My Soul to Keep Page 35

“Okay, thank you, Kaylee.” The detective stood and flipped his notebook closed, then slid it into the right pocket of his long coat. “Your dad’s on his way—” I hadn’t been able to stop them from calling him and scaring him to death “—and it looks like you’re in good hands until he gets here.” The cop smiled first at Nash, who didn’t even seem to notice him, then at the nurse, whose cold hands shook as they pressed the bandage gently on the long line of stitches curving over the bony part of my forearm onto the fleshier underside. “We’ll be following up with you soon, when we know more about what happened. Okay?”

I nodded as he headed toward the exit. He already had one hand on the doorknob when I looked up. “What’s going to happen to Scott?”

Nash glanced at me in surprise almost equal to the cop’s, but the nurse didn’t even pause in her work.

“Well, that all depends on his attorney. But Mr. Carter—Scott’s father—has testified in several cases around here and, for a psychiatrist, he knows a fair bit about the law. I wouldn’t worry about Scott. He’ll get the best legal and mental care available.”

I nodded, but only because I didn’t know how else to respond. No amount of money or treatment could fix Scott now, and for all I knew, he’d hear that voice in his head—see that shape in the shadows—for the rest of his life. Even if he never again saw the outside of a padded room.


“JUST COME STRAIGHT HOME,” Harmony said into her cell phone as I sank onto my couch with my bandaged arm in my lap. She pushed the front door closed, cutting off the chill from outside, then marched into the kitchen, already digging through my fridge for something that hadn’t started to mold.

On the other end of the line, my father tried to argue, but she interrupted him with the confidence of a woman accustomed to giving orders. “I already picked her up.”

My dad worked at a factory in Fort Worth, while Harmony worked in the very hospital they’d taken us to. So even coming from home—she’d worked the third shift—she’d gotten there nearly half an hour earlier than my dad could have made it.

“Because I was closer to the hospital than you were.” And because Nash’s Influence had convinced the doc to release me to someone other than my legal guardian.

Harmony held the phone away from her ear while my father blustered, complained, and questioned. “She’s fine, physically. We’ll talk about it when you get here.” With that, she flipped her phone closed and shoved it into her front pocket with a finality that suggested she would not answer if he called back.

Wow. I’d never seen anyone handle my dad like that, and I was so impressed I forgot to argue that I was fine mentally, too. I thought I was handling the whole thing pretty well, considering I’d nearly been killed. Again.

“Kaylee, do you believe in déjà vu?” Harmony smiled amiably and pulled a carton of milk from the fridge. “Because the sight of you lying injured on that couch is starting to look awfully familiar.”

“I don’t go looking for trouble,” I insisted, a little miffed.

Nash set the keys to the rental on the half wall between the entry and the living room, then dropped onto the couch next to me with his head thrown back like it weighed a ton. We’d stopped by the Carters’ house on the way home so Nash could follow us in the loaner. Scott’s parents had been called back from Cancún early, but they wouldn’t get in until the next day, so his house was completely dark and looked oddly deserted, even in the middle of a sunny winter day.

It was creepy, to say the least.

Harmony set a tub of margarine on the counter, then pulled half-full bags of flour and sugar from the depths of a cabinet I’d rarely peeked into. “Yet trouble manages to find you, whether you’re looking for it or not.”

“In this case, I think ‘trouble’ is a bit of an understatement,” I mumbled, twisting carefully to lean on Nash as he wrapped one arm around me. “Don’t you want to know what happened?” I asked, watching her through the wide kitchen doorway.

“Not yet.” Her voice echoed from inside another cabinet.

“You’ll have to explain it all over again when your father gets here, so I’ll just wait for that.”

“Well, I won’t,” Tod snapped, and I glanced up to find him leaning against the kitchen door frame. He’d shown up in my room in the E.R. right after the detective left, demanding answers we couldn’t give him while the nurse was still there. Then he’d blinked out to find his mother, only to discover her already on the way to the hospital. One of her fellow nurses had called her when she recognized Nash.

“Yes, you will.” Harmony finally stood and faced her older, mostly dead son, a box of baking soda in one hand. “Making her repeat herself won’t make her feel any better.”

“Not that there’s any chance of that, anyway…” My dad was going to go apocalyptic when he heard about the Demon’s Breath. And I wasn’t entirely convinced Harmony wouldn’t join him, once she knew the whole story.

Tod grumbled and dropped into my father’s recliner, apparently willing to physically wait with the rest of us for once.

I sat up and shrugged out from under Nash’s arm so I could see his face, but he wouldn’t look at me. His eyes were closed, one wave of brown hair fallen over his eyebrow. I might have thought he was asleep, if not for the tense lines of his shoulders and jaw. Nash was just as upset as I was, and probably suffering an even heavier burden of guilt, because Scott was his friend.

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