NMS ~ Chapter Sixteen

Neytiri ate lunch with Jay, Taki, Silver, Zaiko, and Astrid. Zaiko and Astrid had stared into each other’s eyes for most of the meal while Silver and Taki had discussed the best way to get makeup to stay and not run while out hunting and sweating. Neytiri and Jay had zoned the four others out and talked about Rhea and Berret and the school in general.

“So, which of the three teams do you think you’ll be put into?” Jay asked. They hadn’t been in the dining hall whenGriffinand beret had made the announcement about the three teams, but they had heard about it from Silver. “I’m definitely going to be Rising Sun. I couldn’t think up a plan to save a life.”

“Even if it was my life?” Neytiri asked jokingly.

“I guess I could probably try, if your life was the one at stake,” Jay winked.

Neytiri laughed. “I don’t know where I would be. I’m not that amazing a fighter and strategizing isn’t exactly my thing…” Jay stared at her with wide eyes. “What?”

“You’re one of the best fighters in the Clan, and you help ourleadermake plans!”

Neytiri grinned. “Don’t be so dramatic. I fight when I have to and I help my mother make some choices. That is so not big a deal.”

Jay rolled his eyes. “Whatever,” he said with a grin.

“Hey, guys, we’re going to head back up.” Neytiri turned to see Taki, Silver, Zaiko, and Astrid had all gotten to their feet. Zaiko had been the one to speak. “See you lovebirds later.” They turned to leave as Neytiri and Jay stuttered behind them. Neytiri looked at Jay to find his cheeks as red as hers must have been.

Jay looked away. “Zaiko has no idea what he’s talking about. He’s the one mooning over Astrid.”

Neytiri looked at the back of his head. “They make a cute couple,” she said quietly.

Jay looked back at her with a smile. “They sure do. I didn’t even know he was interested in her. He always seemed so interested in you.”

Neytiri nodded. “I thought the same thing.”

“Taramust be happy. The family line will get to keep going even after she lost so many children.”

Neytiri nodded solemnly then laughed. “A fish and a brown bear, wonderful combination, isn’t it?” Jay nodded.

“I just hope they don’t eat their children,” Jay winked. Neytiri laughed.

“Zaiko probably would, mistaking them for a deer leg or something.”

Jay stared at her with wide green eyes. “Can you believe what would happen?”

“Astrid and Tara would both kill him?” Neytiri suggested.

Jay nodded. He laughed. “I can so not see Zaiko as a father. That’s just a crazy thought!” Neytiri nodded her agreement with a grin. “Hey, so I promised this pixie I’d help her with something, so I’ll catch up with you later, kay?” Jay stood up and left the table. Neytiri sat there alone for a moment before someone came to sit beside. She turned to find herself looking into the dark brooding eyes of Drey.

She gulped. This sure wasn’t something se had planned for.

“Neytiri, right?” he asked in his deep voice.

Neytiri nodded. “And you’re Drey, correct?” she asked.

He nodded. “You’reGriffin’s daughter?”

“And you’re her ex-boyfriend?”

Drey’s eyes widened in surprise. Then he looked calm again. “Actually, ex-husband.” Now it was Neytiri’s turn to stare at him with wide eyes. “Would you mind if I asked you—”

“Are you my father?” Neytiri asked bluntly.

Drey nodded. “I actually wanted to as you about yourself.” He smiled sweetly.

Neytiri abruptly stood up. “Ask me about me? Who do you think you are? You think you can waltz into my life, tell me you’re my father and thinkaskingme about myself is fine? As if. You want to know about me? Be a part of my life.” Neytiri started walking away from him. “And until you know how to be a dad, stay away from me. Okay?” She left the dining hall in silence.


The End

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