The Lost Saint Page 2

“Seriously, though. You’re getting good.” He groaned and lay back into the grass, tucking his arms behind his head.

“Not good enough.”

It took almost an hour of intense sparring before my powers even started to manifest, and once they kicked in, they lasted only, what, like thirty seconds? That was the thing about my abilities. They came in spurts whenever they felt like it—totally uncontrolled by me. My wounds healed over more quickly than those of a normal human, but I still couldn’t draw on that power the way Daniel used to be able to. I couldn’t heal myself on my own terms. I’d get bursts of speed or agility, like my body had a mind of its own—like when I kicked Daniel just now—but I usually couldn’t control when it happened.

After Daniel’s doctor gave him the go-ahead to be active again, we started training together three nights a week—when I wasn’t grounded, that is. We’d go running, try out some parkour moves, box with mitts like we did tonight, practice trying to hear and see long distances. But even though I was notably faster and stronger than I had been even a few months ago, it was beginning to seem like, no matter how much I tried, I’d never be able to use my powers the way I wanted—instead of them using me.

Daniel sighed. He pointed up in the sky. “Looks like we quit just in time. Meteor shower’s started.”

I looked up as a shooting star streaked through the dark, clear night above us. “Oh yeah. I almost forgot about that.”

Daniel and I had planned on tracking the meteor shower after tonight’s training session. We were supposed to count how many meteors we saw in a thirty-minute period for an extra-credit science project at school.

I knew it bothered Daniel that Principal Conway wouldn’t even consider letting him graduate last year—he’d missed way too much school during the years he’d spent on the run from the curse that used to plague his every thought. But I, for one, was happy he hadn’t left for college yet. And with his attending summer school, doing some extra credit, and testing out of a few classes, we’d get to graduate together next spring.

“I’ll get the light,” I said after I pulled off my glove wraps. I flexed my fingers, stretching out my sore knuckles as I crossed the yard behind Maryanne Duke’s old house. I flipped off the porch light, grabbed my hoodie, and headed back over to the lawn. With my sweatshirt draped over my chest like a blanket, I took in a deep breath of autumn air and melted into the cool leaves of grass next to Daniel.

“That’s six,” I said after a long moment.

Daniel grunted in agreement.

“Oh! Did you see that one?” I pointed above my head at an especially bright star that glistened through the sky until it fizzled into nothing.

“Yeah,” Daniel said softly. “Beautiful.”

I glanced at him. He was lying on his side, staring at me.

“You weren’t even watching,” I teased.

“Yes, I was.” Daniel flashed me another one of his wry smiles. “I could see it reflecting in your eyes.” He reached out and brushed my cheek with his fingers. “One of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.” He hooked one of his fingers under my chin, drawing my face closer to his.

I looked away from his deep, dark brown eyes, surveyed the curves of his muscles under the thin running shirt he’d worn for our training session. Then my gaze flitted to his shaggy hair, which had settled into a nice golden blond over the summer—all the dark had finally washed out. I followed the lines of his jaw and then rested my gaze on the curve of his smiling lips. It wasn’t his devious smile anymore, but the one he saved for moments like this—the one that meant he was truly happy.

He was still warm from our sparring match, and I could feel the heat radiating off his body only a few inches away. Drawing me to him. Willing me to close the gap between us. I looked back at his eyes, loving the feeling that I could get lost in them forever.

It was moments like these when I still couldn’t believe that he was even here.

That he was still alive.

That he was mine.

I’d watched him die once. Held him in my arms and listened to his heartbeat fade away into nothing.

It happened the night my brother Jude lost himself to the werewolf curse—just days before he left a note on the kitchen table, walked out into a snowstorm, and disappeared. The same night Jude infected me with the powers that taunted me now.

The night I almost lost everything.

“There goes another one.” Daniel leaned in and touched a kiss just beside my eye. He trailed his lips across my cheek and down my jaw, sending a tingling sensation through my body with the deliciousness of his touch.

Daniel’s lips came to my mouth. He brushed them softly there at first and then pressed gently. His lips parted, and he mingled them with mine.

My legs ached as I pulled him closer—finally closing the distance between us.

I didn’t care that we were out in the yard behind Maryanne Duke’s old house. I didn’t care that we were supposed to be tracking the meteor shower for class. Nothing existed outside his touch. There was nothing under the falling stars except Daniel and me and the blanket of grass underneath us.

Daniel jerked his head back slightly. “You’re buzzing,” he whispered against my lips.

“Huh?” I asked, and kissed him.

He pulled away. “I think it’s your phone.”

I noticed the buzzing, too. My cell phone in my sweatshirt pocket.

“So what?” I grabbed the front of his shirt playfully and pulled him closer. “They can leave a message.”

“It could be your mom,” Daniel said. “I just got you back. I don’t want to lose you for another two weeks.”

“Damn it.”

Daniel smirked. He always thought it was hilarious when I swore. But he did have a point—about my mom, that is. She had only two modes since Jude left: Zombie Queen and Crazed Mother Bear. It was like her own personal brand of bipolar disorder.

I’d left for the evening before she got back from seeing Aunt Carol off at the train station, so I wasn’t sure what mode she would be in, but if it was of the overbearing sort, I could possibly be grounded again just for the act of not answering her calls on the second ring.

I sat up and dug into the pocket of my hoodie, but I’d already taken too much time, and the call ended before I pulled out my phone.

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