Unbound (Forbidden Bond Book 1)(9)

By: Cat Miller

The phone rang and brought Dani back to the present with a jolt. Her mom looked at her expectantly. “Lucas has already called three times this morning. Did you two have a fight?”

“No, everything is fine,” she lied and grabbed the cordless off the wall, leaving to take the call in the living room. She didn’t want an audience.


“Danielle, finally! I’ve been calling your cell all night. I’m so sorry. I don’t know what happened. It’s all fuzzy, but I’m so sorry. Please, Dani, don’t leave me like this. You have to let me come over and say good-bye. Please talk to me,” he pleaded, without letting her get a word in.

When he finally paused, she said, “Lucas, you have nothing to apologize for, and I’m just sorry I tried to make you do something you didn’t want.”

He cut her off. “I want it! I do! I’ll come over right now and pick you up! Last night cannot be the way we leave this.…” He trailed off.

“You can come over, but not for that. I have to load my car up and get on the road. We won’t have much time, but we can talk a little.” She tried to soothe him because he was right. They needed to part on better terms.

“I’m on my way. Be there in ten. I’m already in the truck. See you soon.” He hung up as if he didn’t want to give her a chance to change her mind.

He shouldn’t be so worked up, she thought. It’s not as if he’d turned into some weird, black-eyed freak last night. Obviously he didn’t remember that little tidbit. Strange, considering she noticed it first in his memory. And what the hell was that about? People don’t see other people’s memories!

Dani washed her breakfast dishes and just made it to her bedroom when there was another knock at the front door. She would say good-bye to Lucas, and, afterward, she would have to say good-bye to her mom. Ugh…

Lucas tapped on her bedroom door.

She took a deep breath and tried to force a smile, but as soon as the door opened a crack, he barreled through and tackled her onto the bed. Dani shrieked and laughed.

Her mom shouted up the stairs, “All right, you two! Leave that door open!”

“Yes, ma’am.” Lucas had to answer because Dani was too busy trying to escape the grasp of the infamous Tickle Monster of Perry Hall. He stopped the monster abruptly after a moment and held her close to him, kissing her softly, in a way that washed away all her hurt feeling from the night before. The kiss said everything they needed to say without the words I’m sorry.

After her car was loaded, there was nothing left to do but say good-bye. He kissed her and held her tight for a long minute before walking away wordlessly. Watching Lucus drive away left a lump in her throat. This separation would be tough, but they’d get through it somehow.

Her mom worked so hard to make their little house a home for the two of them. The thought of leaving her alone was causing great tidal waves of guilt. Her mom, on the other hand, was prancing around like the proudest peacock at the zoo, overjoyed at Dani’s accomplishments.

Thankfully, there was no tearful parting with her mother, due to her joy at seeing Dani have experiences she hadn’t been afforded. She gave Dani some cash, a credit card for emergencies, a big hug, and a little white box. Tessa smiled widely and instructed Dani to open the box later.

Then Dani was off on the long drive to New York State. It was a lot of time alone to think. She pondered the past and dreamt of the future. She worried about Lucas and decided to call him as soon as she got settled. Mostly, she thought of the night before. She remembered the hunger she’d suffered and the shock of seeing her eyes in Lucas’s memory. She thought about how insane it sounded to think it possible to see another person’s memories. Was she going crazy? She couldn’t worry about that yet. First, she had to focus on school. Insanity would have to wait until she had more time to deal with it.

 Dani arrived on campus amidst a flurry of incoming students and their parents. There were people everywhere carrying boxes and suitcases to their dorm rooms. Parents were bidding farewell to their aspiring scholars with an equal mix of smiles and tears. She found her building and made her way through the first-floor common room. It was a large room with scattered seating areas and a large wall-mounted flat-screen TV in each corner. Also on that floor were restrooms and a canteen with vending machines, microwaves, and dining tables. The crowded halls were almost impassable, given all the students, parents, and luggage.

Dani ran a gauntlet to reach her assigned room. She pushed open the door to see a petite Hispanic girl staring at the beds. Her dark hair was cut in a short, slanted bob, and her deep, brown, almond-shaped eyes almost lent her features an Asian look. When Dani entered, the girl turned and smiled as if they were already friends and she’d been waiting for her to arrive.

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