Home > The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2)(14)

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2)(14)
Author: Richelle Mead

"Eddie never trains me anymore," she said wistfully, as we watched the spectacle. Eddie was trying to patiently explain to Angeline that headbutting, while suitable in a bar brawl, was not always the best tactic with Strigoi.

"I'm sure he will if he gets more time," I said, though I wasn't sure at all. Now that he could admit his feelings for Jill to himself, he was nervous about touching her too much. That, and a chivalrous part of him didn't want Jill risking herself anyway. It was ironic because Jill's fierceness in wanting to learn self-defense (rare in a Moroi) was what had attracted him to her.

"Angeline was recruited as protection. He's got to make sure she can handle it."

"I know. I just feel like everyone's trying to coddle me." She frowned. "In PE, Micah won't let me do anything. After I had all that trouble starting out, he's now paranoid I'll hurt myself. I keep telling him I'm fine, that it was just the sun... but well, he keeps jumping in. It's sweet...

but it drives me crazy sometimes."

"I've noticed it," I admitted. I was in the same PE class. "I don't think that's why Eddie won't train you, though. He knows you can do it. He's proud that you can... he just thinks that if he's doing his job, you shouldn't have to learn. Kind of weird logic."

"No, I get it." Her earlier dismay shifted to approval as she turned back to the training session.

"He's so dedicated... and, well, good at what he does."

"The knee's an easy way to disable someone," Eddie told Angeline. "Especially if you're caught without a weapon and have to - "

"When are you going to teach me to stake or decapitate?" she interrupted, hands on her hips. "All the time, it's hit here, dodge this, blah, blah, blah. I need to practice killing Strigoi."

"No, you don't." Eddie was the picture of patience and back in the determined, ready mode I knew so well. "You're not here to kill Strigoi. Maybe we can practice that at a later time, but right now, your priority is keeping mortal assassins away from Jill. That takes precedence over anything else, even our lives." He glanced over at Jill for emphasis, and there was a flash of admiration in his eyes as he looked at her.

"Seems like decapitation would kill Moroi just the same," Angeline grumbled. "And besides, you did have a Strigoi problem last month."

Jill shifted uneasily beside me, and even Eddie paused. It was true - he had had to kill two Strigoi recently, back when Adrian's apartment had been Keith's. Lee Donahue had led the Strigoi to us. He was a Moroi who'd once been Strigoi. After he was returned to his natural state, Lee had wanted desperately to become a Strigoi again. He was the reason we'd learned that those restored by spirit seemed to have some Strigoi resistance. The two Strigoi he'd called to help him had tried to convert him but ended up killing him instead - a better fate than being undead, in my opinion.

Those Strigoi had then turned on the rest of us and inadvertently revealed something unexpected and alarming (if not to them, then to me). My blood was inedible. They'd tried to drink from me and been unable to. With all the fallout from that night, no one among the Alchemists or Moroi had paid much attention to that small detail - and I was grateful. I was terrified that one of these days someone would think to put me under a microscope.

"That was a fluke," said Eddie at last. "Not one that's likely to happen again. Now watch the way my leg moves, and remember that a Moroi will probably be taller than you." He did a demonstration, and I cast a quick look at Jill. Her face was unreadable. She never talked about Lee, whom she'd dated briefly. Micah had gone a long way to distract her on the romantic front, but having your last boyfriend want to become a bloodthirsty monster couldn't be an easy thing to get over. I had a feeling she was still in pain, even if she did a great job at hiding it.

"You're too rigid," Eddie told Angeline, after several attempts.

She completely relaxed her body, almost like a marionette. "So, what? Like this?" He sighed. "No. You still need some tension."

Eddie moved behind her and attempted to guide her into position, showing her how to bend her knees and hold her arms. Angeline took the opportunity to lean back into him and brush her body suggestively against his. My eyes widened. Okay. Maybe he wasn't imagining things.

"Hey!" He leapt backwards, a look of horror on his face. "Pay attention! You need to learn this."

Her expression was pure angelic innocence. "I am. I'm just trying to use your body to learn what to do with mine." So help me, she batted her eyelashes. Eddie moved back even farther.

I realized I should probably intervene, no matter what Eddie had said about handling his own problems. An even better savior came when the school's thirty-minute warning bell rang.

I jumped up.

"Hey, we should go if we want to get to breakfast in time. Right now." Angeline gave me a suspicious look. "Don't you usually skip breakfast?"

"Yeah, but I'm not the one putting in a hard morning's work. Besides, you still need to change and - wait, you're in your uniform?" I hadn't even noticed. Whenever Eddie and Jill trained, it was always in casual workout clothes - just like he wore now. Angeline had actually come out today in an Amberwood uniform, skirt and blouse, that were showing the wear and tear of a morning's battle.

"Yeah, so?" She tucked in her blouse where it had started to come undone. The side of it was smudged with dirt.

"You should change," I said.

"Nah. This is fine."

I wasn't so sure, but at least it was better than the jean shorts. Eddie did leave to put on his uniform and never came back for breakfast. I knew he liked his breakfasts, and since he was a guy, he could change clothes pretty quickly. My guess was he was sacrificing food to stay away from Angeline.

I heard my name called as we entered the cafeteria and caught sight of Kristin Sawyer and Julia Cavendish waving to me. Aside from Trey, they were the two closest friends I'd made at Amberwood. I still had miles to go in ever being socially savvy, but those two had helped me a lot. And with all the supernatural intrigue my job involved, there was something comforting about being around people who were normal... and, well, human. Even if I couldn't be fully honest with them.

"Sydney, we have a fashion question for you," Julia said. She tossed her blonde hair over one shoulder, her usual sign that what she was about to say was of utmost importance.

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