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“So bond or not bond … is he still a toad?” Miranda asked.
“He’s losing his warts,” Della admitted.
Miranda looked down at her hands and then back up. “I called Shawn this afternoon.”
“You did?” Kylie asked and looked shocked, if not even a little disappointed.
“All we did was talk. I told him you’d mentioned he’d been stabbed, and we just talked.” She looked at Kylie and got tears in her eyes. “I feel like I cheated on Perry.”
“You didn’t cheat,” Della snapped. “He broke up with you. Has he even called you yet?”
“No,” Miranda said. “But why do I feel guilty?”
“Because you’re a nice person.” Della shook her head. “No, I take that back. It can’t be that. Because I felt guilty, and I’m not a nice person.”
“Yes, you are,” Miranda said and wiped a tear that rolled down her cheek. “You’re just grumpy sometimes. And blunt.” She sniffled. “And you stomp people’s breakup ice cream into the floor.”
Kylie giggled.
Della just smirked at Miranda. “And I’ll do it again if you get all mopey and start gorging on ice cream when your nose is running.”
“My nose was not running,” Miranda said.
“Yeah, it was,” Kylie said. “But we love you anyway.”
Socks, apparently jealous that she wasn’t in the conversation, jumped up on the table. Della ran her hand down the cat and listened to her purr. The cat turned around and started butting noses with Della, giving her kitty kisses.
“I wouldn’t let her kiss you,” Miranda said.
“You’re just jealous that she’s loving on me,” Della said and pouted her lips at the kitty.
“Nope, that’s not it. It’s because I watched her eat a mouse today.”
“Eww.” Della set the cat on the floor and they all started laughing.
She went to bed feeling better, even if she had been kissed by a mouse-eating cat. At least, she felt better until her phone dinged with a text at three in the morning. She rolled over, ready to find out who she was going to kill for robbing her of her first good night’s sleep in weeks.
Her thoughts went to Steve. She reached for her phone, and when she did, she saw Smurfette on the nightstand staring at her. And bam, just like that, she missed Chase, and all those little details about his family that she’d learned last night played across her mind. Confused at thinking of Chase and Steve in the same heartbeat, she grabbed her cell.
The number was anonymous, but the message gave the caller’s identity away. She wasn’t going to kill anyone.
The caller was already dead.
The message, written in all caps and in red, simply read: FIND NATASHA!!!
“I’m trying,” Della said, and sat up the rest of the night in a very cold bedroom, trying to figure out what she needed to do next.
At 5 a.m., her phone dinged again. This one wasn’t from the ghost.
The message was simple. I miss you. Steve.
Chapter Thirty-six
“Della?” Mr. Yates, her science teacher, motioned Della to come up to his desk the next morning.
Oh double damn! Was he going to call her on spacing out and not paying attention? Probably. But Della could hardly think about school. Her thoughts went from picking up the rogue were, to Damian Bond, to missing Chase, after only being away from him for a few hours, and realizing there was a part of her that still missed Steve.
Then there was the issue of meeting the Vampire Council. Would she learn anything? Was she completely wrong that her uncle was behind Chase being sent to check on her and Chan?
And if so, did that completely exonerate Chase from her lack of trust? And if so, would that change things between them?
“Della?” Mr. Yates said again.
Della stood up to do as Mr. Yates requested, and he added, “Go ahead and grab your books.”
Her books? This reminded her of being sent to the principal’s office. She’d only gone once, and it totally hadn’t been her fault.
Scooping up her books, she walked to Mr. Yates’s desk. “Yes?”
“Burnett wants to see you.”
Okay, she was sort of being sent to the office. But hopefully not for something she’d done wrong. As she walked out, Miranda and Kylie gave her a wave.
All sorts of thoughts shot through Della’s mind as she left the classroom. And the worst one had Della almost hyperventilating. Had one of the bodies been identified as Natasha or Liam?
In less than a minute, Della arrived. Burnett’s voice echoed from Holiday’s office. Since the door was open, Della walked right in.
“What is it?” she asked.
“It’s not anything terrible,” Holiday said, instantly picking up on Della’s emotions and standing as if to come give her one of her touches.
Della held her hand out, wanting to deal with this alone.
Burnett, having been half-sitting on Holiday’s desk, stood up. “I just wanted to go over what will happen tonight at the airport.”
Della let out the breath she’d been holding. “Okay.” She moved the rest of the way in, plopped down on the sofa, and placed her books beside her. This was a piece of cake.
“I’ll be going with you. We’ll meet Chase at the airport.”
Okay, the cake wasn’t as sweet as Della thought. She and Chase had pre-airport plans that involved a trip to meet the Vampire Council, and she knew Burnett would balk at that.