Vivid Avowed (Evelyn Maynard Trilogy #3) - Kaydence Snow
Sneaking around Bradford Hills Institute at night with Davis always sent a thrill of rebellious exhilaration through Joyce. Doing anything with Davis had an edge of adrenaline to it.
He was the model student during the day—even friendly with some of the lecturers—but at night, he was a bad boy. And he spent most of his nights with Joyce. That made her feel special, as if she were the only one who knew who he really was, the only one who saw his dangerous side.
“Where are we going?” George was keeping pace with them, walking slightly behind as the trio navigated a dark curved path by nothing but moonlight.
Davis hushed him. “Keep your voice down. We’re going to the construction site.”
“Oh.” George’s steps faltered. “Aren’t students banned from there?”
Joyce detangled herself from Davis to loop her arm through George’s. “Yeah, but that’s what makes it fun.” She grinned and pulled him along. “It’s not like we’re gonna do anything bad—just have a few drinks and check it out. It’s totally safe, I promise.”
Construction on what would be the new admin building had begun several weeks ago. During daylight hours, the area was teeming with contractors, buzzing with the noise of power tools and manual labor. At night, it was pretty much abandoned. Joyce and Davis had snuck in there a few times already, having sex up against the rough concrete of the structural walls and smoking pot, feeling on top of the world.
When Davis had suggested they invite George, Joyce had been surprised. She had Variant Studies with the smart, shy seventeen-year-old and had chatted with him a handful of times—they’d even done a group project together once—but she couldn’t recall Davis ever speaking to him. George didn’t really speak to anyone. His mind-reading ability made it difficult for him to be around people, and most students steered clear, worried he might expose their deepest secrets.
It was really sweet of Davis to notice the kid needed some friends. Joyce had agreed readily and invited him herself.
Davis placed the six-pack of beer he was carrying on the ground and held the chain-link gate wide enough for them to squeeze through.
They climbed to the third floor on staircases without railings and sat with their legs hanging off the edge of the building. The faint lights of the town twinkled past the treetops as they drank their beers and chatted about classes, gossiped about their classmates.
George kept pretty quiet at first, but the beer and easy conversation soon loosened him up.
“Hey, Georgie.” Davis had started using the silly nickname as soon as they’d picked George up at his res hall, and he hadn’t dropped it since. “You know, Joyce here is a bit special—like you.”
“Really?” George’s eyes flicked between the couple as Davis slung an arm around his girlfriend’s shoulders. “You have an ability? I thought you were a Vital.”
“Yeah, I am.” Joyce nodded but eyed Davis. He had that look in his eyes—the one he always got just before he pulled something really daring. Usually it was fun, but sometimes . . .
Davis was the only one she’d told about her Vital status, about the way she sometimes glowed, but he wasn’t in her Bond; there had been no spark between them when they touched. His ability hadn’t even manifested yet—a sore subject for him.
“Wait, how did you know I’m a Vital?” Joyce asked.
George tapped the side of his head. “Heard you think it once or twice.”
“Right.” Joyce laughed. “I almost forgot.”
“She’s not just any Vital.” Davis leaned forward, tipping them almost dangerously over the ledge. “She’s a special kind of Vital. She can do things other Vitals can’t.”
“Davis.” Joyce leaned them back to a safe distance. What was he doing? He knew how stressed she was about the glowing, how much she worried there was something wrong with her. Wasn’t he the one who’d convinced her not to say anything to the social worker or the nurse? They might treat her like a freak, even take her away from him if they thought she was dangerous.
She couldn’t risk that. She loved her life and her friends too much. She loved Davis too much to even think about being away from him.
“It’s OK, sweets.” Davis kissed her on the cheek. “Georgie won’t tell anyone. I just want to help him.”
“Help me?” George asked at the same time as Joyce said, “How?”
“You see, Joyce can draw Light from any source, including other Variants. And when she does, she can temporarily transfer the Variant’s ability to