“So, you’re armed as well, I see.” He points to the plastic sword I’ve got strapped to my belt. “That means you’re a swashbuckler, too?” He has a small gap between his front teeth.
“No, a ninja.” I know my costume’s kind of lame, but it was all I could come up with on short notice. It was easy to find black tights and a black turtleneck and to wrap a black scarf around my head, although it’s getting too hot for it now. The Dollar Store sword tucked through my wide sash looks like something for chopping off heads.
The swashbuckler takes off his plumed hat and holds it against his chest. “Of course! I should have guessed. Let me get you a drink. Wine?”
I nod dumbly, and before I can say anything, he sweeps across the kitchen through the crowd. I lift one foot, then the other. The floor is so sticky, I feel like a fly caught on it. A girl with pink hair spiked on one side comes in and pulls open the refrigerator, then slams it shut. She looks familiar, and I think she may be one of the working students I met at the barn. She scans the room, her eyes rimmed in black about an inch thick. I wonder if she’s cold dressed in a lace camisole and fingerless gloves up to her elbow. Her bare arms are muscular. A tattoo in gothic lettering snakes along one bicep: The lake of fire is the second death. God, whatever that means.
Her eyes land on me. “You watch you don’t get recruited tonight, little ninja girl.” Half her mouth tilts up in a smirk.
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