"I already feel that way," I said quietly.

Adrian moved back and leaned into his seat, looking tired. "Well, that's the most accurate thing you've said so far."

I grabbed the basket and jerked open the car door. Without another word, I stormed off toward the dorm, refusing to look back in case he saw the tears that had inexplicably appeared in my eyes. Only, I wasn't sure exactly which part of our conversation I was most upset about.

The tears seemed like they were going to stay put by the time I reached my room, but I still had to calm down. Even once my emotions were settled, it was hard to shake his words. You're my flame in the dark. We chase away the shadows around each other. What did that even mean?

At least smuggling a dragon into my room provided a pretty good distraction. I brought the basket inside, hoping demonic dragons weren't contraband. No one stopped me when I went upstairs, and I was left wondering how I was going to confine him if I did summon him back. The basket didn't seem all that secure, and I certainly wasn't going to let him run loose in my dorm room. When I reached my door, I found Jill standing outside, her pale green eyes wide with excitement.

"I want to see him," she said. The bond was strongest in moments of high emotion, and judging from Adrian's face when the dragon had been chasing us, his emotions had been running pretty strong. I wondered if she'd witnessed our argument too or if that hadn't come through the bond. Maybe the tension between him and me was second nature to her now.

"I can't let him out yet," I said, letting her into my room. "I need something to keep him in. Like a birdcage. Maybe I can get one tomorrow."

Jill frowned in thought, then brightened. "I have an idea." She glanced at my alarm clock. "I hope it's not too late."

And without further explanation, she took off, promising to be back soon. I was still a little shaky from today's magic but hadn't had time to rectify the situation after all the other excitement. So, I sat at my desk with a spell book and ate the rest of the now-soft coconut cream pie, careful to first cut off the part where the dragon had eaten. I didn't know if callistanas had communicable germs, but I wasn't taking any chances.

Jill returned an hour later, bearing a rectangular glass aquarium, like the kind you'd keep fish or gerbils in.

"Where'd you get that?" I asked, moving a lamp off my desk.

"My biology teacher. Our guinea pig died a couple weeks ago, and she's been too sad to replace him."

"Didn't she ask what you needed it for?" I examined the tank and found it spotless, so someone had apparently cleaned it after the guinea pig's unfortunate passing. "We can't have pets."

"I told her I was building a diorama. She didn't question it." Jill eagerly brought the aquarium over to the desk. "We can give it back when you get your own."

I set the quartz crystal inside and slammed on the tank's lid, making sure it was securely attached. After more entreating from Jill, I spoke the summoning words. A bit of smoke appeared, and the quartz transformed back into the dragon. Mercifully, he didn't make any more of that screeching, so I guessed he was still full. Instead, he scampered around the tank, examining his new home. At one point, he tried to climb the side, but his tiny claws couldn't get traction on the glass.

"Well, that's a relief," I said.

Jill's face was filled with wonder. "I think he'll be bored in there. You should get him some toys."

"Toys for a demon? Isn't it enough that I give him pie?"

"He wants you," she insisted.

Sure enough, I glanced back at the tank and found the callistana regarding me adoringly. He was even wagging his tail.

"No," I said sternly. "This isn't a Disney movie where I have an adorable sidekick. You aren't coming out."

I cut off a piece of blueberry pie and put it in the tank in case he wanted a midnight snack. No way would I risk a late-night wakeup call. After a moment's thought, I added a stress ball and a scarf.

"There," I told Jill. "Food, a toy, and a bed. Happy?"

The callistana apparently was. He batted the ball around a few times and then curled up on the nest I'd made with the scarf. He looked more or less content, aside from the fact that he kept watching me.

"Aww," she said. "Look how sweet he is. What are you going to name him?"

Like I needed something else to worry about. "His 'father' can name him. I'm already on the hook for the Mustang."

After a bit more swooning, Jill finally retired for the night. I made my own preparations for bed, always keeping one eye on the dragon. He did nothing threatening, however, and I even managed to fall asleep, though my sleep was restless. I kept imagining he'd find a way out and come get into bed with me. And of course, I had my usual fears about Veronica coming after me.

I did hit one stretch of sound sleep, during which Adrian pulled me into a spirit dream. After our earlier fight, I honestly hadn't expected to see him tonight, a thought that had saddened me. The reception hall materialized around us, but the image wavered and kept fading in and out.

"I didn't think you'd come," I told him.

No wedding clothes tonight. He wore what he'd had on earlier, jeans and the AYE shirt, though both looked a bit more wrinkled. He was dressed as he was in reality, I realized.

"You think I'd abandon you to Veronica?"

"No," I admitted. "What's wrong with the room?"

He looked a little embarrassed. "My control's not all it could be tonight."

I didn't understand . . . at first. "You're drunk."

"I've been drinking," he corrected, leaning against one of the tables. "If I was drunk, I wouldn't be here at all. And really, this is pretty good for four White Russians."

"White what?" I almost sat down but was afraid the chair might dematerialize beneath me.

"It's a drink," he said. "You'd think I wouldn't be into something named that - you know, considering my own personal experience with Russians. But they're surprisingly delicious. The drinks, not real Russians. They've got Kahlua. It might be the drink you've been waiting your whole life for."

"Kahlua does not taste like coffee," I said. "So don't start with that." I was insanely curious to know why he'd been drinking. Sometimes he did it to numb spirit, but he seemed to still want to access that magic tonight. And of course, half the time, he didn't even need a reason to drink. Deep inside me, I wondered if our fight had driven him to it. I didn't know whether to feel guilty or annoyed.

Tags: Richelle Mead Bloodlines Fantasy
Source: www.StudyNovels.com
Articles you may like