Awkward silence descended around us as Seth and I stared at each other. How weird would it be if I jumped up and threw my arms around him, clinging to him like a needy octopus? That would be weird. And pathetic. What about jumping up and punching him in the nuts? Also weird. And violent.
Colin stood slowly, drawing Seth’s attention as he brushed off the back of his jeans. “You again,” Seth stated.
“Yep,” Colin replied without looking up. “Me again.”
“Yay,” murmured Seth.
I sighed. “Did you need something?”
Seth’s attention shifted back to me. “Do I need something to walk over here?”
My fingers curled inward. “Yeah, I think you do.”
“I missed them together,” Deacon said, bending his knees and resting his arms on them. “They’re so warm and fuzzy, don’t you think? So cute.”
Seth ignored them. “I didn’t realize I needed a reason to say hello to my friends.”
“You have friends?” I shot back, and then sort of felt like a bitch immediately afterward.
His eyes narrowed. “Friends as real as yours.”
The very personal dig stung as I shot to my feet with a quickness that surprised us both.
“You’re an ass.” I bent over, picking up my borrowed book. Seth was quick, snatching it out of my hands. “Hey!”
Stepping back, he turned it over in his hands and his brows flew up. “Really? Myth and History 101? Are you reading this for fun?”
“So what if I am?” I made a grab for the book, but he sidestepped me. “Give it back.”
“Maybe I want to read it for fun.”
I stared at him. “Are you twelve or something?”
“I was wondering the same thing,” Luke said, and Seth shot him a droll look. Deacon was grinning like the Mad Hatter.
Seth smirked as he lifted his gaze to mine. “Actually, come to think of it, reading this for fun is practically the lamest—”
“Oh, shit!” Colin shouted, his eyes widening as he stared across the quad.
As Seth and I turned, I reached over and ripped the book from his hands just as I caught sight of the disc of doom winging over the pure. Someone shouted, but it was too late. The Frisbee on steroids slammed into the back of a girl’s head with a sickening crack, knocking her over. She hit the ground, red mixing with her blonde hair. The people sitting around her flew to their feet. Several crowded around her. The book slipped from my fingers as the red-headed pure who’d controlled the disc laughed. The guy actually laughed.
One of the halfs from a nearby group stood and hit the ground running at full speed. He was as fast as a cheetah. One second he was by us, and the next, he was tackling the red-headed pure to the ground.
It happened so fast, one side converging on the other, that scuffles broke out everywhere around us within a matter of seconds. Deacon sprung to his feet, right beside Luke just as a pure fell into Colin. They went down in a tangle of punches and kicks.
Oh man, someone was going to end up on fire.
Seth was suddenly in front of me. “You need to go back to the dorm now.” He took hold of my arm and spun me around, toward Deacon. “Make sure she is—”
“Are you freaking serious?” I tore my arm free from Seth. “I can fight and I—” My words were cut off as he shoved me to the side and snapped forward, catching a pure in the chest with a solid swipe of his arm, knocking him back.
Seth looked at me pointedly. “You can do what again?”
“I can fight, you giant jackass of jackass proportions.” Spying a pure who was going all firestarter a few feet to my left, I lifted my arm and opened my hand. Summoning the element of water, I grinned when lightning cracked overhead and a white glow surrounded my palm. Power left me, but it was akasha. As the bolt of energy streamed out, it turned into a jet of water. The liquid slammed into the pure, knocking him over, head over feet. Closing my hand, I spun around to Seth and lifted my middle finger. “How’s that?”
He arched a brow as he spun, catching a half-blood that had stumbled backward. Righting the younger kid on his feet, Seth gave him a gentle push. “You’re going to want to stay out of this.”
I was going to have to agree with Seth on that.
Things had escalated quickly, and there was no way I was staying out of it like I had done that day in the cafeteria, while innocent people had gotten so horrifyingly injured.
It wasn’t something I even thought twice about, and maybe later, I would look back and be a little shocked by how quickly I got in the middle of it, but right now, it was instinct.
Pures didn’t fight fair. That was for sure.
A pure had a half pinned against a tree with the air element. Leaving Seth’s side, I stalked up behind the pure. Clapping my hand on her shoulder, I spun her around. Surprise widened her eyes and she dropped the half-blood.
“That’s not very nice,” I told her.
Her lower lip trembled, and when I let go, I figured she was going to run off. She didn’t. Throwing out her hand in my direction, I knew she was going to summon the element.
“Not smart.” I caught her arm and twisted as I stepped behind her, bending her over as I did exactly how Seth and Solos had trained me in the beginning. I shoved my leg between hers and wrenched to the right. Down she went.
As she scrambled off, I lifted my head just as a pure guy bum-rushed me. Like, legitimate rushing at me like a linebacker. A moment of trepidation seized me and then I shut it off. Sidestepping the massive dude, I dipped down and kicked out, sweeping his legs out from under him. He fell backward, hitting the ground with a fleshy thud.