Draekon Destiny:Exiled to the Prison Planet(10)

By: Lili Zander & Lee Savino

So I’d asked Zunix to use his syn to make her something that would make her smile.

I thought she’d like the bracelet, but once again, I’ve completely misread the situation.

At least her fury is better than her tears. Her brown eyes are sparkling with anger. “Fine,” she snaps. “You want me to stop shutting you out? Then return the favor. Try telling me what’s really going on.”

“What do you mean?”

She glares at us. “Seriously? You’re going to pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about?”

I glance at Luddux. Tell her the truth, I silently beg him. She’s angry that we worked with Herrix and Belfox. She doesn’t understand why we cooperated with them, and she blames us for the fact that they were able to escape the prison planet. Just tell her why. Please.

But Luddux’s words take me by surprise. “Give us one week, Felicity,” he says. “A week in which we trade truth for truth. No matter the cost. And at the end, if you hate me,” he takes a deep breath, “I will understand, and I will leave.”

He touches her hand. “Truth or Dare. You introduced us to the game when we first met,” he says quietly. “Will you play now?”




“Calder Reese asked me to prom,” I announce happily as I enter the Seascape Grill.

Chloe looks up sharply. “He did? You?”

I don’t notice the way her eyes have narrowed. “I keep pinching myself.” I’ve had a crush on Calder Reese for more than two years, but I didn’t think he even knew I existed. Calder is the quarterback of the football team, and he can have anyone he wants. Ever since he broke up with Dana Evers two months ago, every single girl in school has been breathless with anticipation, wondering who he’s going to take to the dance.

Chloe’s on the cheerleading squad, but I’m just her poor sort-of-sister. The one with the torn backpack and the hand-me-down clothes. There’s nothing interesting or special about me, nothing that would cause the most popular boy in high school to take note.

“Why you?” Chloe snarls. “What does he see in someone as drab and mousy as you?” Her lips tighten. “This is all because of Mr. Hershmann and his stupid system.”

At the start of the senior year, Mr. Hershmann, who taught us chemistry, had announced that he wasn’t going to allow us to select our own lab partners. He’d read off his roster, paired the students alphabetically. Through pure chance, Calder Reese got paired with Felicity Rollins.

And now, I’m going to prom with him. It still doesn’t feel real.

“I have a headache,” Chloe announces, taking off her hair net and flinging it on the counter. She gives me a challenging look. “I don’t think I can work. Felicity can cover my shift, can’t she, mom?”

“I have plans,” I say indignantly. “I have homework. I was supposed to be done by eight.”

Priscilla Bernard has never once sided with me against her daughter. True to form, she pats Chloe on the back. “Take an aspirin and go to bed, honey,” she says, her voice sympathetic. “I’ll come up and check on you during my breaks.”

She turns to me, her expression hard. “Your cousin isn’t well, and you don’t seem to care,” she says coolly. “Once again, you’re just thinking about yourself. After everything we’ve done for you. I’m disappointed by your attitude, Felicity.”

I bite my lip to keep myself from replying. After all these years, I should know better than to argue. “Fine,” I mutter. “I’ll work the shift.” Six hours in front of the deep-fryer, and there’s no shampoo strong enough to get the smell of grease out of my hair. Sigh.

Giving me a sly smile and a wink, Chloe walks out of the kitchen. It doesn’t matter, I tell myself. Calder Reese asked you to the prom.

I hug that thought to myself all evening long. My mother died when I was born. I’d been an accident, and my father wasn’t ready to shoulder the responsibility of raising a baby alone. When I was two, he’d left me with his sister Priscilla and her husband Fred, and he’d taken off to become an actor in Los Angeles.

He’s never once called me, written to me, or emailed me. My aunt and uncle, angry and resentful about taking care of another child, treat me like help. I work five evenings a week in the family restaurant, but I don’t get paid a salary. Wages? My aunt had said once, her expression shocked. We took you in and gave you a home, and you want to be paid for helping your family?

Calder Reese asked me to prom. In the unending gray of my life, it’s the one bright spot.