Spirit Page 48

Thank god the front hallway was carpeted.

Silver left her there. “The problem, Kathryn, is that you assume people won’t want to hit that pretty face.”

No, the problem was that she’d assumed Silver wouldn’t hurt her. That he’d play, the way Hunter had at the carnival.


She tried to convince her joints to work. Her head was still spinning, and for an instant, she couldn’t figure out which stretch of drywall was supposed to be the ceiling.

Her cheek ached. “I could stab you in your sleep,” she said.

“You could try. I feel rather certain that you’d find a similar result.”

Tears were burning at her eyes, and she told them to go away. Silver could probably sense the water threatening to spill over her cheeks anyway.

Hunter was supposed to be her enemy, but she couldn’t ever imagine him doing that.

She thought of the way he’d warned his friend about those bullies at the carnival last night, the way Gabriel Merrick had gone storming across the fairgrounds to confront them.

Or how Nick Merrick had invited her to sit with him at lunch.

Silver had chastised her for letting those people off the Ferris wheel. The ends justify the means.

She needed to get off the floor. She fought for balance and remembered the confrontation with the Water Elemental that had led to her mother’s death.

Keep that memory fresh.

But there were other memories, later ones, that threatened to cloud her judgment.

She needed to remember the moment her mother had died, everything that had gone wrong that night.

The Merricks might not have been evil, but they weren’t all good, either. They couldn’t be. She’d spent her life hearing about the dangers of full Elementals.

She dropped into the chair at the table, where Silver had gone back to checking his weapons. She didn’t really want to be sitting here with him, but she wasn’t entirely sure she could manage the walk to her bedroom.

She gingerly moved her jaw and didn’t think it was broken.

Even if it were, she’d never in a million years ask Silver to use power to heal it for her.

“I’m going to see him at school tomorrow,” she said. Her voice sounded strange, and every hard consonant hurt, but she ignored it. “I told him we need his help to discover the other Elementals in town. He agreed.”

Silver’s eyebrows went up. “Well done.”

The praise took some of the sting out of the way he’d hit her in the hallway. She repeated everything Hunter had said about his father, and Calla, and the Merricks.

“And what do you think?” said Silver. “Is he working with them? Is he a threat to us?”

“I think he’s confused,” she said honestly. She remembered the lost look in his eyes, the true emotion when he’d talked about his father. “He doesn’t know where he belongs.”

“I don’t like that,” said Silver. “His presence in that house makes them a perfect circle. One for each element, including the Fifth? They could be unstoppable.”

“He swears they’re not behind the fires.”

“They could be behind a lot more.” Silver’s eyes flicked up. “You sound as though you have feelings for this boy.”

“That’s insane. I resent him. He’s working for the enemy.”

Silver kept studying her, and she held his eyes. He finally looked away.

She could breathe again.

While she did resent Hunter for living with the Merricks, there was a tiny part of her that was intrigued, too.

And maybe a little bit jealous. Gabriel Merrick had risked his life to drag Hunter to safety.

Would Silver do the same for her?

She didn’t even entertain the thought for a moment. Of course he wouldn’t. If she’d been there, wounded, Silver would have pulled out his gun and finished her off.

Kate shook herself. She needed to keep her mind on the task at hand. Hunter Garrity was just an assignment.

And she knew just how to handle an assignment.


Hunter pulled his jeep into the Merricks’ driveway and almost threw his vehicle into reverse.

His mom’s car was sitting in front of the house.

It was like life kept pelting him with curveballs and he couldn’t swing his bat fast enough.

Well, he sure couldn’t leave her sitting in there. God only knew what the Merricks might be telling her.

He took his time getting through the front door. He didn’t have a key, and part of him hoped the door would be locked just so it would take an extra couple minutes before he’d have to face her. But the door was unlocked, so he eased inside, closing the door gently behind him.

He recognized her voice immediately. She was in the kitchen, talking to Michael, it sounded like. Then another woman was speaking. He was too far away to make out the words.

He fidgeted with his keys for a second before telling himself to stop being such an idiot.

Why was she here? What if she demanded that he come home? What would he do—throw a fit and demand to stay at the Merricks’? Like that would work.

He slid down the hallway silently, but Michael was by the counter, pouring a cup of coffee.

“Hi,” Michael said. “You have a visitor.”

Hunter took another step, feeling his shoulders hunch. He found himself wishing for a weapon.

And what would you do with one?

Nothing, really. But he’d felt half-naked since his grandfather had confiscated them.

Prev Next
Romance | Vampires | Fantasy | Billionaire | Werewolves | Zombies