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   “Hello, Mr. Thagret.”

   Kaine Thagret’s careful eyes examined Derek for several moments, as if trying to judge whether he could trust the young man standing in front of him.

   “You were-“

   “Sent by Tansen, yes,” Derek interrupted him. “He’s told me that I would be of greater use on this particular assignment.”

   Mr. Thagret carefully sat in his chair, “You understand why you’re here, correct?”

   “I believe that you should explain what you need more specifically, Mr. Thagret.”

   The man immediately adapted a more formal posture. “As Tansen probably told you, my family has been receiving many threats.”

   He paused, “I am especially concerned about the safety of Alex. He makes an ideal target, and he will be especially vulnerable now that he is leaving town for college. My security’s jurisdiction only reaches so far. I have requested Tansen’s assistance, but it seems he was right in sending you.”

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   “This steak is delicious, like oh-my-god!”

   Derek nodded at Clair in silent agreement. The blasting dance music. That was definitely not helping things.

   “So what do you want to focus in when you decide what college you’re going to?” She eyed him raising a glass of water to her lips. 

   Derek looked down at his untouched food, arranging it into individual piles, “Well, uh-I took art last year and that was pretty fun so maybe I’ll do that?”

   Phrasing… Idiot.

   Clair nodded, a little too enthusiastically, “Right, which teacher did you have? Reese or Grant?”


   “Oh, I heard he’s a hard ass.”


   Panic. Derek scanned the massive crowed for Alex, hoping for a rescue attempt. Nothing. He sent up a second plea to the Prom Gods for any reason to stop talking with Clair.

   It’s not that he didn’t like Clair, he’s always had a crush on her. In fact. That’s the same reason why he didn’t want to be talking to her. He’s no social butterfly like Alex.

The End

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