My Soul to Steal Page 87

Nash’s brows arched halfway up his forehead. “Based on…?”

“Based on the fact that she’s obsessed with Sabine, because of the amount of jealousy she’s evidently festering with.”

“Envy. Shit,” Nash said, leaning against the wall by the first set of doors, and I could practically read his thoughts on his face as he put the puzzle together for himself. “So…this Invidia helped power the blitz?”

“Yeah.” I shrugged and glanced through the glass door into the hall, itching to get moving. But discussing Netherworld business in the empty school halls in the middle of last period would not only get us in trouble, it might just get us committed. The noisy gym was a much better place to go unnoticed. “My guess is that the power she shoved into our world to get the ball rolling came through as violent jealous impulses.”

“Thus, all the fights and property damage.”

“Exactly. And I’m pretty sure they wanted me to blame the whole thing on Sabine.”

“Because you’re jealous of her?” Nash said, nodding like he understood, and I bristled.

“I’m not jealous of her! I just don’t think she belongs on your bed at two o’clock in the morning.” Okay, maybe I was a little jealous of that part. “What I mean is that they framed her. I’m guessing Sabine’s envy drew this new hellion into the area, and Avari saw his chance. He probably knew your ex was here before we did. He killed the teachers in their sleep to make me think she was doing it, and Invidia overloaded the kids I saw Sabine reading fears from, so I’d think she was doing that, too.”

“Why?” Nash frowned. “Why do they care who you blame this on?”

“I haven’t figured that part out yet. Maybe to divert attention from Alec?” I glanced at the huge clock over the far set of bleachers, and my heart thudded harder. A quarter of last period was gone. We were running out of time. “I need you to get Sabine and meet me and Tod in the quad. We need to figure out who the hellions are possessing, and evict them.”

“No problem. We’ll be right there.”

Nash and I parted ways in the hall, where he headed right, toward Sabine’s sixth period class, and I went to the left, headed toward the French class I’d missed half of, where Mrs. Brown handed me my books, along with a pink detention slip.

Funny how “teenage hero” translates to “teenage delinquent” on my permanent record.

Next I headed toward my history class, approaching from the right, so I could check on Emma without being seen by Coach Rundell, who rarely left his desk during class. Like several of the other teachers, Rundell was showing a video instead of actually teaching, but I could hardly blame him, considering that his office had been trashed that morning and theinexplicable chaos had only gotten worse.

Emma was in her usual seat with her arms crossed over her chest, staring blankly at a television I couldn’t see. The entire classroom flickered with a familiar bluish light, and half the students had fallen asleep sitting up.

Satisfied that Emma was safe, I dropped my books off in my locker, then slipped outside through the parking lot exit and made my way around the building from the outside. The quad looked empty when I got there, but before I could take a seat at the nearest table, Tod appeared several feet away.

“It’s not Sophie,” he said, by way of a greeting. “She’s in the office, cryin’ like a baby, trying to explain why she cut some chick’s hair off.”

“Good.” At least that would keep her out of Avari’s grip for the time being.

More footsteps crunched on the grass behind me, and I turned to find Nash headed across the quad toward us. Alone.

“Where’s Sabine?” I asked, sliding onto the nearest bench seat.

Nash frowned, but sat down across from me. “Sabine’s a no-show.”

“From geography?”

“From school, as far as I can tell.” He stared at his hands, clasped together on the table, his jaw clenched in frustration, eyes swirling in true fear. For her. “I looked everywhere I could think of, and she’s just gone. Her books are in her locker—not that that’s any indication of…anything—and her car’s in the lot. And she definitely wouldn’t leave campus without her car.”

“You have her locker combination?” I asked, and they both just stared at me until I rolled my eyes. “It was a valid question!”

“You think she crossed over?” Tod asked, sitting on the end of the table next to ours, his legs hanging.

“I seriously doubt it,” Nash said. “She can cross, of course, being a mara. But she’d be just as vulnerable there as we are. And no matter what else you think about her, she’s not stupid.”

“No argument there,” I said reluctantly. If she were stupid, she’d be so much easier to deal with. “But if she didn’t cross…” My words faded into uneasy silence as a horrifying possibility occurred to me. “Avari can possess her,” I said, glancing from brother to brother.

“We’ve established this,” Nash said. “He used her to give you that nightmare about him pulling you into the Netherworld.”

Which was now starting to sound prophetic.

“That’s my point.” I stood, my thoughts racing too fast for me to process without freedom of movement. “When he possessed her, he had control of her abilities. So…does that mean he could possess her again and make her cross over?”

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