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.I find it funny that they all found each other.They look like they should be in a Con Artists of the Month calendar.Their eyes all snap up when they see me and I feel absolutely naked in front of them.They know just as much about me as I do about them, even though we’ve never met.It’s an odd situation and I’m not sure how to proceed.Sylas takes the lead for me.“Everyone, this is Saige.Saige, this is Cash, who you’ve met, Track, Row, Hardy and Baz.” They each give me a nod or a wave and in Baz’s case, a leer.I have to bite my bottom lip so I don’t laugh.“Hello everyone,” I say, giving them all a little wave.“I feel like we’ve already met, for some reason.” I’m not sure how the joke is going to go off, but Track laughs.“I knew I liked her.” He gets up and offers me his chair as Sylas pulls another one over to the small table.“What would you like?” Sylas asks as he takes drink orders.“Whatever you’re having,” I say.This isn’t the kind of place that you can get a good dirty martini.This is a bar for beer and hard stuff served in cloudy glasses.Sylas gives me a wink and then he’s off to the bar to get drinks and I’m left to fend for myself.I look around and I can’t imagine what they must think of me.“So we can pretend that this isn’t weird, or we can embrace it,” I finally say.I’m not good at holding things in.Better to get it all out in the open.Track and Cash both laugh and Baz shoots me a smile.The twins are both still skeptical.Fair enough.“I kind of hate that we know so much about each other but we’ve never met in person,” I say.“It’s awkward to the say the least.”“Only if we let it be,” Cash says, beaming at me.He’s really quite attractive.He’s nothing on Sylas, of course, but objectively speaking.Sylas arrives back with the drinks and he’s gone for Bud Light.I’m not much of a beer girl, but I take the sweating bottle from him with a thanks.He sits next to me and rests his arm on the back of my chair.It’s a statement as much as a show of affection.Primitive, but I’m not going to complain.Now that Sylas is back, the tension congeals and is so palpable, I want to excuse myself.“What’s your angle?” Someone says, and I turn to find Row glaring at me.Hardy isn’t glaring, but he’s definitely watching me intently.“Pardon?” I say, taking a sip of liquid courage.I almost wish Sylas had brought me several shots of something to prepare me for this.It’s already been a long ass day and I still have studying to do and a drawing to start.“You heard me.What’s your angle?” I shrug.“No angle.I’m out of the lifestyle.I’m going mainstream.” I’m sort of joking and sort of serious.No matter what my father says, I’m getting out.“And you expect us all to believe that? After you stalked us and conned our friend?” I snort into my beer bottle.“Isn’t that a little hypocritical? Hacking my phone? Following my social media accounts? Stalking my friends?” I know what they did.Row’s eyes narrow and he has no comeback.“That’s what I thought,” I say.I’m wishing Sylas would back me up here, but he’s pretty silent.I turn my head and find him watching me.“What’s that look?” I ask.“Nothing.You’re just extraordinary,” he says, his mouth right next to my ear so only I can hear.I’m too distracted by his tongue on the edge of my ear to think about what the others around me are doing.“I try,” I say and he nips my earlobe before withdrawing.“So, Saige, are the two of you official?” Track asks.He seems to be getting a kick out of the whole thing and I can tell Cash is also amused.“Are we?” I ask Sylas.“That’s a discussion for another time,” he says.“But I’d like to make it official.” Someone—Row—coughs loudly.Real subtle.“Look, I don’t expect you all to like me.I don’t expect to infiltrate your bromance.I don’t expect anything from you.But I want you to know I understand that you’re important to Sylas.If I take him, you all come with him and I’m okay with that.I don’t hold any grudges for what you did.We were all doing our jobs and it wasn’t personal.” I finish my little speech and look around again.“So that’s all I have to say.And if you don’t believe me, feel free to strap me up to a lie detector.”Row scoffs.“You’ve probably trained how to beat one.” I smile.“You’re right, I have.That was one fun summer.” Dad and I played with a machine the summer after my junior year of high school until I could beat it without even trying.Track and Cash start asking me more about my training with my father and I share some things.Baz also seems interested and starts asking questions as well.Row and Hardy remain reserved, which is fine.I wouldn’t trust me either [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]