed. And taller.
He winced. He really needed to stop comparing them.
Setting his mouth in a determined line he pulled her closer. They swirled into the crowd.
They’d known each other since they were eleven. They’d learned to fight together. To dance together. And it showed. Jules seemed to anticipate his every move. She let him lead without question or challenge. Having never done it, he imagined dancing with Allie would be very different.
She’d never let anyone lead.
Mentally he shook himself. I have got to stop thinking about her.
As they spun across the floor in perfect sync and he pulled her closer, flattening his hand against the small of her back. Beneath his fingers she moved with sinuous ease.
Her gaze held his as if she willed him to think only of her. The way her body pressed against his made it hard to think about anything else.
Carter swallowed hard. He’d never thought of Jules as anything but a friend. Tonight, though, everything seemed different. She seemed different.
She was openly flirting with him, for one thing.
When the song finished she raised her lips to his ear. ‘Let’s get more champagne.’
Her words seemed to run from his head down his spine.
He looked into her dark blue eyes. Maybe he could forget Allie.
She led him to the edge of the dance floor, waving over a waiter bearing a tray full of champagne glasses. Selecting two, she handed one to Carter.
He knew he should pace himself but the cold, effervescent wine was welcome. The room was stuffy. Over-heated.
Jules took a deep drink then turned to face him. She was standing very close and her breast brushed his arm.
Just for a second, he wondered if she’d done it on purpose.
‘I’m so glad I don’t have to wear a jacket like boys do.’ Her voice was husky. ‘It must be so hot.’
Somehow, his glass of champagne was empty again. When did that happen?
His hand, of its own accord, ran down her bare arm. Her skin felt as silky as her dress. When it reached her wrist he pulled her closer.
Is this a good idea? But the cautious voice came and went away.
Her lips were so near now. Her body was pressed against his. He could feel how her breaths had shortened. The way her pulse fluttered. She wanted him as much as he wanted her. And why shouldn’t they have each other? Should he just be alone forever because he and Allie couldn’t make it work? Because she wanted someone else?
Because she wanted Sylvain?
‘Carter …’ Jules whispered.
‘What?’ His throat had tightened; he breathed the word.
People were pushing past them on their way to and from the dance floor but they barely noticed.
‘Are you ever going to kiss me?’ she asked.
He smiled. And lowered his lips to hers.
At first all he noticed was how different it was with her than Allie. Jules smelled differently – of cool roses rather than honeysuckle and spice. Her body felt different. But it was more than that. Her kisses were more assured. Allie was always hesitant, curious, as if she was still learning how to do it. Jules, on the other hand, was confident. Her lips parted instantly, explored him. Her tongue brushed against his. Her hands slipped under his jacket and ran up his back, pulling him tighter.
Things went faster with Jules. Got out of hand faster. And, after a moment he pulled back, half-laughing.
‘Hey, we better chill out a little. Parents.’
Her lips curved up. ‘I know a place we can go where there aren’t any parents.’
He held her gaze. ‘Where?’
The noise of the crowd seemed to recede. Carter’s heartbeat sped up. He wanted nothing more right now than to continue that kiss. But he knew if that happened – if he went to her room and they continued what they’d started at the edge of the dance floor – their friendship would change forever.
He hesitated. ‘I don’t know …’
Her face fell.
With a gentle touch, he smoothed a strand of blonde hair back from her eyes. ‘Are you sure about this, Jules? We’ve always been friends …’
She took a quick breath. When she spoke, her words came out in a rush. ‘I am sure, Carter. I’ve been sure for a long time. I just didn’t know how to tell you. Then you were with Allie and I thought …’
His face darkened. You thought it was forever. Well, so did I. And look how wrong we both were.
That made up his mind. He pressed a soft kiss against the side of her face.
Jules smiled and took charge. ‘I’ll go up now. You wait five minutes then follow me. It wouldn’t be good for people to see us going up the stairs together. They won’t notice us apart.’
Boys weren’t allowed in the girls’ dorm but Jules was prefect. She knew how to get around The Rules better than anyone.
After she’d disappeared into the crowd, Carter grabbed another glass of champagne and strolled around the room. Five minutes seemed to take forever to pass.
Now that he’d made up his mind he wanted to be there. With her.
Nearby, Sylvain had joined his parents – Carter’s gaze flitted past them to the dance floor. As he watched, Jo swirled by in a sexy velvet mini-dress only she could carry off. She’d dyed her hair bright pink.
Just looking at her made Carter smile. Jo was like human sunshine. He’d have to remember to tell her later how cool she looked.
Allie was nowhere to be seen, and he was glad.
Maybe she hadn’t come. He knew she’d tried to get Isabelle to cancel the whole event.
Turning, he weaved a little, stumbling against a chair before he caught himself. He was starting to feel lightheaded – he hadn’t eaten anything since lunch and had just had … how many glasses of champagne?
He needed food.
With effort, he made his way through the throngs to the space where tables were piled high with food. Without really looking at what he chose, he filled a plate with hors d’oeuvres.
Leaning against a wall he ate quickly, watching the dance from a safe distance.
He’d been part of Cimmeria all his life – had hidden at the top of the stairs as a small boy to watch the glamorous set below – but never felt a true part of events like these. With no parents to accompany him, no connection to these people at all aside from Cimmeria itself, he was at once one of them and nothing like them at all.
When he finished, he set the empty plate down on a passing waiter’s tray and glanced at his watch. Time to go.
A lock of dark hair fell forward and he pushed it back as he lifted himself from the wall.
That was when he saw her.
In a dark blue dress that perfectly suited her figure, Allie moved slowly through the crowd like a disconsolate starlet. Her hair poured in vivid red waves down her back.
She stood out like a warning light.
Carter’s heart seemed to stop. He stared at her, captivated.
She and Jo must have coloured their hair together, he realised, as a thing.
But, while Jo had seemed giddy, beneath the colourful waves of hair Allie’s face looked pale, unhappy.
He fought an instinctive urge to go to her, to find out what was wrong. To fix it.
She wasn’t his to fix anymore. And besides, Jules was waiting …
As Allie neared him though, he didn’t move. He could have slipped away without her ever seeing him. But he stood there.
Despite everything he still felt drawn to her. Something connected them. She was the only person he knew here who was like him – an outsider. The only one who really got him. Even though he was still angry and hurt … He also missed having her in his life.
She was so close now he could almost touch her but she hadn’t noticed him yet. Like a ghost, he watched unseen as she picked up a crab cake, studied it then put it in her mouth cautiously.
Something about the way she did that, the innocence of it, made up his mind.
He moved towards her. He’d almost reached her side when she turned suddenly, running directly into him.
‘I’m sorr …’ they both started to say, then she realised who she’d run into. The words died on his lips as he met her stormy gaze.
‘Allie …’ was all his lips would say then.
He couldn’t seem to talk. To think.
Their eyes locked. Colour flooded her pale cheeks. She looked horrified. For a moment that stretched too long neither of them said anything. Finally, Carter opened his mouth to tell her how lovely she looked. Just as he did she turned away with a jerk, as if she wanted to escape. As if she couldn’t bear even to look at him.
Despair ran like ice water through his veins. How had they managed to ruin everything so completely?
Without another word, he fled, letting the crowd close behind him.
He had to stop fooling himself that anything could be resurrected between them. That they could ever be together again.
He had to let her go.
Weaving through the crowd he ran up the stairs, taking them two at a time.
But when he knocked on Jules’ door seconds later, his hand quivered. He tightened it into a fist.
Jules opened the door immediately. ‘Bad news,’ she said. ‘We can’t stay long. Isabelle wants me downstairs for speeches. We have ten minutes.’
With that, she grabbed his lapel and pulled him into the room.
Carter almost smiled. Jules was so uninhibited. So sure of what she wanted. Maybe this was what he needed now in his life. Something uncomplicated.
He closed the door, leaning his back against it as he looked around.
Her room smelled faintly of her perfume. One wall held a framed poster of an old man with a guitar all painted in dark blue hues. A soft, white rug covered the floor. The bookshelves were stacked with photos, books and knick-knacks. It felt comfortable.
She’d draped a scarf over the bedside lamp, giving it all an ethereal glow. The scarf fluttered in the breeze coming through the open window. The icy air felt good – cooling the perspiration on his skin.
It occurred to him it was cold enough to snow.
She took a step towards him. Her skin glowed in the light.
‘Listen, Jules …’ He faltered and she looked at him with concern.
‘What’s the matter? Did something happen?’
‘I just think …’ He reached for her hand, threading his fingers through hers. ‘We need to be careful. You matter to me. And I couldn’t bear to lose you. After Allie, I’m afraid that …’ He shook his head then and just said it simply. ‘I’m afraid.’
‘Shhh.’ Reaching up, she rested her palm gently against his face. His eyes drifted shut as he leaned in to her touch.
He’d been so lonely for so long it hurt not to be alone.
‘Listen to me, Carter West,’ she said with soft determination. ‘You will never lose me. Whatever happens tonight or tomorrow night or all the tomorrows after, I will always be there for you. Do you understand me? Always.’
As she said the words he’d always wanted Allie to say his eyes flew open. He saw nothing in her dark blue gaze but love and honesty.
He so wanted to believe she was right. Maybe, all this time, he’d been looking in the wrong place. Trying to make something happen with Allie when Jules was right here. Waiting for him.
‘Jules …’ With a sigh of surrender he lowered his lips to hers.
* * *
Twenty minutes later Carter and Jules walked down a side staircase to the ground floor, hand-in-hand. He could still feel the touch of her lips against his. Smell her scent on his clothes. They moved with easy synchronisation.
He felt happy for the first time in weeks. His thoughts were clear of the haze that had hung over them since he and Allie broke up. He felt focussed. Alive.
As they neared the great hall, Carter noticed the crowds seemed to have thinned. Jules looked around with a puzzled frown.
‘I hope we haven’t missed the speeches.’ Dropping his hand, she hurried her pace. ‘Isabelle will kill me.’
Before he could reply they both heard the pounding of footsteps. A Night School student shot by them, loosening his tie as he ran. He was heading for the basement staircase.
Someone called their names.
Everything seemed to move in slow motion as they turned in unison to see Zelazny sprinting down the wide hallway towards them.
‘Training Room,’ the instructor said without breaking stride. ‘Now.’
Carter and Jules exchanged a tense look.
‘I guess the party’s over,’ she said.
7. See that night from Sylvain’s perspective:
7. See that night from Sylvain’s perspective:
Λίγα λόγια από εμένα ακόμα:
Αυτά ήταν. Ελπίζω να σας άρεσαν. Α ακόμα ένα πραγματάκι. Βρήκα άλλο ένα απόσπασμα με όνομα: The day the light out. Μπορείτε να το βρείτε εδώ: http://www.wattpad.com/45253649-the-day-the-lights-went-out-a-night-school-prequel
ΚΑΛΌ ΣΑΣ ΔΙΆΒΑΣΜΑ!!!
(ΚΑΙ ΑΝΥΠΟΜΟΝΏ ΝΑ ΑΚΟΎΣΩ ΤΗΝ ΓΝΏΜΗ ΣΑΣ ΓΙΑ ΌΣΑ ΒΡΉΚΑ!!!)
Τέλεια τα αποσπάσματα! Πού τα βρήκες? Εννοώ, είναι από τα βιβλία ή τα έγραψε μετά η συγγραφέας?ΑπάντησηΔιαγραφή
Χαίρομαι που σου άρεσαν. Τα βρήκα στο σιτε της συγγραφέας!!! <3 Είναι κάτι επιπλέον που μάλλον έγραψε μετά το κάθε βιβλίο.
Δεν ξέρω για εσένα, αλλά με τα δύο αποσπάσματα (6,7) συμπάθησα περισσότερο τον Sylvain και ΜΙΣΗΣΑ τον Carter. Βέβαια, νομίζω ότι η Allie θα δυσκολευτεί να πάρει την τελική απόφασή της. Ελπίζω να μην πάθει τίποτα ο ένας από τους δύο, ώστε να αναγκαστεί να επιλέξει τον άλλο. Σήμερα αρχίζω το 4ο στα Ελληνικά.............ΑπάντησηΔιαγραφή
Εγώ θεωρώ πως με αυτά τα αποσπάσματα εξισορρόπησαν λίγο τα πράγματα. Εγώ νομίζω πως ο ένας από τους δύο στο τέλος θα πεθάνει στην αγκαλιά της. Και δυστυχώς στοιχηματίζω στον Σιλβέν. :( :( :( Ξέρω πως ξαφνιάστηκες με αυτό που είπα αλλά είναι μια πιθανότητα. Και καλοδιάβατο το βιβλίο. Ανυπομονώ να ακούσω γνώμη μόλις το τελειώσεις. <3
Αυτα τα αποσπασματα ειναι απο το 5 βιβλιο?ΑπάντησηΔιαγραφή
Όχι. Είναι από τα 3 πρώτα βιβλία. Λέει από που είναι το καθένα βάση σε γεγονότα. ;)
γιατι στοιχιματιζεις στο σιλβεν???............................παντοσΑπάντησηΔιαγραφή
είναι μια πιθανότητα γιατι αν ειναι οκαρτερ θα εινα ι φανερο επειτα απο το τέλοσ του τεταρτου..............δεν θα αντεξω να πεθανει κανενας απο τους δυο.....................................
Ακριβώς. Είναι ποιο δύσκολο να φανταστείς νεκρό τον Σιλβέν πλέον παρά τον Κάρτερ. Ούτε εγώ θέλω κάποιος να πεθάνει. :(
μια φιλη μου ειπε οτι βγηκε και 9 αποσπασμα........αληθεια?????ΑπάντησηΔιαγραφή
Άργησα να σου απαντήσω γιατί το έψαξα. Όχι. Ακόμα δεν έχει βγει. Όταν βγει θα σας ενημερώσω. <3
ΈΚΑΝΑ ΤΗΝ ΑΝΆΡΤΗΣΗ ΜΕ ΤΙΣ ΙΔΈΕΣ ΜΟΥ ΓΙΑ ΤΟ ΤΙ ΜΠΟΡΕΊ ΝΑ ΓΊΝΕΙ ΣΤΟ 5ο ΒΙΒΛΊΟ ΤΗς ΣΕΙΡΆΣ ΝΥΧΤΕΡΙΝΌ ΣΧΟΛΕΊΟ: http://booksfrien.blogspot.gr/2015/05/night-school-endgame-5-5-cjdaugherty.htmlΑπάντησηΔιαγραφή