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Chapter 7

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 Anna changed into a pair of leggings and a long sleeve shirt. It was what she wore every time she and Jonathan would train together. She assumed this could not be much different. She was just fighting for the opposite side now. She laced up her shoes before going down the stairs.

Rhys was waiting at the bottom of the steps. He smiled at her as she came down.

"You ready?" he asked. "The rest are outside."

"I'm not looking forward to it," she said.

The corner of Rhys's lip twitched into an even bigger smile. He started walking away, and Anna felt a pull to follow him. Her feet moved forward without realization. She stayed behind him as he brought her to the large glass sliding door. The others were outside on the grass. He opened the door and she stepped outside.

A girl was standing in between Drew and Calvin. She was short and her hair was in tight dark curls. Her face was splattered with freckles. She put her hands on her hips and she smirked as she watched Rhys and Anna step off of the deck and onto the grass.

"Seriously, Rhys?" the girl asked. "You bring me all the way here to train someone and you bring me this scrawny girl?"

"Don't underestimate her," Huxley said. "You should see how she got Drew."

"What did she do to you?" she asked Drew.

He pulled up his shirt to show off his bandage. A circle of blood was shadowing through the gauze. The girl burst out into laughter.

"Alright, Stretch," the girl said. "There may actually be some potential in you."

"Stretch?" Anna had never heard the nickname before. She was almost six feet tall and most people commented on her height, but she had never heard that insult before.

"I'm Alice," the girl said. "I'm going to assume you're Anna."

Anna nodded. She bit down on her lip as she watched the girl rolled her shoulders in a stretch. In a few moments, Anna knew that Alice was going to be throwing punches at any moment.

"You don't say much," Alice said. "I kind of like that."

"Can we start this?" Calvin asked. "I want to see what Blondie can do."

"What's with all of these nicknames?" Anna asked.

"Look, she talks," Alice said.

Alice took the elastic off of her wrist and tied her hair back into a ponytail. She cracked her knuckles as she smirked. Anna's hands tremble. Alice seemed like the type to not hold back.

"Have you been in a fight before?" Rhys asked Anna.

She shook her head. She did not want them to know that she had spent her life training to fight. She did not know what they would do if they knew she came from a family of vampire hunters. She assumed that they would either abandon her or worse, they would kill her.

"The important part is to protect your chest," Huxley said. "A stake through the heart is one of the only things that can kill you."

Huxley balled up his hand into a fist and slammed it against his chest. He rolled his eyes, and he stuck his tongue out of the side of his mouth. Anna bit down on her lip to suppress a giggle.

"Skip the theatre production, Huxley," Alice said before looking over at Anna. "You know how to dodge a punch?"

"I think so," Anna said.

Alice threw her fist through the air. Anna dropped and leaned to the side. Alice's fist missed Anna's head by a few inches. Alice swung her other hand. Anna dodged it but narrowly avoided her head. She curled her fingers into her hands from stopping herself from grabbing Alice's fists.

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by Mason FitzGibbon
Anna spent her childhood learning how to hunt vampires, so the last t...
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