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Killer Spirit (The Squad 2) Jennifer Lynn Barnes 2022/8/3 13:53:03

“Enchanté, mademoiselle.” Jack’s French accent was predictably flawless. Rolling my eyes, I punched him in the stomach.

“Anyone ever tell you you’re one of a kind, Ev?”

His arm settled around my shoulder as I answered.

To Jack’s credit, he didn’t make me dance at first. For the first hour of the dance, I twitched at every slow song that came on, but he didn’t mention our bet so much as once. For the most part, we just watched Noah and Lucy. She was a fabulous dancer. He seemed to think that every song required disco moves.

“If dancing ability is hereditary,” Jack told me, “I think I know why you avoid it.”

This time, he dodged before I had the chance to punch him.

“Chickening out?” I asked him finally. “Afraid to be seen with me on the dance floor?”

“Me? Afraid of you?” He took my arm and pulled me up.

Because my timing was either very, very good or very, very bad, the music transitioned to a slow song then, and Jack met my eyes. “Afraid?” he asked me.

I thought of the dreams I’d had for the past few nights and looked down at my body. I was still wearing clothes, and as far as I could tell, Ryan Seacrest and Paris Hilton were nowhere in sight. Plus, the PTA chaperones didn’t appear to be armed—always a good thing.

“Me? Afraid?” I mimicked. “Never.”

We walked onto the floor, and as we started dancing, I realized that even though he was the hottest guy in school, and I’d been forced to become one of the hottest girls, and everyone’s eyes were on the two of us, I felt like myself. And Jack? Well, I had to admit it, at least to myself—as he pulled me in for a kiss at the end of the song, he felt distinctly like my boyfriend.

Some time later, I floated off to the bathroom, still in a happy daze that probably should have disturbed me, but didn’t.

Zee and Tara came with me. Squad Rule Number One: never go to the bathroom by yourself.

“You look…happy,” Zee told me.

“Shut up,” I replied, but I ruined the effect with a girly sigh.

“Shutting up,” Zee returned, and then she mimicked my sigh.

“Don’t pay any attention to her,” Tara said. “I think it’s nice.”

I could count on one hand how many times the word nice had been applied to me.

“And besides, once competition season starts up, you won’t have that much time for romance. You should savor it while you still can.”

My kiss-punch-drunk brain was a little slow in processing, and it wasn’t until a good thirty seconds later that my mouth responded to Tara’s words. “Competition season? What do you mean by competition season?”

“Nobody told you?” Zee asked, hooking her arm through mine and smiling. “When you’re on the Squad, football season is only the beginning.”