In today’s sneak peek at The Daring Witch, Brie catches up with her old friends and they talk about the start of the school year. As usual, Damian has romance drama while Erin is more down-to-earth. Read part of their conversation in the dining hall.
As always, there might be spoilers for earlier books in the series.
The Tragedy of Damian
The back half of the dining hall was covered in enormous plate glass windows, stretching up to the high vaulted ceiling, with a stunning view of the redwood forest outside. I found Erin, Damian, and Damian’s roommate Tyler, all tucked on one side of a large round table.
“Hey, guys,” I said, setting down my tray full of food. “Is it time for school again? It feels like I was just here.”
It was a dumb joke because I’d finished summer school about three weeks before. Only Erin managed a weak chuckle. I flashed her a smile for the pity laugh.
Damian rolled his eyes. “It’s about time you showed up. We’ve been having a very important discussion about the Equinox party tomorrow.” He held up his hands, displaying his freshly-manicured nails with precise French tips. “What are we wearing?”
The Fall Equinox was a significant holiday because it was one of the few days a year when the Veil Between the Worlds was thin enough to allow crossing over: humans from Earth to the Otherworld, and Fae into our world. Like all such days, it was celebrated by the magical community with an official function at the local Court to host the visitor from the other side.
Erin shrugged. “Probably the same dress I wore last year.”
Tyler pushed his new glasses up on his nose. “It’s not like I’ve got tons of fancy clothes lying around. And now I’ve got these to make me look even more nerdy.”
“No, no, no!” Damian cried, his voice rising with each repetition until the diners at the nearest table turned to look at him. “Don’t you have any imagination? This is a new year for us, our last before graduation, and it’s time to reinvent a new image. Something to make everyone forget about our, uh, little problems last year.”
I shared another look with Erin. Everything that had happened in the last twelve months was really my problem, although I didn’t know how much anyone outside of our friend group knew about it.
“I don’t care what other people think,” Tyler said, stabbing a fork into his baked potato. A massive glob of sour cream oozed out over the sides. “They all see me as a nerd who plays RPGs and that’s fine. I don’t need to ‘reinvent’ who I am in some stupid attempt to look popular.”
Erin leaned forward. “That’s fine, we can all be nerds together. Brad was teaching us the rules of D&D over the summer.” She gestured from her to me. “Did you decide if we can join your game?”
Tyler frowned. “Actually, Brad isn’t—”
“Don’t say his name in my presence,” Damian said in an annoyed tone, sweeping his hair back over his shoulder. He’d grown it out on one side and it was finally long enough for the dramatic gesture.
“Why, what happened?” Erin asked.
I shook my head to warn her off, but it was too late.
Damian groaned as if his on-again, off-again relationship with Brad had been the most tragic romance of his life. I didn’t know if they’d ever considered it an official relationship or more like casually hooking up. But Damian loved any excuse to wallow in drama.
“He broke my heart,” he said, waving his hand in front of his face like he was trying to dry his tears. “Honestly, it’s too painful to even talk about. That’s why I want to show everyone that I’m different now. Tomorrow is my chance to prove that I’ve moved on.”
He shot a look across the dining hall. I caught a glimpse of Brad’s slim shoulders, hunched over another table with his face turned away.