Home > Saved at Sunrise (Shadow Falls #4.5)(4)

Saved at Sunrise (Shadow Falls #4.5)(4)
Author: C.C. Hunter

Della grabbed her bag and they took off at a sprint. In the distance she heard the cops yelling for everyone to stop. They didn't. They couldn't.

Burnett hadn't been specific about them not getting arrested, but she had a feeling he'd frown upon it.

"Police! I said stop," the policeman yelled again. Footsteps echoed behind them, making their way down the alley.

They cut the corner into a side alley, and Della didn't know if they had time to get the hell out without the officers seeing their escape.

* * *

The refrigerator at the cabin didn't have an ice machine. She supposed she should be glad it had one ice tray with five pieces of ice in it. She emptied the five tiny cubes into a new pillowcase and handed it to Steve. His eye was almost swollen shut. "Hold it against your eye," she said.

They'd gotten away from the police, but barely. She stared at Steve's injury.

"Why didn't you change into something and maul his ass?" she bit out.

"You don't transform in front of humans," Steve said. "That's the number one shape-shifting rule."

"I'd think the number one rule would be to protect yourself."

"You'd think wrong," Steve said.

She shook her head. "They were both drunk, who would've believed them?"

He cut his eyes up to her. "What about when the cops showed up?"

She frowned, seeing his point, but still not liking it. "Put the ice on your eye." After a second she said, "So you're supposed to let them use you as a punching bag?"

Steve dropped the ice from his face. "He got one punch in, and who was the one on the ground when we left?"

Della groaned. "You should have let me handle him."

Steve ignored her and reached up to touch his eye. "Hey ... this will look good for tomorrow. I'm a badass shape-shifter, not afraid to fight."

Della rolled her eyes at him the way Miranda rolled hers at everyone. "But you just broke one of Burnett's rules. You're gonna come back bruised."

Steve grinned. "I'll tell him you did it."

Della plopped down on the old pine chest that served as a coffee table. "He'd know that wasn't true, even if he couldn't hear your heart lie. If you pissed me off, I wouldn't have stopped at a black eye. You'd be black-and-blue all over."

"Now that's just an outright lie. I don't think you'd hurt me." His Southern accent came out again.

"And you'd be wrong." She paused. "Where are you from?"

"Where do you think I'm from?" He smiled as if her question pleased him.

And she knew why. She'd shown some personal interest in him. She shouldn't have done that because he might think she actually liked him or something.

"I think you're from somewhere where they talk funny," she smarted off, and shot up to get her blood from the refrigerator. She found a cup, rinsed it out-twice-poured her dinner into it, and sat down at the kitchen table.

He dropped into the second chair at the table. "I'm from Alabama. My parents dragged me to Dallas two years ago."

"You don't like Texas?" she asked and frowned when she realized she'd done it again, shown a personal interest. Then again, maybe she should give herself a break, they were on a mission together, and she was pretending to be his girlfriend. If someone asked something, she should be able to answer it.

"Since I went to camp this last summer, I do. Before that ... not really. The school in Dallas was some fancy prep school-not even for supernaturals. That school fit my parents' way of thinking and life, but I don't do fancy schools very well."

She couldn't see him in one, either. Not that he didn't seem smart, he did. But he was just easier going than someone who wanted to put on airs.

A few more questions popped into her mind, but she hesitated to ask. She turned her cup in her hands.

The silence must have felt awkward to him as well, because he continued. "My dad's a CEO for an oil company, Mom's a doctor. And I'm an only child who's not supposed to care what I want but to just grow up, become what they want me to be, and make them look good in the human world."

"They're shifters, too, right?" she asked.

"Yeah, but you'd hardly know it. I don't think my mom has shifted in a couple of years. Dad does it just to relieve stress, but they like living in the human world."

"And you don't?" Della asked, thinking about how often she wished she could go back to the human world and be one of them. Sure, she appreciated the powers, loved knowing she could kick ass. But she wished that gaining these powers hadn't meant losing so much of her life. Or rather the people who were in her life.

"I don't want to run off and join a damn compound or anything, but I'm proud of what I am. I can abide by the rules, not exposing myself in front of humans. I don't have a problem with rules, but I don't want to hide from this part of myself."

"I don't blame you." She didn't think she could hide, either. Not now.

"I'm not really complaining about them," he said. "I mean, as long as we don't have to see each other very often we forget that we're all disappointed in each other."

She knew all about the feeling of disappointing your parents. Exhaling, she looked at the pillowcase, which was bunched up at the end and held the five pieces of ice. He'd brought it with him to the table, but wasn't using it. "You should use that. That's all the ice we have."

He put it against his eye and stared at her with the other. "What's your story?"

"No story here," she lied.

He leaned his chair back on two legs. With half his face hidden behind the hanging pillowcase, he looked accusingly at her with his uninjured eye. "Liar."

She swallowed and stood, picking up her cup.

It didn't stop him from talking though. "You think I don't see you on parents' day? You look completely miserable when you see them come in." He dropped the ice from his eye. "The only time you look more miserable is when you watch them leave."

She frowned, not liking that her feelings about her parents had been so visible. "You're not fae, you can't read my emotions. So stop trying." She took two steps and then looked back. "I'm calling it a night."

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