The drive from Wraith’s home to mine is surprisingly short. Shows how much I was paying attention. As I’m walking across the garage, I decide I’ve ignored The Clique long enough, so I turn my phone back on. I walk inside and set in on the granite bar and let it vibrate in a deranged hummingbird sort of way as it’s flooded with sympathizing texts, calls, and voicemails. Wraith has remained silent since we left his home. He looks sad, like something’s bothering him. Part of me wants to ask what’s wrong, but the other part knows he wouldn’t tell me. Suddenly, the front door opens. Wraith and I look confused at each other, then turn to the kitchen entryway. Dad walks through, still dressed as the Shadow Lord, in all black.
He wraps me up in a bear hug. “Glad to see you’re still okay, Nik. I got a call from the school saying that you were only there for fifteen minutes, and that you were yelling at another student.”
“Kendra pushed me too far and I snapped. Then Haley was flirting with Wraith and I had to leave.”
Dad laughs, his baritone voice a comforting sound. “I doubt she’d be flirting with him if she knew what he really was.”
I shrug. “I don’t know, dad. Haley flirts with anything, as long as it resembles a guy.”
Wraith looks up from the wood floor. “Are girls like that?”
“Only some. Nik’s one of the ones that doesn’t do that.”
“Oh.” He returns to examining the wood floor.
Dad turns to me, concern chasing the smile off his face. “Nik, what I thought this morning about Ryan is right, and I might need to take you to my castle for safekeeping.”
“But if the problem is on the supernatural side, isn’t it more dangerous for me to be there?” I ask.
Dad shakes his head. “That’s the last place she’d look for you.”
“No, tis not, she shall be expecting thee to do that, Shadow Lord,” Wraith suddenly says.
Dad turns to face him. “Then what do you suggest, Eidolon?”
Wraith looks away from my dad’s sudden anger for a moment, and then looks to me. “My old house. It is safe there, and she does not even know it exists. I would continue to care for the Shadow Princess there.”
My dad sighs. He can see the logic in this. He turns to me. “Nik, it’s up to you. Where would you feel safer?”
With both of them watching me, it’s clear that they’re both expecting different answers. “Dad, although your castle is safe, Wraith is probably right, she’d be expecting you to keep me close to you. It would most likely be safer for me to stay with Wraith at his old home. And it’d be easier for you to concentrate on fighting her if I wasn’t so close to her.”
Dad nods. “Then you should go pack. I’ll call your school and tell them that you’ll be going on a short vacation to recover from Ryan’s death.”
As dad walks out of the room into his office, Wraith smiles.
“What are you so happy about?”
Wraith hides the smile with a cough. “Nothing.”
I smile and shake my head. “Right.”