Wisdom / Page 27

Page 27


“No, I’m not,” I shook my head. “I just wanna know what she’s talking about.”

“Train with her.” Olivia gave me a serious look. “She’s better than I am.”

“Are you ready?” Violet asked, even though I clearly wasn’t.

Olivia backed towards the stairs, and I took a step after her. When I did that, Violet appeared next to me, flicking the pipe in front of me so fast, it nearly hit me in the gut.

“What hell are you doing?” I asked.

“I wanna see what you can do.” She shrugged and flipped the pipe again. I bent backwards, as if doing the limbo, and nearly missed it striking me in the chin. “Nice reflexes.”

I heard the door swing shut, and I looked back to see that Olivia had gone downstairs. I broke my attention from Violet for a second, and the bo struck me hard across the head.

“Pay attention,” she commanded.

Once the blinding pain in my skull stopped, along with the tingling as the fresh gash healed, I growled and dove at her. I didn’t want to be training. I wanted to know what the hell Olivia meant, and I didn’t even really trust Violet. I tended to hate people that hit me in the head without warning.

When I lunged at her, she easily moved out of the way. I’d seen vampires move faster than her, like the lycan Stellan who’s speed was something that bordered on teleportation. But Violet had a quick grace that made me blink my eyes to be sure she was really gone.

Then she was behind me, nearly striking me in the back, so I leapt into the air, doing a back flip before landing on the roof. I’d actually never done that before, at least not reflexively. I wanted to take a second to admire how bad ass that was, but Violet charged at me again.

“It’s not fair that you have a weapon!” I shouted as she swung the rod out, trying to swipe out my legs, but I jumped up over it. She moved to stab at the air, so she’d hit me if I jumped again, and I dropped to the ground, lying flat on my belly.

“Who said life was fair?” Violet shot back, and I narrowly rolled out of the way. She drove the pipe into the roof, and if I hadn’t moved, she would’ve impaled me through the stomach. I leapt up to my feet and knew I had to launch a counter attack, or this would just keep going.

I ran to the edge, and she threw the pipe like a spear, aiming it so it would hit the center of my back. I ran forward and jumped up, landing with my feet on the railing at the edge of the building. I pushed off and leapt backwards, feeling the pipe as it grazed the back of my calf before soaring off the building.

I flipped backwards and stretched my feet out in front of me. Violet moved, so instead of my feet colliding with her head the way I’d hoped, I merely kicked her in the chest. I landed on her, but I didn’t even pin her down. She had me flipped over onto my back, one of her hands gripping my shoulders.

Raising my feet up, I pressed them into her stomach so I could push her off me. She moved her hand back in swift movement, grabbing something from the back of her jeans. I started to kick her off, then I felt a sharp pain in my chest as she poked something in it.

I looked down and the saw the pointed edge of a titanium stake pressed above my heart, hard enough to stain my shirt with blood.

10

“What the hell do you want?” I asked, my breath coming out in rasps. Terrified adrenaline pulsed through me, but I wasn’t sure that I could get her off me before she drove the stake through my heart.

“I wanna make sure you don’t get caught off guard like this again.” Her violet eyes held mine, looking at me solemnly, then she got off me.

“What the fuck was that?” I jumped up, holding my hand over my heart. I had no serious injury, and the small wound would heal within minutes, but for a second there, I’d been certain she was gonna kill me.

“You’ve got good reflexes, and I think you have some real strength under there,” Violet said, ignoring my confusion and rage. She brushed the dirt off her clothes and smoothed out her shirt. “But you need to think more, be less impulsive. You need to plan out your attack. Have you ever played chess?”

“Once and I suck at it,” I said. “But you nearly killed me!”

“I didn’t come anywhere close to killing you.” She rolled her eyes. “If I really wanted to kill you, you’d be dead.”

“So what were you doing then? That’s not training! That’s like… attempted murder.” I fumbled for a biting comeback, but it didn’t faze her at all.

“I want you to remember that. What it felt like believing you would die. If you really feel it, really own how horrifying it is, you’ll make sure that you never feel that way again.” Violet pointed at me using the stake, and that didn’t really make me feel any better.

“I already don’t want to die. I’ve been in shit before. I know what it’s like to fight your life,” I said. “You didn’t need to do that.”

“Maybe, maybe not.” She wagged her head.

“How did you learn how to fight like that?” I asked. “You weren’t that good the last time I saw you.”

“No, I was, but Lucien wasn’t, and I let him call the shots,” she shrugged. “That was stupid. But living on the streets, alone, a lot of vampires will mess with you. You have to learn to fight back, or they’ll kill you.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” I said quietly.

“It doesn’t matter.” She shook her head as she walked back towards the stairwell. “Come back tomorrow. We can practice more then.”

“Wait. Do you know what Olivia meant by what she said? That I have a ‘draw?’” I asked.

“Who knows what Olivia means,” she replied and went inside.

I rubbed at my chest, and my heart still pounded heavily underneath. I looked around, but I couldn’t admire the skyline the way I normally did. I thought about how terrified I had been in that split second when I really believed Violet meant to kill me. I wondered if Jane felt like that. If she knew she was going to do die.

I climbed up on the edge, standing on the wall so my shins pressed against the railing. I could see the spot where Jane had been found, and I wondered if I would live if I jumped. My bones are hard to break, but it’s not impossible.

Swallowing hard, I stared down for a minute. It was so hard to fathom life and death anymore. The idea of both had become such foreign concepts to me. In order to live forever, I’d be constantly surrounded by death. I’m not sure I could ever get used to that.


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