EVERNIGHT CLAUDIA GRAY FREE PDF

By Claudia Gray. She's been uprooted from her small hometown and enrolled at Evernight Academy, an eerie Gothic boarding school where the students are somehow too perfect: smart, sleek, and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn't fit in. Then she meets Lucas. He's not the "Evernight type" either, and he likes it that way. Lucas ignores the rules, stands up to the snobs, and warns Bianca to be careful—even when it comes to caring about him.

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By Claudia Gray. She's been uprooted from her small hometown and enrolled at Evernight Academy, an eerie Gothic boarding school where the students are somehow too perfect: smart, sleek, and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn't fit in. Then she meets Lucas. He's not the "Evernight type" either, and he likes it that way. Lucas ignores the rules, stands up to the snobs, and warns Bianca to be careful—even when it comes to caring about him.

But the connection between Bianca and Lucas can't be denied. Bianca will risk anything to be with Lucas, but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart. The old, dry wood of the meetinghouse ignited in an instant. Dark, oily smoke filled the air, scratching my lungs and making me choke. Around me, my new friends cried out in shock before grabbing weapons, preparing to fight for their lives. Arrow after arrow sliced through the air, stoking the flames higher. I knew he would protect me no matter what, but he was in danger, too.

If something happened to Lucas while he was trying to rescue me, I could never forgive myself. But they were ready for us.

Silhouetted against the flames, a dark, forbidding line of figures stood just beyond the edge of the meetinghouse. They had come for me.

They had come to punish Lucas for breaking their rules. They had come to kill. There was nowhere to go, no place to run. Soon the ceiling would collapse and crush us all. The muted morning light was still new in the sky as I wriggled into my jeans and grabbed a warm black sweater—this early in the morning, and this high in the hills, even September felt cold.

I knotted my long red hair into a makeshift bun and stepped into my hiking boots. Outside my bedroom window, the stone gargoyle glared at me, fangs framing his open grimace. I grabbed my denim jacket and stuck my tongue out at him. Maybe you like hanging out at the Fortress of the Damned, I muttered. Before I left, I made my bed. Usually it took a lot of nagging to get me to do that, but I wanted to. I knew I was going to freak my parents out badly enough today, so straightening the covers felt like I was making it up to them a little.

Wind howled through the trees all around me, whipping the branches in every direction. The sky overhead churned, thick with roiling clouds.

I brushed my windswept hair from my face. I only wanted to look at the flower. Each rain-beaded petal was vividly red, slender, and blade-like, the way some tropical orchids are. Yet the flower was lush and full, too, and it clung close to the branch like a rose. It had to be mine.

Why did that memory make me shiver? It was only a dream. I took a deep breath and focused. It was time to go. Just a few things—a book, sunglasses, and a little cash in case I needed to go all the way to Riverton, which was the closest thing to human civilization in the area. That would keep me occupied for the day. No, I was making a statement. That was just the way I wanted it. Anything but. Not if they knew how the feeling knots up your stomach or makes your palms sweat or robs you of the ability to say anything that makes sense.

My parents never smiled when they said it. They were smarter than that, and I always felt like they understood, until they decided that age sixteen was the right time for me to get past it somehow.

What better starting place than a boarding school—particularly with them along for the ride? I could see where they were coming from, sort of. Still, that was theory. I would have to make them listen. On tiptoe, I eased my way through the small faculty apartment my family had shared for the past month. I shouldered my bag, slowly turned the doorknob, and started downstairs.

This meant I had to make my way down steps that had been carved out of rock more than two centuries ago, long enough to be worn and uneven. As I reached out for the flower, the hedge rustled. No, the hedge was growing—growing so quickly that I could see it happening. Vines and brambles pushed from the leaves in a tangled snarl.

Before I could run, the hedge had almost surrounded me, walling me in behind sticks and leaves and thorns. The last thing I needed was to start flashing back to my nightmares. I took a deep breath and kept going downstairs until I reached the great hall on the ground floor. It was a majestic space, built to inspire or at least impress: marble-tiled floors, high arched ceiling, and stained glass windows that stretched from floor to rafter, each in a different kaleidoscope pattern—save one, right in the center, which was clear glass.

Nobody else seemed to be awake yet, which meant that there was no one to stop me. A hard tug opened the heavy, carved outside door, and then I was free. Early morning fog blanketed the world in bluish-gray as I walked across the grounds. When they built Evernight Academy in the s, this country had been wilderness. Even though small towns now dotted the distant countryside, none of them were very close to Evernight; and despite the hillside views and the thick forests, nobody had ever built a house nearby.

Who could blame them for not wanting to be anywhere near that place? Within a few more steps, they began to fade into the fog. My nightmare was starting to feel more real than reality. Uneasy, I turned from the school and started to jog, fleeing the grounds and vanishing into the forest. Even though I was only a few hundred feet from the front door, it felt like much farther; the thick fog made it seem as though I were already deep in the woods.

They always understand in the end, right? My heart pounded faster. With every step I took away from Evernight Academy, I felt more afraid, not less. Maybe I was running away for nothing. Thunder rumbled. My heart beat faster. I turned away from Evernight for the last time and looked back at the flower as it trembled upon its branch. A single petal was torn away by the wind. Pushing my hands through the thorns, I felt lashes of pain across my skin, but I kept going, determined.

But when my fingertip touched the flower, it instantly darkened, withering and drying as each petal turned black. I broke into a run, heading east, trying to put some distance between me and Evernight.

And I saw him. A man in the woods, half concealed by the fog, maybe fifty yards from me, wearing a long, dark coat. The second I laid eyes on him, he started running after me. Shock jolted through me, cold as ice water, and I found out just how fast I could really run. There was no rescue coming. I had to run like hell. I could hear his footsteps, snapping branches, crunching leaves.

He was getting closer. Oh, God, he was fast. How could anybody run that fast? They taught you how to defend yourself, I thought. You were supposed to know what to do in a situation like this! Branches tore at the sleeves of my jacket and snagged the strands of hair that had fallen loose from my bun.

I stumbled over a stone, and my teeth sank into my tongue, but I kept running. He was even nearer to me now, too near. I had to go faster.

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Lucas tackled him, and they fell to the pavement. I ran forward, determined to help. The vampire grinned, a smile that had nothing to do with the desperate situation he was in and was therefore even scarier. Lady named Charity.

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