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 I was wearing simple clothes, a plain navy blue t-shirt and jeans. One problem. “Alright, let’s go,” Jace said, motioning for me to continue walking through the doorway.

               I laughed. “Jace, I don’t know what happened to my shoes- when I came here, I mean. I’ve been walking around shoe-less for days.”

               He glanced at my feet, visibly surprised that I hadn’t said anything before. “Oh, well… We can stop byVictoria’s room and get some shoes for you. I could’ve sworn she left some kind of footwear for you.”

               I smiled and shook my head. “Nope, sorry.”


               Jace knocked on the door, sending me a smile as he did so. His other hand was holding mine, causing my heart to flutter.Victoriaopened the door in seconds, her golden hair pulled back in a French braid. She raised her perfectly-shaped eyebrows when she saw me. “Oh, hello?” she said with a smile. “How are you, Ava.”

               I tried to smile, but I probably only succeeded in looking like a deformed idiot. “I’m doing pretty well, thanks.”

               “Ava needs some shoes,” he said.

               Victoriafurrowed her brow. “I didn’t give you any?” I shook my head in respose, and she sighed and said, “Well, I apologize. Come on in while I search around for something that goes with your outfit? Size… Seven and a half?” she guessed. I nodded, wondering how the **** she could’ve been so accurate. “I just have a thing for this kind of stuff, I guess.”

               “Did you just, like, read my mind?” I laughed. She grinned. My laughter faded. “Wait…you can-“

               Victoriafell to her knees and began digging through the bottom of her closet. She smiled. “I’m just playing with you. Of course I can’t read minds. Our kind is just good at sensing the emotions of humans.” Our kind. Yet another reminder that they could all probably eat me in about two seconds. “I didn’t mean to scare you,” she said.

               “No, it’s fine. Really,” I told her. She handed me a pair of Nikes with pink and yellow designs. I thanked her.

               “Hey, when was the last time you were at the mall?” Jace asked her.

She considered for a moment before answering, “A few weeks. Why?” She narrowed her eyes, wondering what we were up to- with good reason, I suppose.

               “We’re going now. You wanna come?” he asked.

               “What mall?”

               “I dunno. What mall should we go to.”

               She smiled. “Well,GardenStateis probably the biggest around…”

               “Where’s that?”

               “Only about twenty minutes away.”

               Jace and I sighed in unison. “Fine,” he said. “Let’s go.”

I scanned the parking lot. “Sooo where’s your car?” I asked, raising my eyebrows. He smiled and reached into the pocket of his jeans, coming away with his keys. He pushed a button, and I heard a little beep beep come from the parking lot.

               A blinking light caught my eyes, which widened them severely, I’m sure. “You drive a Corvette ZR1 2012?” I demanded.

               He raised his eyebrows at me. “You know cars?” I elbowed him in the side.

               “I may not have been able to afford a car, but I did take autoshop at my school. I also happen to know that that car is about $115,000. Or more. Plus the color, which is probably over $800. I also know that it goes from zero to sixty miles per hour in about 3.5 seconds.”

           “Three point four,” he corrected.

           I rolled my eyes. “Excuse me. And there is no way I am getting in that thing. You are going to crash, and I will die.” I didn’t know about the other two, considering they, um, weren’t…human. I looked at the red car as he crossed the parking lot. I hurried to catch up.

           “Get in the car,” he said finally.

           I glanced around, searching forVictoria. “Where-“

           “She’s taking her own car,” Jace said, nodding towards a BMW convertible across the parking lot.

           “What is with you people?” I mumbled, climbing in.

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