Spirit Page 13

“Bill. Becca’s dad. Can you blame him for thinking you’d cause trouble? I didn’t drag you to that first fire.”

Gabriel laughed low, under his breath, but not like it was really funny. He turned and walked back to Hunter. “No, jackass. I blame you. Where’d you learn how to be a friend, anyway?”

Hunter stared at him. “What does that mean?”

“It means you need to pick a f**king side.”

Then the bell rang and people flooded the hallway, separating them until Hunter lost Gabriel in the sea of students.


At the end of the school day, Kate burst into the afternoon sunlight with the other students.

Then she got a glimpse of the roadway in front of the school and sighed.

Silver was waiting for her, leaning up against his truck, one hand hooked into a pocket. The sun caught the lighter strands in his hair and turned them gold, and the black T-shirt he wore didn’t leave a whole lot to the imagination.

She wasn’t the only one appreciating it, if the number of giggling girls passing close to the truck were any indication. But Silver was only looking at Kate.

She sighed and pulled her sunglasses from her bag, slipping them onto her face along with a bored expression, before looking both ways to cross the street.

For a moment, she wished she’d asked Nick Merrick for a ride home, just to get under Silver’s skin, but at lunch she’d met Quinn.

“Nick’s girlfriend,” the other girl had emphasized, her voice full of steel daggers.

Kate had picked up one of Nick’s fries—he’d offered—and smiled back sweetly. “Sounds like paradise.”

Then Nick had smiled that wicked way and said, “See? I knew you’d have no trouble making friends.”

Kate crossed the street with a bored expression on her face. “Haven’t you ever seen Sixteen Candles?”

That threw him. Silver tilted his head to the side. “I’m sorry?”

“It’s a classic. All you need is the red sports car. Come on, Jake, I’m hungry.”

But as she moved to walk past him, he caught her around the waist and drew her into his body. She gasped, and he caught her breath, pressing his lips against hers. Despite the shock, he was one hell of a good kisser. She made a small sound, her body softening against his automatically, enjoying the feel of his hands sliding under her leather jacket to warm the skin at her waist.

Her power sparked with his, pulling heat from the sunlight and kicking the air into little whirlwinds around them.

Silver pulled back, lifting a hand to push her sunglasses up onto her forehead.

She stared up at him, feeling a bit dazed, though she didn’t want him to know that. “Missed me, did you?” she said, mocking his accent.

“Not at all.” He kissed the end of her nose. “Just setting a story so we have a reason to be seen together. Get in the car.”

Then he smacked her on the ass and stepped back.

Kate’s hand formed a fist, but before she could get past her shock and move, Silver glanced over. “Hit me and I’ll hit you back.”

He was smiling, but the glint of danger in his eyes said he wasn’t kidding. She couldn’t let him see that he’d gotten to her. She pulled her sunglasses back into place and drew a slim tube of lip gloss from her bag, deliberately moving slowly though her fingers were shaky with adrenaline. “Is that a promise or a threat?”

“Both. Did you mention you were hungry?”

Silver took her to the Pizza Hut near the school, a place with sticky tables, a sticky floor, and sticky toddlers screaming over the ancient jukebox in the corner.

It probably had sticky buttons. She didn’t want to find out.

Kate raised her eyebrows at him when the waitress brought thick plastic cups of soda. “Really. I say I’m hungry and this is where you take me.”

He ignored her. “What did you learn today?”

She took a sip of her soda and cast a glance around the room. Harried mothers, tired servers, bored busboys. Silver looked completely out of place in the red vinyl booth. But then, she probably did, too.

She shrugged and swirled the straw in her glass. “They’re boys. One of them got in a fight right in front of me and was stopped by a teacher.” She rolled her eyes. “We could probably go back and take them out right now.”

“If we take out one, we have to take out all. We can’t risk collateral damage.”

“Say ‘collateral damage’ again. That sounded sexy.”

He didn’t smile. “Are you not taking this seriously, Kathryn?”

His voice was low and dangerous, but she was still smarting from his treatment in the parking lot. It made her long for the easy banter of the text messages she’d exchanged with that boy with the piercings and tattoos. Hunter. How quickly he’d defended her this morning, standing up to those idiots in the school office.

She wondered what kind of kisser he was.

Then she squashed the thought. She had a purpose here. She couldn’t let Silver catch her being distracted.

And that boy, Hunter, had shoved a girl in the cafeteria. He’d picked a fight with Gabriel Merrick. He’d seemed so collected, so controlled.

Then she’d seen it all go to hell in less than a minute.

She pushed Hunter and his text messages out of her mind. “I don’t understand all this caution. They’re not organized. There are only four of them.”

“Every Guide who has come to destroy them has disappeared. That begs caution. Don’t let your age make you impetuous.”

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