My Soul to Steal Page 78

“Sophie sheared her BFF?” Sabine looked genuinely surprised—like she didn’t already know. “Wow. Good one…”

“Shut up. Laura’s bad hair day is the least of what you’ve done. Jeff’s car. Derek’s broken arms. Coach Rundell’s trashed office. Cammie’s torched mold spores… This school is the only safe, normal thing in my life, and Eastlake does not deserve to go down like this!”

“I know. That’s why I’m not doing it.” Sabine shrugged. “I could if I wanted to, but I kinda like it here. The food sucks, but I’m passing with minimal effort and I have friends…” She gestured to me, and my mouth actually dropped open.

“I am not your friend.”

She gave me an infuriatingly good-natured roll of her dark eyes. “I think the definition of ‘friendship’ is open to a little interpretation from the fringe groups, Kaylee.”

I crossed my arms. “It’s really not.”

“Whatever. My point is that none of that stuff is my fault.”

I shook my head, thoroughly disgusted. “I saw you talking with half the people who’ve gone psycho!” And there was no telling how many private conversations I’d missed.

“Yeah. I was reading their fears. For later.” The mara uncrossed her arms and shrugged. “A girl’s gotta eat.” She sat on the edge of the nearest table, leaning forward with her palms against the wood. “I’ve been in your head. I’ve been all over your boyfriend. And I was messing with your best friend in the gym. But I didn’t hurt anybody. And I didn’t do any of that crazy shit you’re talking about.”

“And I should believe you because you’re just such a joy to be around?”

“Think about it, Kaylee. This isn’t fear-based. From what I can tell, all these newly converted psychos are running on pure jealousy, and that’s just not palatable for a mara, no matter how hungry I get.”

Crap. I hadn’t thought of that. But then, she couldn’t directly benefit from making Em distrust me, either, and that hadn’t stopped her.

“Fine. So you’re doing it for fun.”

Sabine’s grin was back, and I wanted to slap it off her face. But I wasn’t stupid enough to indulge that impulse. Again. “Well, there’s definitely a slapstick sort of lowbrow entertainment value involved in watching your school fall apart at the seams. But a few laughs aren’t worth the effort it would take to orchestrate something like this myself. And anyway, my nightmares aren’t just food—they’re art. I take pride in that. But this isn’t art, Kaylee.” She spread her arms to take in the school around us. “This is nothing but…chaos. And as much as I enjoy upsetting the balance of your sad littleexistence, believe it or not, I don’t thrive on chaos.”


She was right. Maras don’t thrive on chaos—but hellions do.

Yet the violent frenzy all around us didn’t feel like Avari’s work—jealousy wasn’t his medium—and the only suspect that left was Sabine, no matter how artfully she wielded logic against me.

“So, what, you expect your pristine record to speak for itself? You’ve been arrested at least twice, expelled from two different schools, and were handed off from one foster family to the next for years. I think that says pretty clearly what you’re capable of.”

Sabine’s eyes narrowed and darkened. She stood and stepped closer, putting her face inches from mine, and for the first time, I notice that she was at least a couple of inches taller than I was. And now thoroughly pissed. “You Googled me?”

I shrugged. “I thought I should know what I was dealing with.”

“Then you should have asked me,” she growled through clenched teeth. “I got expelled the first time for punching a teacher who called me stupid in front of the whole class. He had it coming, and everyone knew it. Which is why he got fired and never pressed charges. I got expelled the second time for breaking into some stuck-up bitch’s locker to take back the cell phone she stole from my jacket pocket and used to send dirty emails to the entire school from my account.”

“You really expect me to believe that?” Her story actually made sense, and I might really have believed it—if she hadn’t spent every moment since we’d met trying to make my life miserable. Logic said that I probably wasn’t her first victim.

“I don’t care what you believe. But just in case you still have a brain cell functioning behind that inch-thick skull, listen up. I’ve never lied to you, Kaylee. Not once. I may not always say what you want to hear, but it’s always the truth.”

With her last word, the first wave of fear slammed into me, so cold and strong I had to fight to suck in a breath. She’d opened her mental gates, and now the full force of the terror maras emanated naturally was washing over me in wave after bitter wave. “It’s your version of the truth,” I insisted, taking an involuntary step back when the black weight of my own fear threatened to drive me to my knees. “And that’s about as reliable as a politician’s promise.”

“Well, how ’bout a few truths you can trust?” She stepped forward again, and again I stepped back, watching shadows twist in her eyes, the silent reflection of every fear I’d ever felt. “Nash belongs with me, whether he knows it or not. You were nothing but a fleeting curiosity, and he’s already started getting over you.”

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