Tamsyn Murray-My So-Called Haunting

Tamsyn Murray-My So-Called Haunting by Tamsyn Murray

Book: Tamsyn Murray-My So-Called Haunting by Tamsyn Murray Read Free Book Online
Authors: Tamsyn Murray
until the band
launched into their fifth song that it dawned on me how long Nico had been gone and I started to peer over the heads of the crowd. There was no sign of him. Telling myself the bar would be mobbed,
I forced myself to concentrate on the stage, but I couldn’t help glancing around. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see a group of older lads watching me and nudging each other. Ignoring
them, I focused on the band. If Nico wasn’t back by the end of the song, I’d ring him.
    ‘What’s a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?’
    The words were practically bellowed into my ear and made me jump. I turned to see who had spoken. It was one of the boys from the group who’d been watching me. ‘Sorry?’ I said.
    The boy grinned. Up close I could see he was much older than me, probably eighteen or nineteen. He’d been drinking too, I could smell it on his breath.
    ‘I think you’re well fit. Are you here on your own?’
    Panic coiled in my stomach and I willed Nico to come back. ‘No, I’m here with a friend.’
    He grinned unpleasantly and shifted so close to me that I could feel the heat radiating from his body. ‘Great! Is she fit too?’
    ‘Sorry to disappoint you, mate, but she’s with me.’ Nico materialised beside me and my breath whooshed out in a relieved sigh.
    The boy raised his head in challenge, but whatever he saw in Nico’s face made him think again. ‘No problem,’ he muttered and slunk back to his friends.
    ‘I can’t leave you alone for five minutes, can I?’ Nico observed with a slight shake of his head. He thrust a condensation-covered glass of dark liquid towards me. ‘Sorry
I was so long, the bar was heaving.’
    I sniffed at the glass cautiously. Was it vodka that was odourless, or gin?
    ‘It’s just Coke, Skye,’ Nico said, amusement etched on his face. ‘I’m not trying to get you drunk.’
    My face flushed. ‘I didn’t think you were.’
    He threw me a disbelieving look. ‘Yeah, you did, but it’s OK. Some of the lads at school would definitely try it, and you don’t know that much about me yet.’
    Sipping my drink, I waited for the heat to drain from my face. When I felt calm again, I tapped his arm and pointed at the stage. ‘They’re good.’
    Nico nodded. ‘Wait until The Droids come on. This place will go mental.’
    A twinge of pain shot up my leg as my ankle complained about carrying my weight and I realised wearing my high-heeled boots had been a mistake, no matter how many precious centimetres they added
to my height. I winced. Immediately, Nico placed a hand under my arm to steady me. ‘Do you want to find a seat?’
    The pain hadn’t been bad, but I didn’t want to make things any worse and be forced to miss the main event. ‘If that’s OK?’
    We made our way to the back of the room and stopped. There were no seats, but beside the wall was an empty stretch of floor. ‘Down there?’ I mouthed, pointing, and Nico gave me the
thumbs-up.
    I slid to the floor, rotating my ankle gently. It wasn’t hurting that much, but I was glad to sit down. Nico settled beside me, his long legs resting next to mine.
    It was quieter back there and Nico didn’t have to shout to make himself heard. ‘So how come you transferred to Heath Park?’
    My home life wasn’t something I talked about much, but the question was innocent enough. ‘My mum is studying in Australia for a year so I’m living with my aunt.’
    His eyes were black pools in the subdued lighting. ‘No dad?’
    Again, it was a reasonable question and I answered truthfully. ‘No. He died before I was born.’
    He didn’t look away like most people do when I tell them about my dad. Instead, he paused before saying, ‘My mum died when I was a kid.’
    He was the only other person I’d met my age with a dead parent. Loads of kids were in one-parent families but no one else’s mum or dad had died. I stared into his inky gaze, feeling
the connection between us strengthen. ‘It

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