Have you seen this week's giveaway of 3 final hardcover signed/doodled copies of ANGELFIRE?
My stomach growled. I let my face hit the desk and rolled my head to the side to glance at my clock sideways. It was just after six. I couldn’t believe I’d been working on this homework for two hours. I was so sick of this crap.
I lifted my gaze. “Hey, Will?” I felt stupid talking to no one in my room.
“Finished?” answered his voice a moment later.
Startled, I leapt out of my seat, grasping my heart. My pulse pounded in my head. “What’s the matter with you? You scared the crap out of me!”
He stood just in front of window. He had somehow managed to get in without making any noise at all. “Sorry about that.”
I smoothed out my shirt. “What are you, Will? How can you move that fast?”
“I’m your Guardian.”
“No, I mean, besides Batman, what is your species?”
“Never mind,” I said impatiently. “I already know what you are: obnoxious. I’m going to go change into some fresh clothes.”
“Because I don’t like wearing the same outfit all day.”
He looked at me like I had a third eye. I rolled my eyes and shut myself in my closet. I picked out a pair of jeans and a black sweater and put them on before emerging. “I’m really hungry and I know how much you like to be invisible and all, but I think you can make an exception. Would you mind if we grabbed a bite to eat before the movie?”
“Not at all,” he said. “You need to eat. You get grumpy when you don’t eat.”
I blinked in surprise. He really did know me well. “Great. How does
“I have no idea what that is.”
I drove us to my favorite, Leo’s
Coney Island. The restaurant was just a little more crowded than usual, but it was a Friday night. As we wandered to an open table, I noticed a group of girls sitting at a booth table near the front door. Two of them were staring at Will, so I gave them the stink eye as we passed.
I chose a booth on the opposite wall, as far away from the girls as possible. Our waitress was a perky girl who was maybe a year older than me and who probably lived in
West Bloomfield, since we were on that side of town.
“What can I getcha?” she asked with her pencil and notepad in hand.
“Plain cheeseburger and fries with a side salad and water for me,” I said and nodded at Will. “Do you want anything?”
“No, thank you,” he said with a dismissive wave of his hand.
The girl gave a quick nod and buzzed away.
“Aren’t you hungry?” I asked him.
He shook his head. “Not often. The only time I eat is usually after a fight. The more heavily wounded or weak I am, the more I need to eat in order to heal and replenish my strength. Calories heal my body, so I need a lot of them.”
I stared at him. “I am so jealous.” I was excited that he felt like revealing things to me. Perhaps this conversation would go somewhere interesting. Our hostess brought my drink and I stuck the straw in to take a gulp.
“Will you ever tell me how you became my Guardian?” I asked hopefully.
He smiled. “You know very well how that happened. I know you don’t have access to that memory yet, but I don’t think it’s something I can just tell you. It means too much to me, I guess. Everything will come back to you. Be patient.”
I huffed at his response, because it only made me more curious. “Are you going to tell me what my name was, or do I have to remember that, too?”
He rolled his eyes. “You need to stop asking questions. Remember what I said earlier? We’re pretending to be normal humans today.”
“Well, normal humans don’t sit at
Coney Islandand watch others eat. They order a plateful of chili cheese fries. Don’t be so weird.” I took another gulp.
My salad arrived and just as the waitress was about to leave, Will held up his hand. “I’ve changed my mind. I’ll take a root beer float.”
She flashed a quick smile and fluttered away.
“A root beer float?” I asked. “What are you, five?”
“Obviously, no,” he said. “They’re my favorite.”
“A root beer float?” I repeated. “You’re six hundred years old and a root beer float is your favorite food?”
He shrugged. “You wanted me to be normal and order something, so I did.”
“That is still weird.”
The waitress returned with his float and he stirred and dunked the ice cream immediately. Between his sips and bites of ice cream, Will watched me much too closely as I ate.
“What?” I asked, swallowing a mouthful.
“You remind me of me.”
“That can’t be good.” I took another bite.
“It’s not necessarily a bad thing. You must be really hungry.”
I didn’t like the amused look on his face. I felt very self-conscious suddenly. “So?”
He shrugged. “Nothing.”
I ate more slowly after that. When we headed to the register to pay and leave, I reached inside my purse for money, but Will handed the clerk a twenty-dollar bill.
“No, no, no,” I said, reaching for his hand. “That wasn’t part of the deal.”
“Don’t worry about it,” he assured me, allowing the clerk to take the bill. “I’ve got this.”
“But all you had was that float.”
“We’re trying to act normal, aren’t we? It’s not very normal for a young lady to pay for her own dinner.”
I scowled. “You must be confusing right now with a hundred years ago. That’s a stupid stereotype. We aren’t even on a date, so it doesn’t count.”
“Perhaps, but everyone around us is assuming otherwise.” He nodded, his gaze wandering around the restaurant. “We don’t want them to become suspicious, do we?”
“Will, they really don’t care what we’re doing,” I said. “It’s not like we’re undercover or something.”