Excerpt from Chapter 1
“Talk to me before I murder someone,” I begged my boyfriend on the phone.
My best friend, Melanie Greenwood, had dragged me along to A local shopping centre and run rampant through it over the past few hours. Now I had bags full of stuff and probably more clothes than I could ever wear in one lifetime.
I hated shopping. Sure, I didn’t mind buying stuff when I needed it, but Mel liked to shop to the extreme.
“Why? What’s wrong?” Tristen sounded concerned.
“Mel is bloody mad!” I complained. “I swear if she drags me into another shop I’ll scream.”
We’d only been a few different shops so far and we’d need an aeroplane to carry the stuff we had brought.
“Save me! Tell me you need me to come home,” I begged. “Tell me the castle is being overrun by rabid aliens or something. Just give me any excuse to come home.”
Tris laughed. “But I don’t need you to. Alec and I are hanging out and having fun. And if aliens do exist I think they would pick somewhere more interesting to overrun than your family estate.”
I gritted my teeth. “Make up something. I can’t deal with Mel and her shopping bonanza. At the rate she’s going she’ll have enough debt to last the rest of her life.”
“Silvy, where are you?” Mel called out.
I cringed and shrank back into the corner I’d hidden in and glamoured myself into. I prayed Mel wouldn’t see me. “Tristen, I’m your girlfriend. You’re supposed to back me up in a battle. That’s what partners do.” I lowered my voice in the hope Mel wouldn’t overhear me. “Or would you prefer to be single again?”
Tris laughed again. “Shopping with Mel isn’t a battle, love. And you said you needed to get some stuff before we go back to the academy tomorrow.”
“Shopping with Mel isn’t a battle. It’s a war. I’m being traumatised here!”
“I’m sure you’ll be fine. Just let Mel buy whatever she wants. We need stuff for the new group home anyway.”
“Yeah, but Mel has my aunt’s credit card. I swear she’ll buy half of the country.”
Tristen laughed louder. “Have fun. Gotta go. See you later.”
“But—” I groaned when the line went dead.
Unbelievable. Why were boys never helpful when you needed them to be?
Typical male, they never did as they were told.
I couldn’t believe he wouldn’t help me get away from the nightmare of shopping with Mel.
“Silvy, where are you?” Mel called again and came around the corner. Her long curly brown hair whipped around her face and her blue eyes flashed with power. “What are you doing in the corner?”
I slipped my phone back into my pocket. “I’m not hiding. I needed…privacy.”
Mel snorted. “Privacy for what?”
“To talk to Tris.” True enough. Even if he hadn’t saved me.
“You’ve been with Tris all summer. I’m sure you can be without each other for a few hours.” Mel linked her arm through mine. “Not trying to get out of shopping, are you?” Mel pouted. “Because you’ve been so busy lately we haven’t had time to hang out.”
I plastered a smile on my face. “Of course not.”
“Yeah, don’t smile like that. It’s creepy.”
“What?” I gave her an innocent look.
Mel rolled her eyes. “Look, we go back to the academy tomorrow. Can’t you at least give me one shopping trip?”
Mel knew I hated shopping but she dragged me along anyway.
“Shopping is pointless. Why can’t we get what we need and go?” I dropped the innocent act. “I don’t need any more clothes. Or anything else for that matter.”
“Everyone needs clothes. Especially the kids at your new group home.”
“My aunt, Zenia, is a fashion designer. She is made enough clothes for a small army. And the group home isn’t even open yet.”
I’d convinced my aunts to open a group home for foster kids, both human and fae alike. They had been excited about the project knowing how I had spent most of my life growing up in poverty and being moved from one home to another. We’d got the building sorted but we still needed permission from the council to approve the project.
“Come on.” Mel dragged me off to another shop. “Ooh, look at all these dresses.” She grabbed several off the rack.
Here we go again. I groaned and considered making up an excuse to leave.