My Soul to Steal Page 37

“Okay, but it’s not a slam dunk, either. Sabine doesn’t kill people. Why would she, when she can get plenty of energy from a single nightmare? She doesn’t even have to feed every night.”

“Well, she has been. She’s fed from me two nights in a row, and she gave Chris Metzer a nightmare during third period today. That’s what started our whole confrontation.”

Nash nodded too many times, like his brain was only a word or two ahead of his mouth. “Okay, yeah, she told me about Metzer.”

She had? Why would she admit that?

“But that doesn’t mean she killed anybody. She didn’t do it, Kaylee. I…” He rubbed his forehead, and I was pretty sure I’d given him a headache. “I wish you knew her like I know her. You’d understand then. She likes people to think she’s tough—and maybe she is. But she’s not a murderer. She’s not even really a fighter. The fights she’s been in were all self-defense.”

All? How many had there been?

“Nash, my dad knows about the teachers.” About Mr. Wesner and Mrs. Bennigan, anyway. “And he’s looking into their deaths. Something’s obviously wrong—I had to tell him. And I’m gonna have to tell him about Sabine, too.”

“Wait.” Swirls of color exploded in Nash’s irises and he grabbed my hand, squeezing it on the tabletop. “Don’t tell him about her. Please, Kaylee. If you think she did it, he will, too, but I swear on my soul that she didn’t do this.” He looked so desperate, so heartbroken, and my chest ached at the reminder of how much he cared about her. “Just give me a couple of days, and I’ll prove it.”

“How are you gonna do that?” I pulled my hand gently from his grasp, and he suddenly looked lost, clearly grasping at mental straws.

“Hospital records,” he said finally. “I’ll make Tod get them for me. That’ll prove they all died of natural causes.”

“Really?” I lifted one brow and crossed my arms over my chest. “So…what would the autopsy report say about someone who was drained by a mara?”

Nash frowned as my point sank in. “Probably heart failure.” Which was ultimately the cause of any death. “Fine. But I’ll find a way to prove it. Just don’t tell him about her yet. If he thinks she’s dangerous and that I’m hanging out with her, he’ll never let me see you again. Give me a couple of days. Please, Kaylee. I don’t want to lose you.”

“You don’t want to lose her.”

He took my hand again, and I let him, against my better judgment. “I don’t want to lose either of you.”

“What about your mom?” I asked. “My dad will ask my uncle and your mom for help looking into this, and your mom knows Sabine’s back,right?”

“Yeah, but she knows Sabine—she’d never bring her up as a suspect. But if you do, your dad will believe you.”

I thought about it and finally nodded. Why not? When he couldn’t find any proof that Sabine hadn’t murdered Wells, Bennigan, and Wesner, he’d have to finally face the truth. And surely he couldn’t possibly still want her once she’d been outed as a murderer. Right?

“SO, HOW’D IT GO?” I asked, as Alec closed and locked the front door.

“Oh, you know. Popcorn, soda, candy, scalding-hot butter-flavored oil.”

“Not that.” I smiled from the couch. It felt good to be talking about something normal. Something other than addict ex-boyfriends, Nightmare ex-girlfriends, and dead teachers. “The interview.”

“Oh!” Alec’s eyes gleamed like onyx, and I was amazed how different his eyes could look from Sabine’s, considering they were nearly the same color. “I got it! I start third shift next week. I gave my notice at Cinemark tonight.”

“Awesome! Third shift, though? That’s gonna suck.”

He shrugged on his way into the kitchen. “I’m not sleeping at night, anyway. How much worse can sleeping in the day be?”

“Yeah, I guess. We’ll miss you at the theater, though.”

Alec grabbed a Coke from the fridge while I gathered up my homework, preparing to vacate his makeshift bed. He looked tired. “You’ll get over it. You don’t wanna work with an old man like me, anyway, right?” He grinned, but I couldn’t help wondering how much of that was for show.

“Oh, stop it. You may be forty-five on the inside, but outside you’re a very young, very hot nineteen, and you have nothing but good things to look forward to.”

“Especially with the new job,” my dad added, and I whirled to see him standing in the living room doorway, holding a half-eaten apple.

“Hey, why didn’t you tell me he got the job?” My dad had been home for hours and had sat through an entire half a pizza and my recap of the vice principal’s death without leaking a word of their good news.

“That’s Alec’s announcement. And don’t call him hot.”

I rolled my eyes, but smiled, shoving my folded chemistry homework into the textbook. “I’ll leave you two coworkers to celebrate. I’m going to bed.”

“So early?” My dad ducked his head to glance at the clock over the stove in the kitchen. It was just past ten-thirty.

“I’m a growing girl. I need my sleep.” Actually, I was going to get in bed with my laptop and try again to dig up some dirt on Sabine.

“Common sense looks good on you,” my dad declared, as I brushed past him and into the hall.

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