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Chapter 6

  • Etienne stared at me with a look I couldn’t decipher, and I flared my nostrils, grabbing the handle of the door and slamming it in his face. Two fucking days! I should’ve been in Washington by now! Rage stormed through me as I threw the clothes he’d given me on the mosaic tile floor and examined the space. Like his bedroom, this place was retro styled and dark. What astonished me was the cleanliness of everything around.
  • But I wouldn’t be surprised if these assholes had maids. Wait… My brows furrowed. Was I supposed to be his maid now? A familiar. This wasn’t ‘Harry Potter’, and this was far from a magic school!
  • Panting in anger, I approached the small window next to the toilet seat and looked through it. Night. Again. It made sense, considering I had spent so much time unconscious. My muscles flexed, and I tried to relax them, evaluating my options. I could see part of the wide playground that spread around in front of the building we were in and the forest behind it.
  • As I didn’t see anything particularly interesting in the playground, I turned my focus on the huge gothic building. It was shaped like the letter C, and we were at the inner corner of the left turn. There were many lit windows on the floors, which were… I counted them. Five floors at the end of the building, starting at the turns, and three floors in the middle.
  • On each side of the front doors, between the second and third floor, were built two enormous gargoyle-like statues. They made a chill quake my skin. So, this was one of the dorm buildings. Its image was much darker than the way it looked like online. There was something sinister about it.
  • But maybe that was just me and the fact I was forced to stay here. And a freaking cult lived here!
  • I stared at the ground floor that had high columns surrounding the grand entrance and narrowed my eyes. I could see the security cameras. They were like dirty dots in my vision; obstacles, hindering my escape. I also knew from the flyers I dreamily gazed at two years ago that there were security guards placed all around the fences that surrounded the campus. But if they had let these psychopaths go in and out of the university grounds at night, especially with me and buckets of blood… There was a big probability they were also in on this.
  • My teeth clenched. How much did they have to pay them to remain silent? Were the teachers also aware? I swallowed hard and continued examining the place. The pavement and the walls looked wet, so it had been raining. But how could I escape? I was done jumping from walls for now.
  • Sighing, I brushed my fingers through my hair in desperate need of a shower. The one in here looked tempting—all regal, bronze-colored, and elegant. But had it been the place the dumbass had taken the blood off his body? I shivered and took my clothes off, examining the things Etienne had given me. They looked washed and smelled nice, so I put them on and tied the waistband of the sweatpants around my waist.
  • Huffing, I lifted my shoulders and pulled open the door to enter the bedroom. Etienne was making the two-seat couch into a bed. I ground my jaw, and he straightened, patting the pillow on it for the last time.
  • “Let’s go.” He headed to the door, and I followed, glaring at the nasty make-shift bed. So, what now? I was supposed to share a room with a freak? No way.
  • Just before he opened the door, he outstretched his hand to me, and I blinked.
  • “This was our deal.”
  • I scoffed at his words and crossed my arms, my hands prickling like poison. I felt more disgusted than ever.
  • “We can’t go out until you don’t do this. This is my condition to take your around campus.”
  • A vein pulsed on my forehead, and I made a sarcastic expression. “Yeah? Well, I’m not touching your nasty hand. Who knows what diseases you carry with all the blood that was spilled onto you the last time I was awake.”
  • I fixed my eyes on him, waiting for some sort of confirmation, no matter how much my guts screamed in dread. I wanted to make sure that was really blood.
  • I wanted to know who I was dealing with.
  • Just before I realized what was happening, his hand shot out and grabbed my wrist. His expression darkened, and he thinned his lips.
  • “I washed it a few times while you were asleep. Let’s get out now.” Etienne pulled me forward, and I stumbled behind him as I stared at the light blue walls in the hallway. He tugged me closer to himself and whispered, “Make sure you don’t speak because there are some very dangerous people here. People who could destroy you with the snap of their fingers.”
  • I wanted to punch his stomach but held back and just nodded. There were so many dark doors around us, there were also some posters on the walls. It was all about school events or past victories of their sports teams—horse riding, soccer, archery, even chess. There were theater part announcements and ads about sales and looking-to-buy items. It all looked like normal university shit.
  • But then, how could this all happen under the noses of the deans and the management of Pinewood Prestige University? Under Mrs. Watkinson’s nose. My heart tightened. Jude’s mom was going to be shocked. Unless… all the employees here were also into this. That was laughable.
  • “Etienne,” a muscular man greeted the one holding my wrist and bobbed his head once. I stared at him while he studied me. His dark eyes turned into black holes as he dug them into my face.
  • “Jeremiah,” Etienne returned, not slowing down even a bit.
  • As we passed the huge guy, I stepped closer to Etienne. “Did he know?”
  • “Couldn’t you tell?” He arched an eyebrow, and I gulped.
  • We reached the beginning of some really magnificent stairs and started climbing them down. The black metal railing formed intricate roses and leaves. It left me gaping in awe. That was what I called some good craftsmanship. I had always been a fan, but my parents refused to see my pull to carpentry and beautiful designs. There had always been only one right thing for me to do in their eyes—inherit our law firm.
  • The dark wood under our feet didn’t even creak as we let our weight seep into it. The stairs were curved, and when we reached the second floor, I shot it an examining look, trying to remember every small detail. It looked pretty much the same as the floor we had been on.
  • Reaching the curve leading to the first floor, I gasped at the enormous portrait that appeared on our right. It was of an older man with small round glasses and a big mustache. His clothes were a navy-blue military uniform with badges, and judging by its style, I guessed it had to have been drawn in the beginning of the twentieth century.
  • I stared at his sunken face and his half-bald head, and something prickled at my flesh. A gnarly feeling settled into my stomach, and every fiber of my body yelled that his creepy blue eyes were following us. I nearly stumbled, swinging forward.
  • Etienne gave a small tug to my wrist. “Don’t stare at the painting. Focus.”
  • My jaw ticked as I fixed my attention on the man next to me. Before I concocted a snappy remark, we reached the end of the stairs, and the multiple voices from the floor made me concentrate on them.
  • I parted my lips, studying the large space around.
  • “The playroom area of the dorm is on this floor, so as you can probably guess, everybody’s here,” Etienne explained, and I absently nodded.
  • I was focused on the mass of men walking around, laughing, and acting like university jocks. Testosterone was swimming in the air as some of the students teased each other and threw napkins, small balls or random plastic utensils. The place was full of couches, at least three TVs, PlayStations, and small basketball hoops. Ha, I thought balls were forbidden inside. With the prestige of this place, I was surprised by the smell of sweat, aftershave, and all the packages of snacks and small sweets.