Vampire Academy Chapter 10

TEN

“EXCUSE ME, MR.NAGY? I CANT really concentrate with Lissa and Rose passing notes over there.”

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Mia was attempting to distract attention from herself – as well as from her inability to answer Mr.Nagy’s question – and it was ruining what had otherwise been a promising day.

A few of the fox rumors still circulated, but most people wanted to talk about Christian attacking Ralf. I still hadn’t cleared Christian of the fox incident – I was pretty sure he was psycho enough to have done it as some crazy sign of affection for Lissa – but whatever his motives, he had shifted the attention off her, just as he’d said.

Mr. Nagy legendary for his ability to humiliate students by reading notes aloud, homed in on us like a missile. He snatched the note away, and the excited class settled in for a full reading. I swallowed my groan, trying to look as blank and unconcerned as possible. Beside me, Lissa looked like she wanted to die.

“My, my,” he said, looking the note over. “If only students would write this much in their essays. One of you has considerably worse writing than the other, so forgive me if I get anything wrong here.” He cleared his throat. ” ?®So, I saw J last night,’ begins the person with bad handwriting, to which the response is, ?®What happened,’ followed by no fewer than five question marks. Understandable, since sometimes one – let alone four – just won’t get the point across, eh?” The class laughed, and I noticed Mia throwing me a particularly mean smile. “The first speaker responds: ?®What do you think happened? We hooked up in one of the empty lounges.’ “

Mr. Nagy glanced up after hearing some more giggles in the room. His British accent only added to the hilarity.

“May I assume by this reaction that the use of ?®hook up’ pertains to the more recent, shall we say, carnal application of the term than the tamer one I grew up with?”

More snickers ensued. Straightening up, I said boldly, “Yes, sir, Mr. Nagy. That would be correct, sir.” A number of people in the class laughed outright.

“Thank you for that confirmation, Miss Hathaway. Now, where was I? Ah yes, the other speaker then asks, ?®How was it?’ The response is, ?®Good,’ punctuated with a smiley face to confirm said adjective. Well. I suppose kudos are in order for the mysterious J, hmmm? ?®So, like, how far did you guys go?’ Uh, ladies,” said Mr. Nagy, “I do hope this doesn’t surpass a PG rating. ?®Not very. We got caught.’ And again, we are shown the severity of the situation, this time through the use of a not-smiling face. ?®What happened?’ ?®Dimitri showed up. He threw Jesse out and then bitched me out.’ “

The class lost it, both from hearing Mr. Nagy say “bitched” and from finally getting some participants named.

“Why, Mr. Zeklos, are you the aforementioned J? The one who earned a smiley face from the sloppy writer?” Jesse’s face turned beet red, but he didn’t look entirely displeased at having his exploits made known in front of his friends. He’d kept what had happened a secret thus far – including the blood talk – because I suspected Dimitri had scared the hell out of him. “Well, while I applaud a good misadventure as much as the next teacher whose time is utterly wasted, do remind your ?®friends’ in the future that my class is not a chat room.” He tossed the paper back on to Lissa’s desk. “Miss Hathaway, it seems there’s no feasible way to punish you, since you’re already maxed out on penalties around here. Ergo, you, Miss Dragomir, will serve two detentions instead of one on behalf of your friend. Stay here when the bell rings, please.”

After class, Jesse found me, an uneasy look on his face. “Hey, um, about that note…you know I didn’t have anything to do with that. If Belikov finds out about it…you’ll tell him? I mean, you’ll let him know I didn’t – “

“Yeah, yeah,” I interrupted him. “Don’t worry, you’re safe.”

Standing with me, Lissa watched him walk out of the room. Thinking of how easily Dimitri had thrown him around – and of his apparent cowardice – I couldn’t help but remark, “You know, Jesse’s suddenly not as hot as I used to think.”

She only laughed. “You’d better go. I’ve got desks to wash.”

I left her, heading back for my dorm. As I did, I passed a number of students gathered in small clusters outside the building. I regarded them wistfully, wishing I had the free time to socialize.

“No, it’s true,” I heard a confident voice say. Camille Conta. Beautiful and popular, from one of the most prestigious families in the Conta clan. She and Lissa had sort of been friends before we left, in the uneasy way two powerful forces keep an eye on each other. “They, like, clean toilets or something.”

“Oh my God,” her friend said. “I’d die if I was Mia.”

I smiled. Apparently Jesse had spread some of the stories I’d told him last night. Unfortunately, the next overheard conversation shattered my victory.

” – heard it was still alive. Like, twitching on her bed.”

“That is so gross. Why would they just leave it there?”

“I don’t know. Why kill it in the first place?”

“You think Ralf was right? That she and Rose did it to get kicked – “

They saw me and shut up.

Scowling, I skulked off across the quadrangle. Still alive, still alive.

I’d refused to let Lissa talk about the similarities between the fox and what had happened two years ago. I didn’t want to believe they were connected, and I certainly didn’t want her to either.

But I hadn’t been able to stop thinking about that incident, not only because it was chilling, but because it really did remind me of what had just happened in her room.

We had been out in the woods near campus one evening, having skipped out on our last class. I’d traded a pair of cute, rhinestone-studded sandals to Abby Badica for a bottle of peach schnapps – desperate, yes, but you did what you had to in Montana – which she’d somehow gotten hold of.

You read “Vampire Academy Chapter 10” in category “Essay examples

Lissa had shaken her head in disapproval when I suggested cutting class to go put the bottle out of its misery, but she’d come along anyway. Like always.

We found an old log to sit on near a scummy green marsh. A half-moon cast a tiny sliver of light on us, but it was more than enough for vampires and half-vampires to see by. Passing the bottle back and forth, I grilled her on Aaron. She’d fessed up that the two of them had had sex the weekend before, and I felt a surge of jealousy that she’d been the one to have sex first.

“So what was it like?”

She shrugged and took another drink. “I don’t know. It wasn’t anything.”

“What do you mean it wasn’t anything? Didn’t the earth move or the planets align or something?”

“No,” she said, smothering a laugh. “Of course not.”

I didn’t really get why that should be funny, but I could tell she didn’t want to talk about it. This was around the time the bond had begun forming, and her emotions were starting to creep into me now and then. I held up the bottle and glared at it.

“I don’t think this stuff is working.”

“That’s because there’s barely any alcohol in – “

The sound of something moving in the brush came from nearby. I immediately shot up, putting my body between her and the noise.

“It’s some animal,” she said when a minute went by in silence.

That didn’t mean it wasn’t dangerous. The school’s wards kept out Strigoi, but wild animals often wandered into the outskirts of campus, posing their own threats. Bears. Cougars.

“Come on,” I told her. “Let’s head back.”

We hadn’t gone very far when I heard something moving again, and someone stepped out into our path. “Ladies.”

Ms. Karp.

We froze, and whatever quick reactions I’d shown back by the marsh disappeared as I delayed a few moments in hiding the bottle behind my back.

A half-smile crossed her face, and she held out her hand.

Sheepishly, I gave the bottle to her, and she tucked it under her arm. She turned without another word, and we followed, knowing there would be consequences to deal with.

“You think no one notices when half a class is gone?” she asked after a little while.

“Half a class?”

“A few of you apparently chose today to skip. Must be the nice weather. Spring fever.”

Lissa and I trudged along. I’d never been comfortable around Ms. Karp since the time she’d healed my hands. Her weird, paranoid behavior had taken on a strange quality to me – a lot stranger than before. Scary, even. And lately I couldn’t look at her without seeing those marks by her forehead. Her deep red hair usually covered them but not always. Sometimes there were new marks; sometimes the old ones faded to nothing.

A weird fluttering noise sounded to my right. We all stopped.

“One of your classmates, I imagine,” murmured Ms. Karp, turning toward the sound.

But when we reached the spot, we found a large black bird lying on the on the ground. Birds – and most animals – didn’t do anything for me, but even I had to admire its sleek feathers and fierce beak. It could probably peck someone’s eyes out in thirty seconds – if it weren’t obviously dying. With a last, halfhearted shake, the bird finally went still.

“What is that? Is it a crow?” I asked.

“Too big,” said Ms. Karp. “It’s a raven.”

“Is it dead?” asked Lissa.

I peered at it. “Yeah. Definitely dead. Don’t touch it.”

“Probably attacked by another bird,” observed Ms. Karp. “They fight over territory and resources sometimes.”

Lissa knelt down, compassion on her face. I wasn’t surprised, since she’d always had a thing for animals. She’d lectured me for days after I’d instigated the infamous hamster-and-hermit-crab fight. I’d viewed the fight as a testing of worthy opponents. She’d seen it as animal cruelty.

Transfixed, she reached toward the raven.

“Liss!” I exclaimed, horrified. “It’s probably got a disease.”

But her hand moved out like she hadn’t even heard me. Ms. Karp stood there like a statue, her white face looking like a ghost’s. Lissa’s fingers stroked the raven’s wings.

“Liss,” I repeated, starting to move toward her, to pull her back. Suddenly, a strange sensation flooded through my head, a sweetness that was beautiful and full of life. The feeling was so intense, it stopped me in my tracks.

Then the raven moved.

Lissa gave a small scream and snatched her hand back. We both stared wide-eyed.

The raven flapped its wings, slowly trying to right itself and stand up. When it managed to do so, it turned toward us, fixing Lissa with a look that seemed too intelligent for a bird, its eyes held hers, and I couldn’t read her reaction through the bond. At long last, the raven broke the gaze and lifted into the air, strong wings carrying it away.

Wind stirring the leaves was the only sound left.

“Oh my God,” breathed Lissa. “What just happened?”

“Hell if I know,” I said, hiding my stark terror.

Ms. Karp strode forward and grabbed Lissa’s arm, forcefully turning her so that they faced each other. I was there in a flash, ready to take action if Crazy Karp tried anything, though even I had qualms about taking down a teacher.

“Nothing happened,” said Ms. Karp in an urgent voice, her eyes wild-looking. “Do you hear me? Nothing. And you can’t tell anyone – anyone – about what you saw. Both of you. Promise me. Promise me you won’t ever talk about this again.”

Lissa and I exchanged uneasy glances. “Okay” she croaked out.

Ms. Karp’s grip relaxed a little. “And don’t ever do it again. If you do, they’ll find out. They’ll try to find you.” She turned to me. “You can’t let her do it. Not ever again.”

On the quad, outside my dorm, someone was saying my name.

“Hey, Rose? I’ve called you, like, a hundred times.”

I forgot about Ms. Karp and the raven and glanced over at Mason, who had apparently started walking with me toward the dorm while I was off in la-la land.

“Sorry,” I mumbled. “I’m out of it. Just…um, tired.”

“Too much excitement last night?”

I gave him a narrow-eyed look. “Nothing I couldn’t handle.”

“I guess,” he laughed, though he didn’t exactly sound amused. “Sounds like Jesse couldn’t handle it.”

“He did okay.”

“If you say so. But personally, I think you’ve got bad taste.”

I stopped walking. “And I don’t think it’s any of your business.”

He looked away angrily. “You made it the whole class’s business.”

“Hey, I didn’t do that on purpose.”

“Would’ve happened anyway. Jesse’s got a big mouth.”

“He wouldn’t have told.”

“Yeah,” said Mason. “Because he’s so cute and has such an important family.”

“Stop being an idiot,” I snapped. “And why do you even care? Jealous I’m not doing it with you?”

His flush grew, going all the way to the roots of his red hair. “I just don’t like hearing people talk shit about you, that’s all. There are a lot of nasty jokes going around. They’re calling you a slut.”

“I don’t care what they call me.”

“Oh, yeah. You’re really tough. You don’t need anyone.”

I stopped. “I don’t. I’m one of the best novices in this fucking place. I don’t need you acting all gallant and coming to my defense. Don’t treat me like I’m some helpless girl.”

I turned around and kept walking, but he caught up to me easily. The woes of being five-seven.

“Look…I didn’t mean to upset you. I’m just worried about you.”

I gave a harsh laugh.

“I’m serious. Wait…” he began. “I, uh, did something for you. Sort of. I went to the library last night and tried to look up St. Vladimir,”

I stopped again. “You did?”

“Yeah, but there wasn’t much on Anna. All the books were kind of generic. Just talked about him healing people, bringing them back from the edge of death.”

That last part hit a nerve.

“Was…was there anything else?” I stammered.

He shook his head. “No. You probably need some primary sources, but we don’t have any here.”

“Primary what?”

He scoffed, a smile breaking over his face. “Do you do anything but pass notes? We just talked about them the other day in Andrews’ class. They’re books from the actual time period you want to study. Secondary ones are written by people living today. You’ll get better information if you find something written by the guy himself. Or someone who actually knew him.”

“Huh. Okay. What are you, like, a boy genius now?”

Mason gave me a light punch in the arm. “I pay attention, that’s all. You’re so oblivious. You miss all sorts of things.” He smiled nervously. “And look…I really am sorry about what I said. I was just – “

Jealous, I realized. I could see it in his eyes. How had I never noticed this before? He was crazy about me. I guess I really was oblivious.

“It’s all right, Mase. Forget about it.” I smiled. “And thanks for looking that stuff up.”

He smiled back, and I went inside, sad that I didn’t feel the same way about him.

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