My Soul to Keep Page 18

Nash pressed Scott’s car key into my hand. “Wait until we go in, then lock the balloon in your trunk. Got it?”

I shook my head, pocketing the key reluctantly. “I’m just going to pop it. That way no one else can get ahold of it.”

Sudden panic whirled in Nash’s irises. “You can’t pop it, Kaylee. What if you accidentally breathe some of it in?”

My pulse raced at the thought, fear chilling me almost as badly as the balloon I was trying not to crush. “Is it…as dangerous to bean sidhes as it is to humans?” I whispered.

Nash sighed. “No, but…” He stopped and shook his head sharply, as if to clear it. “I don’t know. It’s a controlled substance for a reason. It has to be disposed of carefully. I’m going to give it to Tod to take to the disposal facility in the Netherworld. Okay?”

I nodded grudgingly. “Fine.”

Nash kissed me quickly on the cheek, then leaned past me to grab the chemistry book I’d brought to lunch. “I’ll give it back to you after school.” Hopefully the coach wouldn’t know Nash was taking physics this year….

He backed out of the car, held the book up for the coach’s benefit, then closed the door, leaving me alone in the quarterback’s car, with his stolen key and his stash of a rare, expensive inhalant.

No pressure, Kay.

I peeked between the headrests until Nash and the coach disappeared around the corner of the gym, then I sat up and shoved the frigid black balloon off my lap and onto the floor. I zipped Scott’s duffel and put it back exactly where I’d found it, then glanced around the lot again before easing the door open. When I was sure I was alone, I grabbed the balloon, lurched out of the car, and shoved the door closed, then clicked a button on the key to lock it. Then I raced across the lot holding the balloon by its clip, to keep the unnaturally cold latex from touching my skin.

On my way across the asphalt, I slid Scott’s key into my back pocket, then dug my own from my hip pocket, holding it ready as I skidded to a stop behind the rental. I jabbed the key into the trunk lock and twisted, relieved when the trunk popped open an inch on the first try. I’d never opened it and, according to Murphy’s Law—which they might as well rename after me—it would malfunction when I needed it most.

I dropped the balloon into the carpeted compartment, glad when it sank with the weighted clip. Then I slammed the trunk closed and made myself walk toward the building, concentrating on regulating my breathing and heartbeat with each step.

The last thing I needed was to arrive for class flushed and out of breath.

Although now that I thought of it, that would give me an interesting alibi. Everyone would assume Nash and I had been occupied, and had missed the bell.

I smiled at that thought, and the smile stayed in place until I opened the door to my fifth-period English class, where every headin the room swiveled to look at me. And that’s when I realized I’d forgotten to stop by my locker for my book.

“Miss Cavanaugh,” Mr. Tuttle said, perched on the edge of his desk with one sockless loafer dangling a foot from the floor. “How nice of you to join us. I don’t suppose you have a late pass? Or a textbook?”

I shook my head mutely and felt myself flush. So much for avoiding rumors…

“Well, now you do have detention.”

Naturally. Because detention seems like an appropriate reward for someone trying to save her school from a deadly Netherworld toxin, right?


“DETENTION FOR YOUR FIRST tardy?” Nash looked skeptical as he slammed his locker and tossed his backpack over one shoulder. All around us, other lockers squealed open and clanged closed. The hall was a steady din of white noise—the constant overlap of voices. The final bell had rung three minutes earlier and the entire student body had split into two streams: most of the underclassmen flowing toward the front doors and a line of long yellow buses, and most of the upperclassmen toward the parking lot.

“It was my third,” I admitted, turning with Nash as he wrapped his free arm around my waist. “I was late twice last month, since somebody thought it would be fun to take a private tour of the gym equipment closet while Coach Rundell was out for lunch.”

Nash looked pleased with himself, rather than penitent. “Yeah, sorry about that.”

“I bet you weren’t counted tardy for either of those, were you?”

He shrugged. “No one cares if you’re late to study hall.”

I rolled my eyes. “Not so long as you’re wearing a green-and-white jacket.”

“You want to borrow it?” He grinned and made a show of pulling one arm from his sleeve. He seemed much more relaxed now that we’d relieved Scott of his Netherworldly burden.

“No thanks. I have too much self-respect.”

“For school spirit?” He frowned, but his eyes still sparkled with mischief.

“For being the unmerited exception to the rules the rest of us plebeians have to follow.”

“What rules?” Doug Fuller walked toward us with one arm around Emma, his hand splayed over the band of bare hip visible between the hem of her tee and the low waist of her jeans.

I scowled. “My point exactly.”

“Hudson, your girlfriend’s too serious.” Doug dropped his duffel and ran one hand through a wavy mop of thick dark hair, pulling Emma closer.

“She can’t help it,” a familiar, cold-edged voice said from behind me, and I turned to find Sophie and Laura Bell leaning against the lockers, malice glinting in their eyes like sunlight off the point of a sharp knife. “The staff in the psycho ward shocked the fun right out of her.”

Prev Next
Romance | Vampires | Fantasy | Billionaire | Werewolves | Zombies