My Soul to Steal Page 30

I forced myself to breathe slowly and evenly, to keep her from seeing how her words affected me. How scared I was—deep down—that she was right.

“You can’t scare me away from him.” I could see my algebra classroom over her shoulder, the door open, the new sub standing next to it, eyeing the stragglers in the hallway.

Sabine laughed and long dark hair fell over her shoulder. “Yeah, I can. But I don’t think I’ll have to. I think your conscience is gonna do most of the work for me, because you do care about Nash, and when you’re brave enough to be honest with yourself, I think you’ll understand that you’re not what he needs.”

I ground my teeth together, then unclenched my jaw. I didn’t want to ask—didn’t want to be drawn into her little mind game—but I had to know. “What is it you think he needs?”

Another shrug. “Someone who wants him as he is. Flaws and all. And that’s never gonna be you. You’re not ready to take him back, but you can’t let him go. You’re afraid to be with him, and you’re afraid to be without him. You’re paralyzed with fear, and it’s eating you up on the inside and killing whatever you had with Nash.”

“You got all that from my dream?”

“I got that from your eyes. Well, that, and a little peek into your darkest fears. But it’s not like you keep those hidden.”

“You don’t even know me….”

Sabine laughed again, and I was starting to truly hate the sound. “I know you better than you know yourself. I can see the things you keep buried. The secrets you hide even from your conscious mind. And even if I couldn’t, I know your type.”

I glared at her, eyes narrowed until I could see nothing else. “I am not a type.” Why was I still talking to her? I should have just walked away, but I couldn’t help myself. Nash saw something in her. Something he liked. Something he’d once loved—and I wanted to know what that was.

“Oh, you’re definitely a type. Self-righteous, like you’ve never done anything wrong and that gives you the right to point out everyone else’s mistakes. You do what it takes to fit in, but not enough to get noticed, because you’re afraid of scrutiny and because you think you’re above the high school social scene. And frankly, you and I have that last bit in common.”

I glanced around, hoping no one was close enough to hear her, and was relieved to find the hall nearly empty. “You’re obviously a virgin,” Sabine continued, as I stood there, mortified, but unwilling to walk away because some part of me needed to hear this. Needed to hear what she thought of me. What she’d probably been saying about me to Nash. “And you think that makes you pure, but what it really makes you is uptight and scared. You won’t admit it, but you think about sex. A lot. But you’re not gonna do it, because then you wouldn’t be special. You think your virginity is some kindof satin-wrapped, halo-topped gift that, someday, some perfect prince will be honored to receive. But you don’t get it, and no one’s had the heart to explain it to you yet. Fortunately for you, I’m full of heart today. So here’s the truth: sex isn’t a gift you give Mr. Right in exchange for ‘forever’ and a white dress. You’re selling yourself short and making us all look bad with that kind of naiveté. Sex isn’t something you do for him. It’s something you do for yourself.”

I blinked. Then I blinked again, stunned and humiliated. My face was on fire.

How on earth had Sabine’s effort to scare me away from Nash become a lecture on sex, and why not to have it? But what was even more disturbing than the surprising turn her lecture had taken was the sincerity obvious on her face.

“Why are you telling me this? I mean, if this little explanation of yours is such valuable information, why waste it on someone you obviously hate?”

Sabine frowned. “I don’t hate you. In fact, I kind of like you. I’m just not gonna let you stand between me and Nash.”

I felt my brows furrow. “And you seriously think you can just…take him back?”

“Yeah.” She nodded, betraying no hint of doubt. “I got this far, didn’t I?” When I frowned, confused, she elaborated. “I didn’t just happen to wind up in your school, Kaylee. Weren’t you even a little suspicious of the coincidence?”

Maybe, for just a second… But the truth was that so much weird stuff had happened to me in the past few months that the appearance of an ex-girlfriend had hardly even seemed notable—at first.

“I came here for Nash. It took me a while to find him, and even longer to get myself placed in a foster home in the right district. But I’m here now, and I’m not going anywhere.”

I blinked, surprised beyond words. Then impressed, in spite of myself. “You—”

But before I could finish that thought, the front doors of the school burst open behind me, and I whirled around to see two EMTs wheel a stretcher into the hall.

The tardy bell rang, but I barely noticed.

The office door opened and the attendance secretary motioned frantically to the EMTs. “He’s in here,” she said, her voice so breathy with shock that I could hardly hear her. “We found him a few minutes ago, but I don’t think there’s anything you can do for him. I think he’s been gone for quite a while now.”


“YEAH, IT’S SOME GUY named John Wells,” Tod said, sinking onto the bleachers next to me in the gym. No one else could see or hear him, and I was far enough from the other scattered groups of students that no one would be able to hear me, either. And with my earbuds in my ears, hopefully anyone who noticed me would think I was singing along with my iPod or learning to speak German, or something.

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