Spirit Page 2

And then Hunter found the gun.

He didn’t wait.

He pointed at motion, then pulled the trigger.

Kate Sullivan awoke to the click of a gun.

Irritated, she rolled over. She should have closed the door before going to bed. Silver was checking his weapons again. He did this several times a day.

She’d known him for seventy-two hours, and it was already making her nuts.

She glanced at the clock and called out. “You know it’s not even five in the morning.”

“I have the capacity to tell time, my dear.”

She slid out of bed and went to the doorway. He had a British accent completely at odds with his olive complexion, slightly slanted blue eyes, and sun-streaked blond hair. She’d asked him about his heritage, and he’d told her he was poured straight from the melting pot.

Apparently that pot poured into one hell of a mold, because Silver was hotter than the day was long.

The name almost didn’t fit him. His skin and hair were sun-kissed, as if he spent an insane amount of time outside. He’d be right at home on a beach, with a surfboard staked in the sand beside him. His hair was short, but just this side of too long to be called military style. She’d been tempted to call him Iceman, after the bad-boy hottie in Top Gun—eighties’ movies were kind of her thing. But then she’d gotten a good look in his eyes, which were a cold blue that made her shiver.

She glanced through the opposite doorway, which led to the bedroom he’d claimed—though claimed might have been an overstatement. They’d walked into the furnished apartment yesterday, and he’d said, “Sleep wherever.” Just now, his blankets were flat and perfect, almost military style. Either he hadn’t slept or he’d made the bed like he was in boot camp.

“You should be sleeping,” she said.

He clicked the magazine into a semi-automatic handgun and slid it into a holster. “But we must play the proverbial early bird today.”

She leaned her forehead against the doorjamb. “I don’t want to go to high school.”

“You are, in fact, a teenager. Isn’t this some kind of rite of passage? Couldn’t you find some time to rah with the cheer girls while killing rogue Elementals?”

“I think you’ve been watching too many shows on the CW.”

He didn’t answer, and she peeked through the spill of blond hair that fell across her cheek. He’d moved on to other weapons, knives this time. He slid each out of its sheath and checked the edge of the blade.

Kate sighed. He practically had an arsenal in the truck, more deadly toys than she would know what to do with. More guns, of course. Knives of varying length. An honest-to-god bow with a quiver of arrows.

She’d mocked him about those. “Oh, good! Are those for when we fight the elves?”

An arrow had just appeared in his hand, the point pressed into her throat hard enough to draw blood. “No, they’re for when my trainee gets mouthy.”

The accent, the danger, the weapon in his hand—it all combined to make him immeasurably sexy and terrifying at the same time. Kate had no idea how old he was, but he couldn’t be much older. His features were smooth and unlined, his body lithe and muscled. She wouldn’t put him past the age of an average college student, but he probably couldn’t pass for high school.

That’s why she was here. To infiltrate the local high school, to determine who the true Elementals were, and whether they were as powerful as rumor said.

Silver was here to kill them.

Kate hadn’t expected an assignment at her age—she’d only been in training to be a Guide for about six months before the call came.

It was an honor to be picked, even if her ancillary role had been emphasized to the point of irritation. Silver was in charge of this mission. She was the apprentice. The student.

Her mother would be so proud.

Kate dropped into a chair at the table with him. A gun sat there, a Glock 9mm, and she ran a finger across the barrel.

He watched her but didn’t say anything.

“Have you ever killed any of them?” she asked.

Silver nodded. “Of course.” He didn’t have to ask whom she meant. There was only one them. The pure Elementals. The ones with enough power to level cities.

Everyone on earth had some connection to an element—but only a select few were pure Elementals. Kate imagined it like a circle with a five-pointed star inside. Four points of the star represented each of the classical elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. If everyone alive was put inside the circle, some would fall between branches and some would fall on a point.

The closer you fell to a point, the greater your affinity to that element.

If you fell directly on a point, you could harness that element’s power and bend it to your will.

Kate was a pure Elemental, too, but she fell on the fifth point, which represented the Spirit. Once she fully grew into her abilities as a Fifth, she’d be able to control all four elements. Beyond that, her connection to the human spirit meant she had a greater connection to the people around her.

Years ago, the pure Elementals used to wreak havoc: mass destruction spanning centuries. The great Chicago fire. Earthquakes. Tsunamis. The Fifths, connected to human suffering by their very abilities, banded together to destroy pure Elementals and stop the destruction.

Now Fifths were selected to become Guides, and trained to kill pure Elementals before they could come into their full power.

Kate’s connection to her element should have made it hard for her to kill anyone.

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