Chapter seven – A game for a fool

Of course I had to be in a class with Blackbloods. Both of the sons no less. Damn. Still, I had to play this cool. They can't suspect a thing. Just remember what Anne said: remain innocent and inconspicuous, whatever that means.

"Wow. I can't believe I didn't recognize you! How lucky of me to get in your class. I've read some pretty wild stuff about the famous-infamous Blackblood brothers."

Like how they always brag about the Hunters' cases like they've solved them single-handedly. After each story I've read in the gutter press Anne forced on me - for the sake of research - I had more and more writers on my kill-on-sight list. Luckily for them, they never published their pictures.

"I think mom had more to do with the class arrangement than luck. And the articles are Sin's doing. I prefer to stay out of the whole paparazzi stuff."

We got out of the elevator and continued our journey to the next class.

"The serene protector, huh? I've heard that girls love that type."

Damian smiled. "I can't complain."

Aaand now I'm making small talk with a Blackblood about his love life. How did I fall this low?

"You're quite the beauty yourself. I'm sure you have some admirers."

He was going for a charming smile, but all I noticed were his fangs, sharp and ready to bite. I had no clue how to react. I was ready for killing vampires, not flirting with them. But I have a suspicion that he won't leave me alone too easily. Keep your friends close and so on, I guess.

I didn't know how to fake blushing, so my best bet was to turn my head away from him. I looked away coyly and hoped he wouldn't see through my acting.

"The guys back home are like family to me." They are family. Just the thought of them being interested in me… eww.

"Oh, the dreaded friendzone." He laughed. "Still, this means I have a chance."

Okay, this is getting out of hand. I clearly suck at this inconspicuous stuff. Let's just go with the good old fashioned blunt remarks. Those have never failed me before.

"I just got off a plane to a whole new world. Things are so different here I might as well have landed on Mars. Let's just take this a bit more leisurely, all right?"

I made the best puppy eyes I could, and I think it worked. Damian put his hand up in front of him, defensively.

"Alright. But don't think you can shake me off so easily." He gave me a friendlier smile, without the teeth this time. Has he noticed that I don't like them?

"We're here, by the way." He stood before two doors marked 'Men' and 'Women'.

"The toilets?" I looked at him, confused.

"No, the locker rooms."

"We're having phys ed?" My face lit up. I love training.

"Well, it's 'Advanced fighting and martial arts' to be exact. Think of it as PE's older, meaner cousin."

"I'm always up for a challenge. They messed up the name though, is this supposed to be AFAMA class?" I said jokingly.

"Well, most people call it Hell." Damian looked at me with an amused expression and stepped into the men's dressing room. I went in ours.

If the class was Hell, this was Hell's Antechamber. There were more girls in this one room then there were in class, so something was clearly amiss. And they were arguing if Sin or Damian was 'like the most hottest thing since like the Sun'. Their phrasing would've murdered an English major, but I'm not going to be the one to correct them, that's for sure.

I still didn't have my workout clothes with me, so I just sat down on an unoccupied bench, silently cursing evolution that I can't close my ears.

Moments later I felt a light tap on my shoulder. I looked up and saw a blonde girl. She looked younger than me, her long hair in two perfectly done braids, blue eyes filled with concern. She was pointing towards the other end of the room, and saying something I couldn't make out in the noise. She turned and headed there. I thought about it for a second, but I didn't think she was up to something bad, so I followed.

She led me into the toilets. As the door closed on us, the wild screaming from the other side was immediately dampened. Thank goodness.

The place was quite normal, with stalls and sinks, all the usual stuff, but it was completely spotless. You know the school has money when even the toilets are squeaky clean. I have to admit I was slightly impressed.

The girl who led me here was sitting on a bench carved into the wall. I just remembered that she's from my class. She looked eager to have me here, she even asked me a question. But I don't remember her name.

"Thanks for getting me out of that hellhole…"

"Lizzie," she said with a smile.

"Lizzie. I'm Ava. Nice to meet you."

Before I could prepare myself she jumped up and hugged me. She must've felt my body tense up, since she released me moments after.

"You don't like to hug?" She asked quietly.

"Not really." I shrugged.

There were a couple seconds of awkward silence before she sat back on the bench, gesturing for me to sit beside her, so I did. I also found out, that it was a good vantage point. I could see the door and the dark nook behind the stalls from a mirror.

"I'm sorry, but I'm just so excited about another witch coming to the class."

This got my attention. "Are you a witch as well?"

"Yes, but nothing as flashy as yours. I can vanish short distances."

"Vanish as in teleport?" She nodded.

"That sounds awesome!" I thought it would be very useful for hunting, but didn't say it out loud.

"Not really, I'm still a novice so I can only cover a couple rooms, and I get really tired doing it."

"Don't discredit yourself girl, that's still awesome. You have no idea how many times I wished I could just jump to kitchen mid-movie to refill on snacks."

Lizzie gave a chuckle, and it was cute enough to make me genuinely smile.

"Your flames are way more useful. And a bit scary. But in a good way. Even Sin got startled."

"Yeah, that scare the asshole trick was my good deed for the day. You're welcome, society."

"Aww, don't say that. Sin isn't that bad once you get to know him."

This peaked my interest. If I could learn more about the sons without getting too close to them, that would be ideal.

"Do you know him?"

"Yup, my boyfriend J is his cousin, so we hang out a lot together. Plus, I take extra lessons on magic with Elessa, and she tells me all kinds of stories."

Holy mother of convenience, I just found my goldmine. On second thought, dump the trying to avoid them tactic. It'll be much easier to get close to the vampires at this point. I know Anne would have my head if she knew I was trying to 'befriend' the Blackbloods, but nothing beats first-hand information.

This game I'm about to play will be risky, but hopefully rewarding.

Now I just have to find a way to get close to this girl first. And I have a pretty good idea for that. She told me she felt alone as a witch, so let's start there.

"Do you think she could train me as well?" I asked suddenly.

She fell silent as she started thinking, and I did my best to Jedi mind trick her into answering yes.

"I'm not sure, you seem pretty advanced already."

"Not really," I answered quickly, but with a smile. "The fire's just for show. It can't even melt aluminum. And it takes a lot of energy to keep it up, so I have to eat a lot to replenish."

Honestly, I could set concrete on fire if I wanted to, so that was a pretty blatant lie. She could've easily felt the heat during class to know that it was more dangerous than your common candle flame, but she fortunately didn't question me. She looked happy to have someone with the same problems.

"Oh, I had no idea. It looked dangerous." She fell silent again, thinking. "Why not come with me after lunch for the magic class and talk with Elessa. She's really nice. I'm sure she'll let you join."

"That sounds nice, thank you." I nodded with a cute smile. I felt accomplished.

A spy doesn't fight with swords, but with words. And this was my first battle with many to come.

Now I just have to convince Elessa. Child's play.

The bell rang out to signal the beginning of class.