The Calling Page 16

I thought about the man on the shore, too. My biological father. I tried not to dwell on that—didn’t matter, wouldn’t let it matter—but those thoughts only led to ones of my biological mother, who’d abandoned me as an infant. I used to say she was giving me a better chance at life, but Rafe told me she’d had two babies. Twins. She gave me up and kept my brother. My twin brother. Were they still out there? Was he still out there? Again, it wasn’t the time to dwell on that. But I did anyway. At least until I started thinking about my parents—my real parents—and worrying about them took over everything else.

I finally snapped out of it when I realized we’d started walking uphill. I blinked and looked around. Fewer trees. More rocks. Ahead? Pitch black. I had to crane my neck way back to see stars dotting the night sky.

“A mountain.”

“Hmm?” Daniel said.

I jumped, and realized he was right beside me. Probably had been for a while. He put his hand on my back to steady me and said, “What’d you say?”

“I know why I couldn’t see lights from the treetop. There’s a mountain in the way.”

“Damn.” Daniel lowered his voice. “Corey’s not going to be able to make it up that. Not tonight.”

“I don’t think any of us could make it up that tonight. Except maybe the two-time island wrestling champ.” I struggled for a smile.

“Don’t count on it. I’m running on fumes here.”

“Let’s find a spot for the night then. We should be far enough from the crash site by now.”

We headed off the deer trail we’d been following and found a clearing next to a dead tree that acted as a windbreak. Once Daniel and I pronounced it suitable, everyone pretty much just collapsed where they stood.

Daniel and I were the last ones standing. When I started to lower myself to the ground, he tapped my elbow and pointed to a spot a few feet away.

“Looks more comfortable,” he said.

There was a slight hollow there, where dried vegetation had collected. As I lay down, I could smell it, sharp and earthy, and the smell comforted me as much as the soft bedding. Kenjii curled up in front of me. Daniel stretched out behind me, close enough that I could feel the warmth radiating from him, and that relaxed me, too. If anyone had asked me five minutes ago if I could sleep, I’d have thought the question was insane, but my head had barely touched the ground before I was gone.


I rolled over. Dead needles crackled under me. My foot bumped Daniel’s, and he mumbled in his sleep.


Another restless toss. A branch jabbed me this time, hard enough to make me open my eyes. I could make out the faint gray of dawn to the east.

I blinked and looked around.Corey, Sam, and Hayley were about five feet away, sound asleep.

I yawned and curled up again.

“Maya… Help…”

I bolted upright. A breeze wafted past, and I caught a smell I recognized.


I got to my feet, careful not to wake the others. Kenjii snorted, but she was too exhausted to stir. Once away from camp, I lurched blindly through the forest, following that teasing scent on the breeze, pushing the branches aside, not slowing down to look for a path or even a clear route.

I stumbled into a stream. Icy water filled my shoes, and I slipped and fell to my knees.


“Where are you?” I called.

“Over here. I’m…” A sharp intake of breath. “Hurt.”

“Okay, stay where you are. I’m coming.”

I broke into a jog. Only no matter how fast I ran, his scent and his voice didn’t get any stronger. I kept going until I tripped over a root and hit the ground hard.



“Maya? Is that you?”

I pushed to my feet, wincing as I flexed my stinging hands. “I’m—”

“Maya! I need you.”

His voice seemed to come from all around me. I spun, trying to pinpoint it, but he kept yelling, more panicked with every shout, my own panic rising until I flung myself forward—

Hands grabbed me and yanked me back. For a moment, all I saw was the darkness of night. Then it fell away, dawn light filtering through the trees, and I was standing in front of Daniel, his fingers wrapped around my wrist. Kenjii was beside me, whimpering.


“I have to go,” I said, wrenching from his grasp. “It’s Rafe. He’s out here. He’s hurt and…”

I turned and saw Sam and Hayley, then heard a crashing in the undergrowth. Corey lurched through, using a branch for a cane.

I blinked. Sam and Hayley hadn’t been there a second ago. I hadn’t heard Corey crashing through the bush. It hadn’t been this light out.

I looked up to see the sun now above the horizon. My eyes filled with tears.

“I—” I swallowed. “I—”

Daniel took both my wrists and turned me to face him. “You were sleepwalking, Maya.”

“It just… I could hear Rafe and he was hurt and I was trying to get to him and—” My breath hitched. “It seemed real.”

Daniel pulled me into a hug and I let myself collapse against his shoulder. I kept thinking about how real it had seemed and how I’d never sleepwalked before and…

And what if I hadn’t been sleepwalking? What if I’d been having a vision?

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