Delude

Casey just wanted to have a normal life. She would only be so lucky. She despises school, especially after she meets Evan Fynn. In seconds, he's undone everything she's worked hard to maintain; he's taken everyone from her, filled their minds with lies to drive them away. She is desperate to find out why, even if the truth is more terrifying than she expected.

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8. Suspicion.

I followed Nixon down the porch steps and watched as he leaned against a tree that stood in the middle of the yard; he glanced at me with his smoky eyes and held out another cigarette.

“Don’t worry, I won’t ask for any weird sexual favors in return.”

I took the cigarette awkwardly, and as he lit it, took a long drag. I coughed and pulled it away from my face. “That’s good to know, I guess. I don’t need people thinking any less of me than they already do.”

“What do they think of you?” He actually sounded concerned.

I hesitated before telling him what happened yesterday at school. I really didn’t know what had compelled me to tell a complete stranger about the troubles going on with me when he probably had a lot of his own.

“He sounds like a real bastard,” Nixon said when I finished speaking. “What are you going to do about it?”

“What can I do?” I muttered.

“Get even,” he suggested.

“I don’t know anything about him,” I confessed. The cigarette trembled between my fingers. “I don’t know what I did to him to make him hate me.”

“You rejected him,” Nixon said with a nod. “Guys can do a lot of fucked up things when that happens.”

“So can girls,” I pointed out.

“Right, but Evan seems to think that he can get any girl he wants. I think your saying no was a good thing, despite the circumstances.”

“You don’t know him, do you?” I put the cigarette to my lips.

“I’ve heard of him actually.”

I nearly sucked it down as he spoke. The smoke slid away from my lips. I took a breath and tried to calm my lungs.

“Are you okay?” Nixon asked. I shuddered as he placed a hand on my back. “Sorry if I surprised you.”

“I’m fine,” I whispered, looking at him. I didn’t mean to scare him like that. “How do you know him anyway? You said you didn’t go to Grandview. Plus, he just started there.”

“Is that right?” Nixon asked, scratching his chin lightly. He glanced up at the sun, then back at me. “Does everyone else think he’s new as well?”

I blinked at him. “What do you mean think?”

“It’s going to sound crazy,” he explained, staring at me with a hard gaze. “I just know that you can’t trust him.”

The remnants of my nearly forgotten dream slid across my brain, then, at his words. I couldn’t say anything that would make it sound sane. He would probably just think it was a coincidence anyway.

“Just tell me,” I breathed, my voice shaking, betraying me.

Nixon frowned as he walked away from me, and continued up the steps back to the door. He looked back at me. “Aren’t you coming?”

I followed automatically, my legs seeming to move on their own. A sudden sense of foreboding came over me as I went through the door. He stood by the couch, staring at the plate of fallen pancakes.

“I scared you,” he guessed without looking at me. “I’m sorry for that. I didn’t mean to.”

I went to say that I hadn’t minded, but shook my head. “What did you want to tell me?” I crossed my arms over my chest and stared at him.

He turned his eyes on me and grinned. “You would never believe me if I told you.” He started to play with the string on his black hoodie nervously. “I think you need to sit down for this though.”

I nodded and plopped on the couch. When he sat beside me, so close that our knees touched, my stomach fluttered. He looked like he was struggling with what he wanted to say. He took a breath, his words coming fast.

“Have you ever heard of a Sweeper?”

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