Ten seconds passed between when Daemon Black took his seat and when he poked me under my shoulder blade with his trusty pen. Ten whole seconds. Twisting around in my seat, I inhaled the unique outdoorsy scent that was all him.
Daemon pulled his hand back and tapped the blue cap of his pen on the corner of his lips. Lips I was well familiar with. “Good morning, Kitten.”
I forced my gaze to his eyes. Bright green, like the stem of a freshly cut rose. “Good morning, Daemon.”
Unruly dark hair fell over his forehead as he tilted his head. “Don’t forget we have plans tonight.”
“Yeah, I know. Looking forward to it,” I said dryly.
As Daemon leaned forward, his dark sweater stretched over broad shoulders. He tipped his desk down. I heard the soft inhales from my friends Carissa and Lesa, felt the eyes of everyone in class watching us. One corner of his lips curved higher, as if he were secretly laughing.
The stretch of silence became too heavy. “What?”
“We need to work off your trace,” he said, low enough that only I could hear. Thank God. Trying to explain what a trace was to the general populace was not something I wanted to get into. Oh, you know, just alien residue that rubs off on humans and lights them up like a Christmas tree and becomes a homing signal to an evil alien race. Want some?
I picked up my pen and considered poking him with it. “Yeah, I figured as much.”
“And I have this really fun idea of how we can do it.”
I knew what his “fun idea” was. Me. Him. Making out. I smiled, and the green of his eyes heated.
“Liking the idea?” he murmured, and his gaze dropped to my lips.
An unhealthy amount of excitement had my entire body humming, and I reminded myself that his sudden turnaround had more to do with the effect of his bizarre alien mojo on me than it did with me as a person. Ever since Daemon healed me after the battle with the Arum, we were connected, and while that seemed to be enough for him to jump into a relationship, it wasn’t for me.
It wasn’t real.
I wanted what my parents had. Undying love. Powerful. True. A whacked-out alien bond couldn’t do that for me.
“Not in this lifetime, buddy,” I said finally.
“Resistance is futile, Kitten.”
“So is your charm.”
Rolling my eyes, I faced the front of the classroom. Daemon was a total babe, but he was stab-worthy, which, at times, zeroed out the babe part. Not always, though.
Our ancient trig teacher shuffled in, clutching a thick wad of papers while he waited for the tardy bell.
Daemon poked me with his pen. Again.
Squeezing my hands into fists, I debated ignoring him. I knew better. He’d just keep poking me. Turning around, I glared at him. “What, Daemon?”
He moved as fast as a cobra striking. With a grin that did funny things to my stomach, he glided his fingers along my cheek, plucking a tiny bit of fuzz out of my hair.
I stared at him.
I started to get all kinds of crazy ideas as his grin turned wicked, but I wasn’t playing his game anymore. I rolled my eyes and whipped back around. I would resist my hormones…and the way he got to me like no one else.
A slight tic of pain throbbed behind my left eye the rest of the morning, which I totally blamed on Daemon.
By lunch, I felt like someone had sucker punched me in the head. The steady noise of the cafeteria and the mix of disinfectant and burned food made me want to run from the room.
“You going to eat that?” Dee Black gestured at my untouched cottage cheese and pineapple.
Shaking my head, I pushed my tray over, and my stomach roiled as she dug in.
“You could eat the football team under the table.” Lesa watched Dee with obvious envy sparkling in her dark eyes. I couldn’t blame her. I’d once seen Dee eat an entire package of Oreos in one sitting. “How do you do it?”
Dee shrugged dainty shoulders. “I guess I have a fast metabolism.”
“What did you guys do this weekend?” Carissa asked, frowning as she wiped her glasses with the sleeve of her shirt. “I was filling out college applications.”
“I was making out with Chad all weekend.” Lesa grinned.
Both girls looked at Dee and me, waiting for us to share. I guessed the whole killing-a-psycho-alien-and-almost-dying thing probably wasn’t something to throw out there.
“We hung out and watched stupid movies,” Dee answered, giving me a slight smile as she tucked a shiny black curl behind her ear. “It was kind of boring.”
Lesa snorted. “You guys are always boring.”
I started to smile, but a warm tingle skated across the nape of my neck. The conversation around me faded and a few seconds later, Daemon dropped into the seat to my left. A plastic cup full of strawberry smoothie—my favorite—was set in front of me. I was more than a little shocked to be receiving any present from Daemon, much less one of my favorite treats. My fingers brushed his as I took the drink, and a jolt of electricity danced along my skin.
I yanked my hand back and took a small sip. Delish. Maybe it would make my tummy feel better. And maybe I could get used to this new gift-giving Daemon. Much better than the other douchebag version of him. “Thank you.”
He smiled in response.
“Where’re ours?” Lesa quipped.
Daemon laughed. “I’m only at the service of one person in particular.”
My cheeks flamed as I scooted my chair over. “You are not servicing me in any way.”
He leaned in, closing my newly gained distance. “Not yet.”