Home > Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2)(11)

Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2)(11)
Author: Richelle Mead

"You'll be lucky if I let you hold it today," he said. He flipped the stake into the air again. My eyes followed it longingly. I started to point out that I had already held one, but I knew that line of logic would get me nowhere.

Instead, I tossed my backpack on the floor, threw off my coat, and crossed my arms expectantly. I had on loose pants tied at the waist and a tank top with a hoodie over it. My dark hair was pulled brutally back into a ponytail. I was ready for anything.

"You want me to tell you how they work and why I should always be cautious around them," I announced.

Dimitri stopped flipping the stake and stared at me in astonishment.

"Come on," I laughed. "You don't think I know how you work by now? We've been doing this for almost three months. You always make me talk safety and responsibility before I can do anything fun."

"I see," he said. "Well, I guess you've got it all figured out. By all means, go on with the lesson. I'll just wait over here until you need me again."

He tucked the stake into a leather sheath hanging from his belt and then made himself comfortable against the wall, hands stuffed in pockets. I waited, figuring he was joking, but when he said nothing else, I realized he'd meant his words. With a shrug, I launched into what I knew.

"Silver always has powerful effects on any magical creature - it can help or hurt them if you put enough power into it. These stakes are really hard-core because it takes four different Moroi to make them, and they use each of the elements during the forging." I frowned, suddenly considering something. "Well, except spirit. So these things are supercharged and are about the only non-decapitating weapon that can do damage to a Strigoi - but to kill them, it has to be through the heart."

"Will they hurt you?"

I shook my head. "No. I mean, well, yeah, if you drive one through my heart it will, but it won't hurt me like it would a Moroi. Scratch one of them with this, and it'll hit them pretty hard - but not as hard as it'd hit a Strigoi. And they won't hurt humans, either."

I stopped for a moment and stared absentmindedly at the window behind Dimitri. Frost covered the glass in sparkling, crystalline patterns, but I hardly noticed. Mentioning humans and stakes had transported me back to the Badica house. Blood and death flashed through my thoughts.

Seeing Dimitri watching me, I shook off the memories and kept going with the lesson. Dimitri would occasionally give a nod or ask a clarifying question. As the time ticked down, I kept expecting him to tell me I was finished and could start hacking up the dummies. Instead, he waited until almost ten minutes before the end of our session before leading me over to one of them - it was a man with blond hair and a goatee. Dimitri took the stake out from its sheath but didn't hand it to me.

"Where are you going to put this?" he asked.

"In the heart," I replied irritably. "I already told you that like a hundred times. Can I have it now?"

He allowed himself a smile. "Where's the heart?"

I gave him an are-you-serious look. He merely shrugged.

With overdramatic emphasis, I pointed to the left side of the dummy's chest. Dimitri shook his head.

"That's not where the heart is," he told me.

"Sure it is. People put their hands over their hearts when they say the Pledge of Allegiance or sing the national anthem."

He continued to stare at me expectantly.

I turned back to the dummy and studied it. In the back of my brain, I remembered learning CPR and where we had to place our hands. I tapped the center of the dummy's chest.

"Is it here?"

He arched an eyebrow. Normally I thought that was cool. Today it was just annoying. "I don't know," he said. "Is it?"

"That's what I'm asking you!"

"You shouldn't have to ask me. Don't you all have to take physiology?"

"Yeah. Junior year. I was on 'vacation,' remember?" I pointed to the gleaming stake. "Can I please touch it now?"

He flipped the stake again, letting it flash in the light, and then it disappeared in the sheath. "I want you to tell me where the heart is the next time we meet. Exactly where. And I want to know what's in the way of it too."

I gave him my fiercest glare, which - judging from his expression - must not have been that fierce. Nine out of ten times, I thought Dimitri was the sexiest thing walking the earth. Then, there were times like this ...

I headed off to first period, a combat class, in a bad mood. I didn't like looking incompetent in front of Dimitri, and I'd really, really wanted to use one of those stakes. So in class I took out my annoyance on anyone I could punch or kick. By the end of class, no one wanted to spar with me. I'd accidentally hit Meredith - one of the few other girls in my class - so hard that she'd felt it through her shin padding. She was going to have an ugly bruise and kept looking at me as though I'd done it on purpose. I apologized to no avail.

Afterward, Mason found me once again. "Oh, man," he said, studying my face. "Who pissed you off?"

I immediately launched into my tale of silver stake and heart woes.

To my annoyance, he laughed. "How do you not know where the heart is? Especially considering how many of them you've broken?"

I gave him the same ferocious look I'd given Dimitri. This time, it worked. Mason's face paled.

"Belikov is a sick, evil man who should be thrown into a pit of rabid vipers for the great offense he committed against you this morning."

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