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Authors: Megan Atwood

Twin Dangers

BOOK: Twin Dangers
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Text copyright © 2013 by Lerner Publishing Group, Inc.

All rights reserved. International copyright secured. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise—without the prior written permission of Lerner Publishing Group, Inc., except for the inclusion of brief quotations in an acknowledged review.

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A division of Lerner Publishing Group, Inc.

241 First Avenue North

Minneapolis, MN 55401 U.S.A.

Website address:

Cover and interior photographs © Val Thoermer/Getty Images (main);

/Selahattin BAYRAM (paper background).

Main body text set in Janson Text LT Std 12/17.5.

Typeface provided by Linotype AG.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Atwood, Megan.

Twin dangers / by Megan Atwood.

pages cm. — (The Dario Quincy Academy of Dance ; #4)

ISBN 978–1–4677–0933–0 (lib. bdg. : alk. paper)

ISBN 978–1–4677–1630–7 (eBook)

[1. Dance—Fiction. 2. Haunted places—Fiction. 3. Supernatural—Fiction. 4. Twins—Fiction. 5. Sisters—Fiction.] I. Title.

PZ7.A8952Tw 2013



Manufactured in the United States of America

1 – BP – 7/15/13

eISBN: 978-1-4677-1630-7 (pdf)

eISBN: 978-1-4677-3324-3 (ePub)

eISBN: 978-1-4677-3323-6 (mobi)

To my parents, for their constant support. And to Patrick, who literally held me up when I fell down. My love and gratitude to you.

Chapter 1

Sophie sighed and whispered to Emma: “I wish Trey would do a pas de deux with me
of class, if you know what I mean.”

She smiled at her sister, expecting a big laugh. As Sophie's twin, Emma was obligated to laugh, even if the line wasn't funny. It was the code. Twins stuck by each other no matter what. Even if that meant laughing at lame jokes.

And anyway, Sophie had been remarkably restrained on the Trey front lately. Whenever she spoke with Emma, she tried hard to not only talk about him—and that meant something, because Sophie was the talkative twin. Come to think of it, over the last week, Emma had gotten even quieter anytime Sophie talked about Trey. Maybe Sophie
laid it on too thick.

Still, Emma had to follow the code. She was supposed to put up with her sister, no matter how annoying Sophie got.

No laugh came from Emma, so Sophie elbowed her.

“Wha—?” Emma said. “Oh, yeah. Pas de deux.”

She continued to take off her pointe shoes, then put on her blue Uggs—Sophie had the pink pair—pulling them up and positioning them perfectly on her legs.

Sophie slipped off her own pointe shoes and saw Emma sneak a peek at Trey.

Then she saw Trey sneak a peek at Emma.

Sophie shook it off.

The academy was on a break from performing any ballets. They'd just finished
, and things had gone a little wonky—one of Sophie's best friends had almost died during the performance—so Madame Puant had decided to ease off on performances for a while. Which, in Sophie's opinion, was a good idea. She had seen her share of weird things happen at the academy, and she needed a break from any sort of intrigue. So she was happy that ballet class consisted of practicing parts from different ballets instead of working so hard toward one performance. The last two weeks, the dancers had been practicing parts from
Swan Lake
, and every girl in the company got her chance to play the lead, Odette and Odile. Every boy got to play the prince.

Which meant a lot of pas de deuxes. And Sophie could not
for her pas de deux with Trey. If the academy were putting on an actual performance, she would have never gotten the chance. The student body was 4–1 girls to guys, so the same guys tended to get the lead roles. And competition among the girls was so intense that Sophie never got the lead. This was the one way she could finally dance with Trey without all the anxiety of an upcoming performance or competition from the other dancers.

Emma already had danced the pas de deux with him, and Sophie had to admit it had been beautiful. She'd tried hard not to be jealous as they acted out the love between Odette and the prince. And she kept reminding herself that it was fake.

It was just a dance.

Sophie reminded herself again that Emma knew how much she liked Trey. And they were twins—there was a code about boys too. Still, she couldn't help but feel a little uneasy about the looks Trey and Emma were giving each other.

Emma stood up and shook her legs out. Of the two of them, Emma was the more careful one, the one who always looked before she leapt. She even moved slower—each movement was deliberate and precise, in dancing and in real life. Emma was a good dancer because of this precision, but her lack of spontaneity kept her in the “good” category rather than the “great” category. For Sophie, it was the opposite. She was spontaneous and free with her emotions, but not as good at the technical stuff.

Sophie tried hard not to roll her eyes at the slowness of Emma's after-practice routine. But she couldn't help herself from saying, “We need to hurry up and get breakfast.”

She looked over at Ophelia, Kayley, and Madeleine, who were looking back at the twins, clearly waiting for the two of them to join the group and head down to the dining hall.

Without looking at her, Emma said, “You go ahead. I'll be down in a minute. I need to talk to Madame.”

“About what?”

,” Emma said, frustration written over her face.

“Yeah, I gathered that much. But what are you going to talk about?”

“I don't have to tell you everything, you know!” Emma yanked her bag up from the floor and stormed out, passing Madame Puant as she went.

Sophie was flabbergasted. What had just happened? She noticed that Trey was leaving in a hurry too.

Before she could think about it, though, Madeleine, Kayley, and Ophelia came over.

“So … that was weird,” Ophelia said.

Kayley, chomping on some gum, added, “Yeah, what was that all about? Usually you guys can't even breathe without each other.”

Sophie sighed. Kayley always made cracks like that. Sophie suspected she was jealous that the twins had each other—Kayley only had four brothers.

Sophie shrugged and tried to look nonchalant. “I have no idea,” she said, truthfully. “But I'm starving. Let's go to breakfast.”

The four of them walked out of the room, Sophie chewing on her bottom lip the whole time. What had gotten into Emma? And why would she need to talk to Madame? Worse, why hadn't she told Sophie about it?

The girls reached the second floor and walked down the hallway's long, bloodred, velvety carpet, which made the space imposing at any time of day. The candle-shaped electric lights on the walls didn't help—all they did was throw weird shadows all around. Sophie got a chill passing through.

As they reached the top of the huge staircase that led down to the lobby and dining room, Sophie stopped.

“I'm going to go see if Emma's all right.”

Ophelia shrugged and Kayley nodded. Madeleine put her hand on Sophie's shoulder. “I hope she is.”

Sophie squeezed Madeleine's hand, suddenly even more worried about Emma. It wasn't like her sister to go running off. Something had to be really wrong.

She walked back down the hall, toward Emma's room near the staircase. As she prepared to turn the handle on Emma's door, something made her change her mind. She thought she felt a breeze from the staircase up to the third floor, and without thinking, she headed up the stairs.

Past the ballet studio, Sophie heard murmuring coming from one of the classrooms. The studio was dark now, and as Sophie passed it, she could still hear the ghosts of pointe shoes banging on the floor. The murmurs got louder: two separate voices, a boy and a girl. Sophie walked toward the noise.

As she got closer, she heard sobbing. And between the sobs, she heard her name. The words starting taking shape, and then she heard it.

Emma's voice.

“But I still don't know what to do about Sophie. What should I tell her?”

Sophie tiptoed closer to the classroom doorway.

And the worst thing she could imagine happened. She heard Trey's voice. “Tell her we're dating. She's your sister. She'll have to understand.”

Emma's voice turned to sobs again. “That's just it. I'm her sister. How could I do this to her?”

Sophie's face grew hot, and she turned the corner to see Emma in Trey's arms. He was stroking her hair. Sophie's eyes blurred with tears as Trey and Emma jumped.

Emma backed away. “Sophie … ,” she said.

Sophie burst into tears. “You asked a good question, Emma,” she said. “How could you do this to me?”

She ran as fast as she could toward her room.

Chapter 2

Rounding the stairs, cheeks burning, eyes blinded by tears, Sophie barreled into someone. They both fell on their butts, and Sophie's head narrowly missed the last stair of the staircase. She wiped her eyes to get a better look at whom she knocked over, trying to catch her breath at the same time.

The girl, maybe fourteen or fifteen, had long red hair and pale, pale skin with gigantic blue eyes. She was faint and tiny. She wore a blouse buttoned all the way up to her chin.

Sophie had seen her before. This girl was a pretty good dancer, if Sophie remembered right. Sophie could also remember classes where the girl would sit in the back of the room not talking to anyone. And here she had just mowed the girl down like she was nothing. For a minute, Sophie was jarred out of her own misery.

“Are you OK?” she asked, getting up and rubbing her behind. Her tailbone hurt, and she imagined the girl in front of her hurt twice as bad, since she was half as big.

The girl nodded and said in a small voice, “Yeah. Sorry. I heard voices.”

Sophie remembered why she had been running. She sniffled and said, “Look, I'm sorry, but I have to go.”

Sophie wiped at her eyes and started down the hall again, the bloodred carpet and shadows matching her mood perfectly.

“Sophie, wait.”

Sophie turned and saw Emma coming down the stairs. Even from her viewpoint, she could see the telltale signs that Emma had been crying. How many times had they cried together? Emma's cheeks always got bright red, yet she somehow still managed to look pretty.

Behind Emma, at the top of the stairs, half in and half out of the shadows, stood Trey. Sophie's body felt like it was on fire, and not in a good way. She was ashamed that Trey knew she liked him. Ashamed that he didn't like her back. And ashamed that she couldn't control her emotions enough to keep it all inside.

She never could keep things back.

She put her finger out at Emma. “You stay away from me!”

Sophie could hear soft chatter coming from the end of the upstairs hallway. She flipped around and moved toward the voices, hoping to reach her room before the whole ballet company came up from the dining hall. The last thing she needed was for everyone to see her crying.

She walked faster down the hall and heard Emma cry out, “Sophie. Stop. Let's just talk for a minute.”

A sound came from her throat, something she didn't even recognize. It was half disbelieving girl and half wounded animal. The tears started to come in earnest again.

All her life it had been Emma and Sophie. She had always protected her sister, always made sure Emma wouldn't get hurt. She'd push Emma when she needed it and stand in front of her if someone came after her. She was Emma's twin sister, and she'd do anything for her. She'd die for her.

But evidently, Emma didn't feel the same way. Emma couldn't care less about her. She had known about Trey and had listened to Sophie go on like an idiot. She had seen the hearts Sophie doodled, seen Sophie add Trey's last name to her first.

Now, Sophie just felt like a fool. Emma and Trey probably laughed about her behind her back.

As she gained momentum down the hall, Sophie's sadness turned to anger. How could she? After everything they'd been through, everything Sophie had done for her?

Emma called out again, more urgently, “Sophie! Can you please just stop?”

Sophie spotted her room. Just four more doors to go. She sped up.

As she reached her doorknob, a hand grabbed her arm. She spun around and faced Emma.

“Sophie, I'm so sorry. You don't understand. Please let me explain.”

“Oh, I think everything is pretty clear.” Sophie's voice was shaky. She swallowed her anger.

“I didn't mean to hurt you, Sophie,” Emma said. “This just … happened.”

Sophie watched people gather at the top of the stairs, just out from dinner. But she could only see them through a red haze. Fury shot through her like a shooting star. All she could think of was how best to hurt Emma.

Like Emma had hurt her.

“I bet this just
,” Sophie shouted. “I bet you didn't have
to do with it, did you? Because you don't do
, Emma, right? You never take risks, you never speak up … I've had to do everything for you! And this is how you decide to finally quit being a doormat, huh? Well, it worked. You've walked right over me.”

Sophie put her key in the lock and turned. Emma, face streaked with tears, grabbed her arm again.

“Sophie,” she sobbed.

Sophie jerked her arm away and opened her door. “You just wait, Emma. You'll get what you deserve. Until then, don't talk to me.”

She knew she was being harsh, and she didn't care. She wondered briefly about how many people had just seen her outburst, but the thought left her mind almost as fast as it came.

She turned around and slammed the door. Right in her sister's face.

BOOK: Twin Dangers
13.11Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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