What's That Sound
This Isn't The 1800s
Your Average Girl
Don't Make Me Go
Dress-Up Game
Alone With the Enemy
Some Strange Magic
You Only Live Once
What Are You?
A Wrong Turn
A Deal's a Deal
The Secret Inside
Helicopter, Helicopter
Mind Your Manners
A Maze and Delight
The Lost Seed
A Secret Escape
Getting Hot Inside
Seriously, What The
Got a Bad Feeling
Let's Try Something
Breathing is Overrated
In the Meantime
Nice Day for a Drive
Can't Turn Back
A Maze and Delight
I was still recovering from Mercurius's sudden appearance when Ms. Whitley had appeared behind me. She seemed to have a knack for sliding up silently. Rather like a snake, now that I thought about it. Huh.

"Darling," she said, drawing out the word as she flashed a brilliant smile at Mercurius. "So nice of you to join us. How about giving Clara a tour of the manor grounds?"

As boring as it was to sit around with a bunch of gossiping ladies, the last thing I wanted was to spend more time with Mr. Snobby-pants. He frowned, so maybe he wasn't too excited either.

But to her face, all he said was, "Of course, mother."

I glanced towards my own mom, but she merely smiled over at me and went back to her conversation, teacup perched daintily between two fingers.

Looked like I didn't have many options.

I followed after Mercurius as he pushed through the doors. Once we were in the hall and out of earshot of his mother, he said, "I hope you know, I have no desire to show you around the property. You shouldn't even be here."

I didn't disagree with that. It would have made me more than happy just to stay home. It was shaping up to be a beautiful, sunny day, the kind of bright sunshine meant for enjoying.

Fortunately, Mercurius must have been thinking the same thing, because he lead me out a set of imposing double-doors and out into the yard behind the house where we stepped onto a large patio lined with glossy stone.

Considering I get awkward during long silences, I tried to think of something to say that would stop me from babbling. That, and I might at least try to soften the sneer creasing his lips. I looked away, thinking maybe if he weren't so constantly angry, he would have been rather attractive.

Instead, looking at him only got me remembering Chance and the way he'd kissed me that first night on the balcony.

And I wondered if Mercurius had taken me to see the fight for a reason. It had to have been coincidence Chance was there, but if Mercurius had known about a fight between... demons--it still felt weird to think about--then did that mean--I'd be lying if I said it hadn't crossed my mind that he might be one himself.

Beyond the patio was a path lined with perfectly trimmed hedges. Blossoming vines wove in and out, little sparks of color among the greenery.

Glancing at Mercurius, he looked perfectly normal. Then again, Chance hadn't exactly appeared, uh, demonic, either.

"If you're going to sneak glances at me, you ought to at least pretend to be subtle." This was Mercurius, sneer turned to smirk. He looked pleased with himself. "Care to share what you're thinking?"

"Nothing!" I said, turning away, trying to will my face not to get all red. But it was too late. I could feel the heat rising in my cheeks. Real cool, Clara. "I was just thinking, thinking about that fight."

"Remembering our date fondly, were you?" His smirk widened. "Or perhaps you were considering why I brought you there."

He was too good at this. I didn't know what to say. All I could do was follow him further into the hedge path, which now that I noticed it, had grown so tall I couldn't see over the top. As we turned down one fork, then another, I realized with growing anxiety that pretty soon I wasn't going to be able to remember the way back. And it was getting dark there in the shade between the hedges.

Without realizing it, I'd entered a maze.


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© Hopeful Romantic ,
книга «Just a Kiss».
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