“No knights today, King Arthur?”

The next day is awful.

The first thing Eli sees when he walks into Rosemont High is Yvonne Lacroix. She’s standing there with her two lackeys, Fargo and Brooklyn, and for one, heart-stopping moment all Eli can think is:

Morgan told!

Which is irrational, of course. Even if Morgan had told her mom she’d spent yesterday evening in the forest with a dragon, why would Lacroix think that dragon was Eli, of all people? Unless Lacroix has some kind of magic dragon-sniffing mojo but . . . but surely Widow Adeline would’ve mentioned something like that, right? For being pretty, yanno. Life-or-death and whatever? Eli would totally text her to ask except Widow Adeline is like a thousand years old and still has a phone with a cord and a dial on the front. And not even in an ironic way.

Yvonne Lacroix, as it turns out, does not appear to have magic dragon-sniffing mojo. She does, however, give Eli a very tight smile when she sees him, accompanied by a slight incline of her head.

“Mister Drake,” she says. “My daughter, Morgan, explained our little . . . misunderstanding. I must extend my apologies, for everything that’s been done to you. Rest assured, such injustices will not happen again.”

“Um,” says Eli. “Yeah. Sure. Don’t worry about it.” He edges away from Lacroix and around the corridor before he lets himself slump down hard against a bank of lockers, hand coming up to grasp around the dragon-scale pendant, hidden safely beneath his hoodie. He knows, down in the depths of his flaming nebula dragon-heart, that he absolutely cannot allow Lacroix to see the pendant. Or know where Eli got it from.

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