I was in the middle of trying to get my invention to work when Everard showed up. He stared at the tools, books, and pieces of equipment scattered on the table, then at the invention. I tensed, praying he wouldn't tell what it was going to be used for. He raised his eyes and met my gaze and I schooled my features into indifference, praying it was actually working
"What's it going to be?"
"Not sure yet," I answered. In a sense that was true, I really didn't know what I was making yet.
He raised a brow. "Don't you need to be sure to make it, sweetheart?"
In truth, I was never sure before I made something. "Not really, I usually just add parts, take some away and experiment with them until I come up with something useful."
That was almost what I did every single time, and I rarely knew what I was going to invent before I was at least halfway done. Most of the time, but not this time. I looked at Everard expectantly.
"That's an amazing skill," he said finally. "Did you...did you used to do something with it before...?"
I knew what he meant, before I got stuck here. "Yes."
I couldn't help it, I grinned. "I was a thief."
He frowned. "That's not really something to be proud of, sweetheart."
"I stole from those who deserved it, watched them panic for an entire day and then return it." I grinned again. "I am...was quite notorious back home."
He frowned. "I'm sure you still will be when you go back."
When I go back. I was relieved to know that he didn't want me here for the rest of my life, just until...well I didn't know. And how would I go back with my wings?
"Even when I get back, I won't be able to do that anymore. My stepmom caught me."
"Let me guess, you had to come here and steal the information or else you'd get charged."
"And you were going to do it."
"I was going to take whatever useless information I found, give it to her and destroy the rest, then carry on my life. Graduate. Get a job at a tech company probably. Travel the world." I couldn't keep the bitterness out of my words.
He stepped closer. "You're not going to stay here forever, even if I sometimes wish you will."
I ignored the second thing he said. "How can I go back with these wings?"
I flared them for effect, even though the movement pulled at the sore muscles in my wings. It wasn't the wings that were a problem, but the fact that they weren't Drakhenae wings, and I would instantly be recognized by my stepmother for what I was; a tool for war.
He looked down. "I don't know Cerise. But we'll think of something, I promise."
I calmed down and tucked my wings back in. It would all work out, I wouldn't spend the rest of my life in hiding, and this time, we would think of something. I had to believe that.
I nodded and let out a breath. "Great."
He tilted his head to the door and I followed him out. "Where are we going?"
"Marie and Anne."
I suppressed a shudder. The doctors. I didn't have a problem with them, at least not Anne, but doctors in general made me apprehensive.
We stepped into the elevator and I stared at the top of the elevator. When I glanced at Everard I found him staring at me, with that same intense look he'd given me the past few days, and like every time, my toes curled in my shoes and I felt heady. I wasn't a fool, I knew exactly what that look meant, I just wasn't sure what I wanted to do about it. Especially when the thin cloth of my shirt and tights wasn't enough. It always felt like not enough or too much whenever his presence filled the room, or in this case, the too small elevator. I leaned against the wall and glanced at the numbers over the doors and sucked in a breath when he moved closer, bracing his arms on either side of my head and leaning in. My gaze shot up and this close, I could count his lashes if I wanted to. Lashes that were long enough for some to turn green with envy for.
"I hope that all that talk about you leaving doesn't mean that you don't like my company, sweetheart."
"And if it does?" I asked breathlessly.
"I would be very sad," he answered, his lips turning down at the corners, but his blue green eyes still had that same heated look.
His gaze dropped to my lips, and then my neck, where I was sure he could see my pulse beating erratically.
"You still didn't answer my question, sweetheart."
I took a deep breath, which was a mistake because now my senses were flooded with his musky, sage-like scent.
"It doesn't," I whispered finally.
He leaned in closer, until his lips were just below my ear, his hair brushing my skin. Unbidden, I closed my eyes and shivered.
"Knew it," he whispered, lips moving against my skin and making my skin flush.
When the elevator rang, marking our arrival, I jumped, startled, and wished slightly that the ride was longer. He laughed and stepped out. As I followed him, I mulled over what just happened, and like that, snapped out of whatever trance I was in, because what in the world was I doing?
Whatever was starting to happen between Everard and I had to stop. He was a Drakhenae, I was a long lost experiment and was going to make sure that I would be leaving, soon. If whatever was happening grew, it would only be a one time fling, and I didn't believe or ever want those. I wanted the real, life-long thing if it even existed. So when he opened the door to one of the medical rooms and Marie and Anne greeted us, I decided that it wouldn't happen again and that being alone for so long everyday here was doing strange things to my brain.
I snapped out of my trance when one of the sisters pushed me onto the bed and rolled up my sleeves. She started rubbing antiseptic on the inside of my elbow and I panicked.
"What are you giving me?"
"We're seeing how your body is going to react to certain things now."
She still didn't tell me what she was going to put in me. "So...like an allergy test?"
She nodded and took the syringe filled with a clear liquid from her sister.
"But I'm not allergic to anything," I told them as she slowly stuck the needle and pushed the liquid into my bloodstream.
She pulled out the needle and I let out a sigh of relief, I hated needles. "Everyone's 'allergic' to snake venom."