This story, in case you aren't aware or are unsure of where this story fits in the Night School series timeline, takes place during the first ball (so the end of book 1) and is told from Carter's point of view. And now, with that out of the way, enjoy.
As Allie neared him, though, he didn’t move. He could have slipped away without her ever seeing him. But he stood there.
Despite everything he still felt drawn to her. Something connected them. She was the only person he knew here who was like him – an outsider. The only one who really got him. Even though he was still angry and hurt … He also missed having her in his life.
She was so close now he could almost touch her but she hadn’t noticed him yet. Like a ghost, he watched unseen as she picked up a crab cake, studied it then put it in her mouth cautiously.
Something about the way she did that, the innocence of it, made up his mind.
He moved towards her. He’d almost reached her side when she turned suddenly, running directly into him.
‘I’m sorr …’ they both started to say, then she realised who she’d run into. The words died on his lips as he met her stormy gaze.
‘Allie …’ was all his lips would say then.
He couldn’t seem to talk. To think.
Their eyes locked. Colour flooded her pale cheeks. She looked horrified. For a moment that stretched too long neither of them said anything. Finally, Carter opened his mouth to tell her how lovely she looked. Just as he did she turned away with a jerk, as if she wanted to escape. As if she couldn’t bear even to look at him.
Despair ran like ice water through his veins. How had they managed to ruin everything so completely?
Without another word, he fled, letting the crowd close behind him.
He had to stop fooling himself that anything could be resurrected between them. That they could ever be together again.
He had to let her go.
Weaving through the crowd he ran up the stairs, taking them two at a time.
But when he knocked on Jules’ door seconds later, his hand quivered. He tightened it into a fist.
Jules opened the door immediately. ‘Bad news,’ she said. ‘We can’t stay long. Isabelle wants me downstairs for speeches. We have ten minutes.’
With that, she grabbed his lapel and pulled him into the room.
Carter almost smiled. Jules was so uninhibited. So sure of what she wanted. Maybe this was what he needed now in his life. Something uncomplicated.
He closed the door, leaning his back against it as he looked around.
Her room was neat and smelled pleasantly of her perfume. One wall held a framed poster of an oldman with a guitar all painted in dark blue hues. A soft, white rug covered the floor. The bookshelves were stacked with photos, books and knick-knacks. It felt comfortable.
She’d draped a scarf over the bedside lamp, giving it all an ethereal glow. The scarf fluttered in the breeze coming through the open window. The icy air felt good – cooling the perspiration on his skin.
It occurred to him it felt cold enough to snow.
She took a step towards him. Her skin glowed in the light.
Wanna know what happens next? Go to Fluttering Butterflies tomorrow and the story will continue there...