Home > Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3)(12)

Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3)(12)
Author: Richelle Mead

There was a strong temptation to talk to our fellow novices, particularly during times when the Moroi were working on their own and talking amongst themselves. None of us cracked, though. The pressure and adrenaline of the first day had us all on good behavior.

After biology, Eddie and I started using a bodyguard technique called pair guarding. I was near guard and walked with Lissa and Christian for immediate defense. Eddie, being far guard, walked farther away and scanned the larger area for any potential threats.

We followed this pattern for the rest of the day, up until the last class came around. Lissa gave Christian a quick kiss on the cheek, and I realized they were parting.

"You guys don't have the same schedule this time?" I asked with dismay, stepping over to the side of the hall to stay out of student traffic. Eddie had already deduced that we were parting and had stopped far guard duties to come talk to us. I hadn't known how Lissa and Christian's schedules lined up for this new semester.

Lissa took in my disappointed look and gave me a sympathetic smile. "Sorry. We're going to study together after school, but right now, I've got to go to creative writing."

"And I," declared Christian loftily, "have to go to culinary science."

"Culinary science?" I cried. "You elected culinary science? That's like the most brainless class ever."

"It is not," he countered. "And even if it was ... well, hey, it's my last semester, right?" I groaned.

"Come on, Rose," laughed Lissa. "It's just one class period. It won't be that - "

She was cut off when a commotion broke out farther down the hall. We and everyone near us stopped and stared. One of my guardian instructors, Emil, had practically appeared out of nowhere and - playing Strigoi - reached for a Moroi girl. He swung her away, pressing her to his chest and exposing her neck as though he would bite her. I couldn't see who she was, just a tangle of brown hair, but her assigned protector was Shane Reyes. The attack had caught him by surprise - it was the first one of the day - but he fumbled only a little as he kicked Emil in the side and wrested the girl away. The two guys squared off, and everyone watched eagerly. A few even whistled and shouted, cheering Shane on.

One of the catcallers was Ryan Aylesworth. He was so fixated on watching the fight - which Shane, wielding his practice stake, had just about won - that he didn't notice two other adult guardians sneaking up on him and Camille. Eddie and I realized it at the same time and stiffened, instinct readying both of us to spring forward.

"Stay with them," Eddie told me. He headed toward Ryan and Camille, who had just discovered they were being set upon. Ryan didn't react as well as Shane had, particularly since he faced two attackers. One of the guardians distracted Ryan while the other - Dimitri, I now saw - grabbed Camille. She screamed, not faking her fear. She apparently didn't find being in Dimitri's arms as thrilling as I did.

Eddie headed toward them, approaching from behind, and landed a blow on the side of Dimitri's head. It hardly fazed Dimitri, but I was still amazed. I'd barely ever been able to land a hit on him in all our trainings. Eddie's attack forced Dimitri to release Camille and face this new threat. He spun around, graceful as a dancer, and advanced on Eddie.

Meanwhile, Shane had "staked" his Strigoi and jumped in to help Eddie, moving around to Dimitri's other side. I watched, fists clenched in excitement, intrigued with the fighting in general and with watching Dimitri in particular. It amazed me that someone so deadly could be so beautiful. I wished I was part of the fray but knew I had to watch the area around me in case any "Strigoi" attacked here.

But they didn't. Shane and Eddie successfully "finished off" Dimitri. Part of me was a little sad at this. I wanted Dimitri to be good at everything. However, Ryan had tried to help and failed. Dimitri had technically "killed" him, so I felt a twisted comfort in thinking that Dimitri had still been a badass Strigoi. He and Emil praised Shane for being fast on his feet and Eddie for realizing we had to treat this as a group endeavor rather than one-on-one trials. I got a nod for watching Eddie's back, and Ryan was chastised for not paying attention to his Moroi.

Eddie and I grinned at each other, happy over getting high marks on this first test. I wouldn't have minded a slightly bigger role, but this wasn't a bad start to the field experience. We high-fived, and I saw Dimitri shake his head at us as he left.

With the drama over, our foursome split up. Lissa gave me one last smile over her shoulder and spoke to me through the bond, Have fun in culinary science! I rolled my eyes, but she and Eddie had already rounded a corner.

"Culinary science" sounded pretty impressive, but really, it was just a fancy term for what was essentially a cooking class. Despite my teasing Christian about it being brainless, I had some respect for it. I could barely boil water, after all. Still, it was a lot different from an elective like creative writing or debate, and I had no doubts Christian was taking it as a blow-off class and not because he wanted to be a chef someday. At least I might get some satisfaction out of watching him mix a cake or something. Maybe he'd even wear an apron.

There were three other novices in the class who were guarding Moroi. Since the culinary science room was large and open, with lots of windows, the four of us worked together to come up with a plan to pool our efforts and secure the whole room. When I'd watched novices do their field experiences in past years, I'd only ever paid attention to the fights. I'd never noticed the teamwork and strategizing that must have been going on. Theoretically, the four of us were here to only protect our assigned Moroi, but we'd slipped into a role where we were protecting the whole class.

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