My Soul to Keep Page 38

“They’re both seeing things, but it’s obviously affecting Scott a lot worse than Doug,” I said, thinking about Nash’s conjecture that Doug had a little Netherworld blood somewhere in his genealogy.

“Scott totally lost it today at school,” Nash added, and I glanced at him in surprise; he’d hardly spoken since we’d left the hospital. “He was seeing things, and hearing things, and he was literally scared of his own shadow.”

“Assuming it really is his shadow…” I said. Nash and I hadn’t discussed my theory that Scott wasn’t really hallucinating, but I figured if anyone would know for sure about the side effects of Demon’s Breath, it would be Harmony.

“What do you mean?” she asked.

But Nash answered before I could. “Kaylee got creeped out by Scott’s shadow fixation. He was talking to them, and listening to them, and the whole thing was pretty convincing. Plus, there was the knife.” He shrugged and shot me a concerned, almost condescending look of sympathy. “It’s no wonder she started to believe him. She was terrified. I was scared, too.”

I bristled, glaring at him. “You think I’m imagining this? I was not creeped out!” Though I wasn’t going to deny being afraid of the knife.

“Kay…” Nash stood and made his way into the kitchen, his voice flowing over me like warm silk. “He was delusional, and you were scared, and bleeding, and in shock. Anyone would have been freaked out, but try not to read too much into anything Scott said or did. He’s not playing with a full deck anymore.”

I shook my head so hard my brain felt like it was bouncing in my skull, but I couldn’t shake the seductive feel of his voice in my mind. The overwhelming urge to nod my head, close my mouth, and let the whole thing play out without me.

I fought it, but struggling was like trying to swim in a huge vat of warm honey, when it would have been so much easier simply to sink into the sweetness. “Stop Influencing me,” I whispered, when what I really wanted to do was shout.

“Nash!” Harmony snapped, and his warm mental presence dissipated like fog in bright sunlight.

Furious now, I pushed my chair away from the table, twisting my injured arm in the process. I gasped over the fresh throb and clutched my arm to my chest, but the pain helped clear my head and I rounded on him, fighting angry tears and the sharp sting of betrayal. “I’m not some hysterical kid, and I am not crazy!” Even the implication that my logic had been compromised triggered my very worst fears.

And Nash damn well knew that.

“Kay, no one’s saying you’re crazy.” My father stood, too, and when he reached out for me, I let him pull me close. “You’ve had a traumatic day, and he was just trying to calm you down, thoughadmittedly he’s going about it the wrong way.” He shot a pointed scowl at Nash, who had the decency to look horrified by what he’d done. So why the hell had he done it?

“I’m sorry, Kaylee.” Nash let me see the swirl of regret in his eyes. But I couldn’t forgive him. Not for this. Not yet.

“Stay out of my head, Nash.” I stepped back when he reached for me, and he looked like I’d punched him in the gut. Some small part of me felt bad about that, but the rest of me was pissed. I had more to say about this, but not in front of our parents.

So I sat at the table again and ground my teeth when he sat in the chair next to mine.

“I assume people noticed Scott acting strange?” my dad asked as he crossed the kitchen, obviously eager to pull the discussion back on track.

“Um, yeah.” Nash fought to catch my gaze, and when I refused to look at him, he fingered a crack in the weathered kitchen table. “But they all think he was high on something…normal.” He glanced at his mother, who’d just finished cleaning up the egg slime. “Is there anything we can do for him?”

Harmony shook her head slowly. “The damage to his brain is permanent. And withdrawal will be very hard on him in a human hospital, because all they can do is restrain him to keep him from hurting himself. The only medications I know of that can make him feel better come from the Netherworld.”

“Can you get him any of those?” I asked. “Assuming they keep him at Arlington Memorial?”

She leaned with one hip on the counter, drying her hands on a damp dishrag. “I don’t work in mental health, but I can probably get in to see him once or twice. And if I can’t, Tod can.”

“What about Doug?” I asked. “He’s not as bad off as Scott is, but the night he hit my car, he said he saw someone in his passenger’s seat.”

“That’s easy enough,” Nash shrugged, looking optimistic for the first time since we’d left school. “Next time we hang out, I’ll just slip whatever weird medication he needs into his drink.” He glanced at Harmony again, eyes shining in either hope or desperation. “You can get whatever he needs, right?”

“I think so. But it won’t do any good until the Demon’s Breath is completely out of his system…”

“And we still don’t know how to cut off the supply,” I finished.

“You let us worry about that,” my father said with a note of finality he’d probably perfected kicking drunks out of his parents’ pub in Ireland. “Let’s get you something to eat, then I want you to take a nap while I’m here to make sure you wake up in your own bed.”

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