The Dazzling Heights by Katharine McGee

The Dazzling Heights by Katharine McGee

Author:Katharine McGee [Katharine McGee]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: HarperCollinsPublishers
Published: 2017-07-26T04:00:00+00:00

Later that afternoon, Rylin walked into the front office for her mandatory meeting with the upper-school dean. Apparently the dean needed to personally approve every request for academic absence, even for a school-sponsored internship.

“Take a seat,” the front-desk attendant intoned, bored. Rylin sank onto the couch and pulled up a map of LA on her tablet, then began to zoom over various parts, trying to familiarize herself with the city. Not that she would probably see any of it except the film lot, she thought eagerly.

She felt worlds different from the girl who’d walked in here on her first day, all anxiety and uncertainty. Now she just felt excited, and curious about the week ahead.

“We can’t keep running into each other like this.” Cord took the seat next to her.

“You can’t keep stalking me like this,” Rylin retorted, her mood buoyed by her good news.

Cord grinned. “If I wanted to stalk you, trust me, I could do better than the school’s front office.”

They both fell silent. Rylin willed herself not to look at him, to look down at her tablet, at the stupid posters on the wall with inspirational quotes and images of mountains, anything but at Cord. She lasted a full eight seconds.

When she couldn’t take it anymore and turned in his direction, she caught Cord staring at her, with an expression of mingled wariness and curiosity and—she hoped—a glimmer of attraction. For a moment it seemed to Rylin that no time had passed, that it was the olden days again, back when he was deciding whether or not to trust her the first time. Back when Cord hadn’t been a wealthy, arrogant boy set to inherit billions and she hadn’t been the girl who cleaned his bathrooms—but instead, somehow, they were just a boy and a girl, talking in quiet tones about the losses they had both suffered.

She wondered if they would ever be that way again.

“How did your fencing match go?” Cord asked.

“Oh, you know, I’m ruthless when it comes to fighting,” Rylin teased.

She’d meant it as a joke, but Cord didn’t laugh, and Rylin wondered if she’d hit too close to home. After all, the things she’d said to him the night Eris died had been cruel, and ruthless.

“What are you here for, anyway?” he went on, after a moment.

“I’m here to meet with the dean.” She couldn’t keep the pride from her voice. “I’m missing a week of school for a work-study program with Xiayne. I’ll be a filming assistant on his new holo.”

“I thought you were here on scholarship. Shouldn’t you be studying, not jetting off to LA?”

Rylin recoiled at the harsh phrasing. “This is a great opportunity. It’s rare that students our age get to actually work on set, get hands-on experience.”

“Or maybe it’s a chance for Xiayne to get some free labor. He’s not paying you, is he?” Cord said, and she was surprised by the venom in his tone.

“Actually, he is.” She hated how defensive she sounded.

“Well, I’m glad he’s taken such a special interest in you.


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