Home > The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2)(16)

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2)(16)
Author: Richelle Mead

So, I dutifully copied her spell books and spoke as little as possible during our time together.

Meanwhile, I simmered with resentment. She was well aware of my discomfort but made no attempts to alleviate the tension, leaving us in a stalemate. Only one thing brightened those sessions.

"Look at that. It's been nearly two hours since my last cappuccino. It's a wonder I can function. Would you be kind enough to run to Spencer's? That should finish us out for the day." The last bell had rung fifteen minutes ago, but I'd been putting in some overtime.

I was already closing the spell book before she finished speaking. When I'd begun as her assistant, I'd resented the constant errands. Now, I looked forward to the escape. Not to mention my own caffeine fix.

When I reached the coffee shop, I found Trey was just starting his shift, which was great - not just because he was a friendly face, but because it meant discounts. He began making my order before I even placed it since he knew the drill by now. Another barista offered to help, and Trey gave him meticulous instructions on what to do.

"Skinny vanilla latte," said Trey, grabbing the caramel for Ms. Terwilliger's cappuccino.

"That's sugar-free syrup and skim. Don't mess it up. She can sniff out sugar and 2% milk a mile away." I suppressed a smile. Maybe I couldn't reveal Alchemist secrets to my friends, but it was nice to know they at least knew my coffee preferences backwards and forwards.

The other barista, who looked to be our age, gave Trey a droll look. "I'm well aware of what skinny means."

"Nice attention to detail," I teased Trey. "I didn't know you cared."

"Hey, I live to serve," he said. "Besides, I need your help tonight with that lab write-up from chem. You always find things I miss."

"It's due tomorrow," I chastised. "You had two weeks. I'm guessing you didn't get much done in your cheerleader study session."

"Yeah, yeah. Will you help me out? I'll even go to your campus."

"I'll be up late with a study group - a real one." The opposite sex was banned from our dorms after a certain hour. "I could meet you on Central Campus afterward if you want."

"How many campuses does your school have?" asked the other barista, setting down my latte.

"Three." I reached eagerly for the coffee. "Like Gaul."

"Like what?" asked Trey.

"Sorry," I said. "Latin joke."

"Omnia Gallia in tres partes divisa est," said the barista.

I jerked my head up. Not much could have distracted me from coffee, but hearing Julius Caesar quoted at Spencer's certainly did.

"You know Latin?" I asked.

"Sure," he said. "Who doesn't?"

Trey rolled his eyes. "Only the rest of the world," he muttered.

"Especially classical Latin," continued the barista. "I mean, it's pretty remedial compared to Medieval Latin."

"Obviously," I said. "Everyone knows that. All the rules became chaotic in the post-Empire decentralization."

He nodded agreement. "Although, if you compare it to the Romance languages, the rules start to make sense when you read them as part of the larger picture of the language's evolution."

"This," interrupted Trey, "is the most messed-up thing I've ever seen. And the most beautiful.

Sydney, this is Brayden. Brayden, Sydney." Trey rarely used my first name, so that was weird, but not nearly as weird as the exaggerated wink he gave me.

I shook Brayden's hand. "Nice to meet you."

"You too," he said. "You're a Classics fan, huh?" He paused, giving me a long, considering look. "Did you see the Park Theatre Group's production of Antony and Cleopatra this summer?"

"No. Didn't even know they performed it." I suddenly felt kind of lame for not having known that, as though I should be up on all arts and culture events in the greater Palm Springs area.

I added by way of explanation, "I only moved here a month ago."

"I think they have a couple performances left in the season." Brayden hesitated once more. "I'd see it again if you wanted to go. Though I'll warn you - it's one of those reinterpreted Shakespeare productions. Modern clothes."

"I don't mind. That kind of reinterpretation is what makes Shakespeare timeless." The words rolled automatically off my lips. As they did, I suddenly had one of those epiphany moments where I realized there was more going on than I'd initially thought. I replayed Brayden's words. Between that and Trey's enormous grin, I soon had a startling realization. This was the guy Trey had been telling me about. My "soul mate." And he was asking me out.

"This is a great idea," said Trey. "You kids should totally go see that play. Make a whole day of it. Grab some dinner and hang out at the library or whatever it is you do for fun." Brayden met my eyes. His were hazel, almost like Eddie's but with a little green. Not as much green as Adrian's, of course. No one's eyes were that amazingly green. Brayden's brown hair occasionally picked up glints of gold in the light and was cut in a no-nonsense way that showed off the angles of his cheekbones. I had to admit, he was pretty cute. "They perform Thursday through Sunday," he said. "I've got a debate tournament over the weekend...

could you do it Thursday night?"

"I..." Could I? There was nothing planned, so far as I knew. About twice a week, I took Jill to the home of Clarence Donahue, an old Moroi who had a feeder. Thursday wasn't a scheduled feeding night, though, and technically I wasn't obligated to go to experiment nights.

"Of course she's free," Trey jumped in before I could even answer. "Right, Sydney?"

"Yes," I said, shooting him a look. "I'm free."

Brayden smiled. I smiled back. Nervous silence fell. He seemed as unsure as I was about how to proceed. I would have thought it was cute, if I wasn't so worried that I looked ridiculous.

Trey elbowed him sharply. "This is the part where you ask for her number." Brayden nodded, though he didn't look like he appreciated the elbowing. "Right, right." He pulled a cell phone out of his pocket. "Is it Sydney with a y or i?" Trey rolled his eyes. "What?

I'm guessing the former, but as naming conventions become increasingly untraditional, you never know. I just want to get it right in my phone."

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