Prompt: Eddie and Angeline find out about sydrian

A/N: This one takes place sometime vaguely in the near future - Sydney is a little bit more at ease with her fake family. For those of you who are confused about the chapter sequence, again, let me stress that they are unrelated and in no particular order. I'll probably sort the chapters into a more logical order once The Indigo Spell is released, but they're supposed to be read as individual one-shots (with the exception of Wedding Bells pts. 1 and 2).


Lessons in Secret-Keeping (or How Not to Lie About the Moroi in Your Bed by Sydney Sage)

There weren't many things in the world that could make me lose track of time. Occasionally, I might submerge myself in my work or a really good book and emerge, blinking in the seemingly-sudden darkness, hours later. But only on my days off, when I knew I had the time to do so. I certainly never allowed my enthusiasm for recreational activities like research or mechanics allow me to miss an appointment.

Which was why, when I heard a sharp rap on my dorm room door, my first dazed thought was that I'd misheard – surely it was someone knocking on the door of the room next to mine. I could ignore it. Then I heard Eddie's voice, strained with a surprising degree of urgency and concern.

"Sydney, are you in there? Is everything okay?"

I scrambled from my bed, almost falling in the process. Adrian sniggered and flopped back down on the rumpled sheets. With his hair in disarray and his shirt half-unbuttoned, he looked entirely too tempting for his own good. Or mine. He'd only come up with me because I'd needed to pick up my alchemy kit, but one thing had led to another – as they usually did nowadays whenever we found ourselves alone. The alarm clock beside my bed told me we should have been downstairs in the dorm lobby to meet the others almost fifteen minutes ago.

"Fine!" I blurted out, my voice higher-pitched than usual. "I'm fine! Just give me a second!"

I scrambled to the mirror I'd propped up on my bedside table, desperately attempting to flatten my hair. Adrian, who seemed to find this situation as amusing as I found it mortifying, wrapped an arm around me, his lips returning to my neck.

"Get off," I hissed, pushing him away as Eddie asked, "You sure? You don't sound so good."

I slapped half-heartedly at Adrian's hands as they drifted down to my hips. "I'm sure. Why don't you guys go wait in the car? I'll be down in a few minutes."

Too late. I heard a click and my door creaked open. Panicking, I pushed Adrian back down onto the bed and forced my way through the gap in the door, preventing them from looking inside.

Angeline stood directly in front of me, holding a credit card in one hand. Eddie and Jill were behind her and all three looked slightly startled at my sudden appearance.

I blinked. "Um… did you just try to break into my room?" I asked Angeline.

She shrugged and pocketed the card. "You were taking too long."

"And we were getting worried," Eddie put in. He frowned at me in that serious way of his and then looked away, like something about my appearance bothered him. "Um… we can wait downstairs for you if you need more time…"

"Yes," I said quickly. "Yes, I just need to grab my things. I won't be long."

Eddie nodded, still not looking directly at me as he moved away from the door. But Angeline stepped closer – far closer than I would have considered appropriate – and gave me a once-over. "Are you sure you're okay?" She pressed a cool hand to my forehead. "You feel feverish."

Jill, who had remained silent up until now, let out a muffled snigger. Eddie looked at her oddly.

"No! I'm fine, I've just been… Math! I was doing math." I raked a hand through my tangled hair. "That – er – that algebra project Mr. Stevenson set us."

Eddie managed to meet my eyes then, but the look he gave me was sceptical. "Sydney, that's due tomorrow."

"So?"

"So don't you usually do your homework, like, an entire week before everyone else?" Angeline asked suspiciously.

Jill smirked. "Maybe she just lost track of time," she suggested innocently. I deliberately looked away from her.

"I'll meet you in the parking lot in five minutes," I promised. "I just need to… to call Clarence and explain that we're running a little behind schedule." I knew that Clarence didn't care what time we showed up – he usually forgot what days we came for Jill's feed anyway – but Eddie and Angeline seemed mollified with this excuse. I inched back into my room and quickly shut the door before Angeline could stop me. I closed my eyes and leaned back against the wall, sighing in relief when I heard the three of them retreating.

"Well," said Adrian wryly. "If I'd known math could get you this hot and bothered, I'd have offered to help you study."

I opened my eyes. He was still lounging spread-eagled on my bed as if he belonged there. He'd propped himself up with one arm behind his head; the other was resting on his bare stomach. Blood pooled beneath my skin as I was reminded of how heated things had gotten between us before Eddie and the others had arrived.

"Shut up." His grin widened at my brilliant retort, so I crossed the room and threw a pillow at him for good measure. "We have to go downstairs." I groaned, slumping back down on the bed beside him. "On second thought, I guess you'll have to wait a few minutes and follow us once we're gone. They don't know you're here."

"I wouldn't be so sure," Adrian said as he sat up and began to re-button his shirt.

I froze. "What do you mean?"

He grinned again and pressed a kiss to my forehead. "Come on, Sage. They're not completely dense. They've known for months that there's something going on between us. Maybe even longer than you have. And you weren't exactly subtle just now."

"Well I'd like to have seen you try to come up with a better excuse on the spur of the moment," I huffed, affronted.

"How about: Sorry, Eddie, but Sydney can't come to the door right now. She's too busy being ravaged beyond her wildest, steamiest dreams by the best-looking guy in Palm Springs." He nipped playfully at my ear as I laughed.

"Beyond my wildest dreams?" I asked coquettishly. I even trailed my fingers along his arm for good measure as I looked up at him. "I wouldn't go that far. Have you visited my dreams lately? This was tame in comparison."

Adrian stared at me for a long moment, his green eyes blazing. Then he groaned and rested his forehead on my shoulder. "Jesus, Sage. You can't just say something like that and then leave me here alone. That's cruel."

I ran a hand fondly through his hair and then moved to pick up my things. I left Clarence a quick voicemail message that I knew he probably wouldn't listen to and then threw my satchel over my shoulder.

"See you at Clarence's in about ten minutes." I said, leaning down to kiss Adrian goodbye. He threaded a hand through my hair, pulling me back to him when I leaned back, and we kissed until my phone chirped – probably with a new text from Jill or Eddie or Angeline – and I pulled away reluctantly. I unlocked the door and was halfway through it when he said, "Sage, wait."

I looked back, one hand still clutching the doorframe. He stood up and sauntered over to me. For a moment, I thought he was going to kiss me goodbye again, but he just stood there, inches from me, his hands trailing up my sides until they came to rest at my shoulders. Then he reached down and brushed his fingers along my clavicle.

"What're you –" I began, and then froze as he tugged me closer by the collar of my mauve dress shirt and deftly re-did the top three buttons, from my throat to my upper chest. My cheeks burned. Oh, god. This was why Eddie could hardly meet my eye. I hadn't been showing much skin, but by my modest standards, it was a lot.

"There," Adrian said with a teasing glint in his eyes. "Wouldn't want anyone to think you've been doing something scandalous up here. You know, like even more scandalous than last-minute homework."

I pushed him back into the room before I could be drawn in again by that smirk or his eyes or the throaty sound he made as the door clicked shut. Giving myself a once-over just to check that the rest of my clothes were buttoned as they should be, I hurried down the stairs and into the parking lot where I found Jill, Eddie and Angeline all leaning against the side of a car waiting for me.

Leaning against Adrian's bright yellow mustang.

Oh.

"Hey, Sydney," Angeline called out. All three of them were wearing identical knowing smirks. "Have you seen Adrian recently? Strange that his car's here but he's nowhere to be found, don't you think?"

I mumbled something under my breath as I steered them towards my much less ostentatious car. Next time, I thought rebelliously, I'll let Adrian answer the door.


A/N: Again, I don't respond to reviews nearly as much as I'd like to, but I read and love each and every one. Thank you to everyone who takes the time to leave feedback! Happy holidays!