Fading Amber

Fading Amber by Jaime Reed Read Free Book Online

Book: Fading Amber by Jaime Reed Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jaime Reed
also in our prayers.” The three of them made the Catholic sign of the cross at the same time.
    Holding the clipboard to her chest, she leaned in and said, “I hear Caleb is out of the hospital, so you might not want Malik to come home too soon, am I right? I understand.” She gave me a sly, just-between-us-girls wink.
    I was getting really sick of repeating myself. I had the urge to blurt out that an incubus was now the captain of the basketball team, and that we might actually have a shot at winning regionals this year. Though it would certainly make me feel better, it would just confirm the rumors of my flakiness. After all, I had no proof to back me up, none that would hold up in court.
    In a true act of mercy, the bell rang.
    â€œOops, gotta go. Thanks again, Simone.” With a wave, Courtney skipped away with her two trusty lapdogs at her sides.
    First period went by without incident or my full attention. I had other things on my mind and a list of questions that needed answers. Number one: where the hell was Tobias? My concern wasn’t brought on by fondness, but a basic survival tactic while in battle, to always be one step ahead of your enemy.
    I kept looking over my shoulder in government class, staring at the empty desk in the back row. A part of me expected him to materialize out of vapor, or roll up late in his Malik costume. The way I saw it, if you were going to steal someone’s identity, then at least have the decency to follow through with it and show up to class.
    I was on edge by the time lunch rolled around, my curiosity growling louder than my stomach. Instead of the loners that I usually sat with, I wandered past enemy lines to the more popular side of the cafeteria, prowling for spiritual sustenance. My lunch mates hadn’t expected my seating change, but I assured them it was a temporary transfer. I moved from table to table, taking in that thin film of vitality that covered each living creature in a yummy aura.
    You would think I rolled up to the lunch room in see-through lingerie the way the guys were staring at me. Even the ones who had girlfriends (plural). I got bum rushed by every type of the Y-chromosome, from that really close talker guy, the dude with the breath that could curl lashes, that player that always grabbed at his crotch. They were all food for me, much like how a cow was nothing but a cheeseburger with legs.
    As a rule, I try to avoid people who make lewd comments about me and my genitalia, so I skipped over those and headed to my main entrée. The real heartbreaker was the painfully shy guy who conjured every ounce of courage to talk to me. These are the ones I actually give the time of day and in turn, made their day with a kiss on the cheek. And even with this level of discipline it was still a challenge not to feed directly or take too much from one person. Temptation would always be there.
    Now that my hunger was sated, my curiosity needed fuel. There was no better source of intel than the eyes and ears of the school.
    Dougie, along with his teammates, gawked at me as I sat next to him. He snuck a glance around the cafeteria for someone else I might be staring at, then asked, “I’m sorry, have we met?”
    â€œYeah. That one time in the fourth grade.” I patted his hair and almost got impaled by the short black spikes glossed with gel.
    Once the shock of my presence wore off, he dove into the pyramid stack of burritos on his tray. The muscles in his arm flexed under his thermal undershirt. Though he was about five-eight, Dougie was filling out in all the right places, thanks to his spot on the wrestling team and the excessive appetite that rivaled Caleb’s. “So, you makin’ up for your shadiness and finally gracin’ us with your divine presence?”
    â€œShut it, Dougie. I’m here on a mission.” I craned my neck over the heads of students and scoped out the entrance.
    â€œWhat kind of mission?” He

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