My Soul to Steal Page 41

“No. I’m guessing that makes it harder. But it’s the truth, and the truth isn’t always easy.”

Sabine rolled her eyes. “What are you now, the Zen master? Did Kaylee tell you that?”

“Not in so many words. But you can usually tell what she’s thinking just by watching her.”

No, you can’t! I frowned and felt my cheeks color, and suddenly I was extraglad they couldn’t see us.

“Yeah, that whole subliminal ‘go away and die’ message comes through loud and clear.” Sabine glanced around the room, and her gaze seemed to linger in the corner where we stood. I knew she couldn’t see us, but her eyes creeped me out, anyway.

I’d seen enough. They were just talking now, and she obviously wasn’t going to charm him out of his clothes. Or out of me. At least for the night.

Let’s go, I mouthed silently to Tod, and that time he nodded. He closed his eyes, and I took that as my signal to do the same.

After another stomach-pitching second of existing nowhere, I felt ground beneath my feet and cold air on my cheeks. I opened my eyes to find us in front of Nash’s house again, and as soon as I was sure I wasn’t going to fall over from disorientation, I let go of Tod’s hand. And immediately missed the warmth.

“Well, that was…interesting.” I shoved my hands in my pockets, and Tod glanced at me in surprise, like I’d ripped the words off his own tongue. Then he smiled.

“Yeah, it…”

“I mean, how weird that they spent most of the time talking about me. I guess that should make me feel better, huh?”

His brow furrowed like he wasn’t following my logic, and he glanced over his shoulder at the house, as if that would clear it up. “Oh. Yeah.” Then he smiled and said, “I have a feeling they do that a lot. So…does it make you feel better?”

“Yes, and no.” I started walking toward the street, and Tod matched my stride.

“Why no?”

I hesitated. “Because seeing her like that—with him—makes it a little harder to believe she’s a murderer.” Not impossible. But definitely harder.

Tod shrugged. “So maybe she’s not.”

I frowned up at him. “She has to be. Who else could it be?” He opened his mouth, but I spoke over him. “And don’t say it might not be anyone, because there’s no way three of our teachers in two days just happened to die in their sleep, the same week Sabine moves to town.”

“I agree. But that doesn’t mean she’s doing it.”

“Then who is?”

“I don’t know. But it could be anyone. Or anything. Don’t you think it’s at least possible that you’re fixating on Sabine because she’s fixated on Nash?”

I stopped on the sidewalk, almost halfwaybetween Nash’s house and mine. He was right. I wasn’t ready to dismiss Sabine as a suspect, but as long as I was playing cop, I might as well think like a cop, and a good cop would never rule out all other possibilities because of a personal vendetta against one suspect.

“Help me,” I said, peering up at him against the glow of a streetlight.

“What?” Tod frowned.

“Help me. You know way more about Netherworld stuff than I do, and there’s no way a human is doing this. If you really think Sabine’s innocent, help me rule her out and come up with some other theories. We can’t just let this go on. You said yourself that Wells, Bennigan, and Wesner weren’t scheduled to die.”

“Kaylee, I have to be at work in less than an hour.”

I started walking again, and he had to jog to catch up. “When’s your first reaping?”

Tod sighed. “Not till two. But I should really at least look like I’d like to keep my job.”

“Come on, reaper! There’s ice cream—we’ll make a night of it.”

Tod’s brows rose and his eyes sparkled in the streetlight. He glanced at my hand, hanging at my side between us, then finally nodded. “You know I can’t say no to ice cream.”

“Or pizza, or pancakes, or Chick-fil-A…”

“Shut up before I change my mind.”


WHEN WE GOT BACK to my house, I checked to make sure my dad was asleep, then dug a half gallon of mint chocolate chip from the freezer. Tod, Alec, and I ate straight from the container while they helped me make a list of every non-human creature who could possibly kill a person in his sleep.

They seemed to agree that the killer was most likely some kind of psychic parasite. But while Tod insisted that, technically, any parasitic species could feed from a sleeping victim—so we could be dealing with an incubus or succubus, a scado, which feeds from anger, or a neid, which feeds from jealousy— Alec insisted that a mara was the most likely suspect, because Nightmares could only feed from sleeping victims. The reaper scowled a lot at Alec’s conclusion, but couldn’t argue.

When Tod had to leave for work, I retreated to my room with my laptop and a slice of leftover pizza, hoping that without me there to grill him on creepy-crawly trivia, Alec might actually get some sleep.

Between bites of pizza and gulps from a cold can of soda, I searched the internet for anything to do with Sabine Campbell. But none of the Sabine Campbells I found online were anywhere near the right age. She didn’t maintain a profile on any networking sites I could think of—at least, not under her real name—nor did I get any hits on her from school websites. Which meant she wasn’t active in sports or clubs, nor was she on the honor roll at her last school.

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