Blood Flesh Bone Trilogoy(5)

By: Juliet Vane

“Yeah,” I said.

He grinned. “True story, one of the headmasters was a total creeper. Came after the girls while they were sleeping in the dorms.”

“Wait, is this the story about the wicked headmaster?” I asked.

Mariella clapped her hands and nodded, her eyes shining.

Kirsten spoke up. “At first it was just a girl singled out here or there, and he’d torment her for a couple of weeks. Coming into her room, standing over her bed.”

Tyler nodded seriously, his green eyes crinkling with a smile. “Watching her sleep.”

I could picture it in my head, and it was a freaky idea. The soft rise and fall of a girl’s form beneath her blankets, the silhouette of a man in some kind of tweed coat, standing over her.

“But then his appetite grew stronger. He was no longer content to look, but had to touch,” Tyler said, skimming his hand over my bare knee.

I jumped back, and he laughed.

“Sorry,” he said. “You okay?”

“Yeah, just startled me is all.”

“The girls started talking,” Tyler said. “One of them woke up to his hand on her shoulders, and he’d told her it was just a dream, to go back to sleep. But then it happened to someone else. They started staying awake, switching beds, trying to catch him in the act.”

My knee still felt the spark of heat from where Tyler had touched it. I rubbed the skin, and he smiled, took my hand, kissed it.

Across the room, Mariella sucked in a low breath.

“Ooh,” Karl said. “The first romance of the summer.”

Tyler tossed one of Kirsten’s red throw pillows at him. “Stop being a douche. I’m just apologizing for scaring her.”

It felt like more than an apology, and I liked it. When his fingers twined with mine, I didn’t pull away.

“So, then what happened?” I asked. “Did he get caught? Taken away?”

“Nobody would believe the students,” Mariella said. Her voice was a little colder than it had been before. “The girls decided to drive him away on their own. For each girl he stalked, they resolved to take a vial of blood. One of the girls was into science, and she knew how to draw blood.”

“Did they kill him?” I asked, not entirely sure I wanted to know the answer.

“The locals don’t know,” Tyler said. His thumb traced a circular pattern over the heel of my hand, cool and soothing. “But he was gone one day. And every girl in the school had a vial of blood in the trunk of her belongings.”

Kirsten shivered. “That’s scary as hell.”

Footsteps sounded outside the room.

“That’s him now,” Mariella said, eyes gleaming. “He haunts the first floor of the south wing, steps right out of his painting at night and walks around. He’s looking for his blood.”

A low chuckle echoed from outside the room. Karl huffed an impatient breath, stood up, and flung open the door, revealing a young man.

I shrieked, and the man smiled.

Mariella laughed. “It’s just Harrison.”

“Sorry,” he said, directing a beautiful smile at me. Then he turned toward the others. “You’re still telling that story about the headmaster?”

“It’s a classic,” Karl said, rolling his eyes.

I remembered the footsteps I’d heard on my way here, and I shivered. Tyler rubbed my back, and again the contact was cool, making me want to lean back into it.

“Guys,” Tyler said, “we’re freaking out the newbie.”

Harrison, the guy in the doorway, turned to me again. “Hey, I’m Harrison. Piano instructor.”

He barely looked older than Tyler and Karl. His auburn hair was long on top with an undercut, and pulled into a ponytail at the back of his head. I didn’t usually like longer hair on guys, but he made it work.

“Lissa,” I said, remembering my voice. “I’ll be one of your students.”

“Cool,” he said. “Well, I don’t want to break up your party, but don’t forget we have an early start tomorrow.”

Everyone groaned.

“What,” Harrison said, smirking. “Don’t shoot the messenger.” He ducked out of the doorway and I heard his footsteps receding down the hall.