This message is for SRG and NJ. You know who you are. go no further, you heathens. Stay back. Really. And if you do continue, AGAINST MY WISHES, speak not to me of it. I warn you. *Poke poke*I grabbed my coat from its hook by the door and smiled at my mom.

"Don't get home too late," she said as she kissed me on the cheek. I patted her on the shoulder and dashed towards the elevator. Once I was in the lobby, I dashed up to the dark-skinned girl in a strapless sequined dress.

"Hey, Hels," I said excitedly.

"Hey, Els!" she squealed. We had had pet names for each other since the day we met at Fiana Nelson Preparatory School. She was my best friend in the entire world, and we were going out tonight to celebrate her getting a new apartment, separate from her mother's.

"My mom won't know what time I get home, and yours doesn't care what time you get home, so we can stay out as late as we want!"

I nodded and asked the doorman to hail us a cab. We slipped in and instructed the driver to take us to one of the most exclusive clubs in town.

When we pulled up, there was a line wrapping around the corner. Young adults of every variety were lined up, waiting for their chance to enter. Helaena and I didn't have to wait. We got out directly in front of the door and the doorman let us in immediately. It was one of the perks of being rich and well-connected.

Inside the club, the combined sounds of the blaring music and the excessively loud people were too much for me. Enhanced senses were good sometimes, but they also made certain things unbearable for me. I turned to the side and muttered, "Reduir el soroll." The room automatically got quieter.

I followed Helaena over to the bar and ordered us both martinis. It was her celebration, so I paid. We leaned our backs against the bar and indulged in some innocent guy-watching.

"Look at that one over there," Helaena giggled. I looked in the direction her finger was pointing and smiled in spite of myself.

"Hels, he's about fifteen years older than you. And prematurely gray."

Helaena's cute face scrunched up as she snarled at me. "He looks distinguished, Els. Something you wouldn't appreciate, since you have absolutely horrible taste in guys."

I looked around the room and zeroed in on a guy who was on the other side of the room. He looked to be our age, but his eyes belied a maturity that was probably equal to the oldest man in the club. I nudged Helaena and bobbed my head in the guy's direction. "How about him?"

She smiled at me. "Oh, you know me so well."

We danced a little and accepted drinks from various men, but I could tell who was on Helaena's mind the entire night. As for me, I was happy to just flirt. It wouldn't be so easy for me to find a guy at the club. I needed a special type.

The club started winding down a bit around two in the morning. I sought Helaena out and we sat in a booth in the corner.

"How can you dance and never even get a tiny bit sweaty?" she demanded.

I shrugged. There was really no way that I could tell her that I cast spells on myself to avoid sweating. She would never believe me. "I just don't sweat a lot. So how was your—" I broke off as Helaena gasped and stiffened up. After a few moments, she started slapping my arm rapidly.

"Oh my God!" she whispered intensely. "That guy from earlier! He and his friend are heading this way! What do I do?"

For a girl who was such an expert flirt, Helaena didn't know how to react when guys that she was actually interested in approached her. I patted her arm and smiled. "Just be calm." Under my breath, I muttered a calming spell for her. It instantly took effect, and she able to put on a more natural smile.

The guys finally reached us, and we both looked up as though we hadn't noticed them when they were walking over.

"Hi, I'm Trent," said the guy in front. "Can we sit with you guys?"

I heard the guy behind him snort and looked up in time to see him roll his eyes.

"You can sit down," I said with a smile. "But I would prefer it if your friend here introduced himself first."

Trent happily slid in next to Helaena and looked up at his friend expectantly.

"I'm Grey."

I smiled and scooted over. "Nice to meet you, Grey."

We all talked for a few minutes until, horror of horrors, Helaena needed to go to the bathroom. I was going to have Grey move so that I could go with her, but Trent told his friend not to move.

"You can't both go," he pouted. "I think you're trying to ditch us guys. Here, I'll escort Helaena, and you and Grey can wait here."

I was not excited in the least bit. While Helaena and Trent were obviously attracted to one another, Grey and I had not exchanged more than five words. After our chatty friends left, an awkward silence fell. When ten minutes had passed and our friends were not back, I decided that I would step outside and send Helaena a text message so that she would know where to find me.

"Can you let me out?" I asked quietly.

Grey looked up with a startled look in his eyes, as though he was surprised that I had spoken. Then, his shock turned to amusement. "No can do, Eleanora." I winced as he said my full name. "Trent told me to keep you here."

I flushed angrily. I hadn't even been that determined to escape, but his attempts to restrict my movements angered me. I turned up the Power in my eyes and tried to use compulsion on him.

"Let me out," I said firmly.

As soon as the words came out of my mouth, I knew that they hadn't worked. Instead of his eyes glazing over as he did what I said, he remained motionless and his eyes widened as he looked at me. I could feel my own doing the same.

"You're a witch!"