Spirit Page 56

“You see, Hunter Garrity, son of John Garrity, your father was a great man. He did what needed to be done, for the good of all. I wasn’t aware he had a son, so you’re a bit of a mystery. I worry that you have missed the mark somewhere.”

Hunter felt fury well up inside, but not at Silver. At himself. He worried about the exact same thing. “I told Kate that I would find the other Elementals.”

“You talk about Elementals as if there are shades of gray. There are not. There are full Elementals, and there are Guides.”

Hunter didn’t say anything.

Silver studied him. “When I finish the job I’ve come here to do, which side will you stand on?”

“What difference does it make?” Hunter snapped.

“It makes a great deal of difference if the five of you can form a full circle. Do you understand what I’m saying to you?”

“Yeah.” Silver was saying he wouldn’t take the chance of Hunter helping the Merricks to fight back.

Hunter wondered if that meant Silver would kill him right now if he gave the wrong answers.

He was so sick of this debate over right and wrong. Silver’s attacking him had been a relief of sorts—he could defend himself from an assault. A fight was clear-cut.

But really, wasn’t this just as clear-cut?

Silver was still watching him. His voice was grave. “I knew your father. I respected him, and I was sorry to hear of his death. I would rather not kill you, but I put duty before emotion. Do you?”

Hunter looked away. Rain snuck inside the collar of his shirt to make him shiver.

“You were negotiating with Calla Dean,” said Silver. “Why?”

“I didn’t want her to hurt anyone else.”

“Why didn’t you kill her when you had the opportunity? From what I’ve read, she’s been hurting people for a while, and many of them.”

“I didn’t know who else she was working with.”

Silver straightened. “I don’t believe that’s a complete answer.”

Hunter scowled. Maybe it was the repeated mentions of his father, but somehow this conversation radiated disappointment, and he felt obligated to prove himself. “I thought she was my friend at first. I thought I understood her. I wanted to find out why she was drawing the Guides here.”

“You don’t think she should have been put to death for the crimes she committed?”

Hunter didn’t have an answer for that, either.

And wasn’t that answer enough?

He kept going back to that conversation with Michael in the truck, about turning off his conscience. Was that the problem here? Had he been going about everything all wrong? Was it really so simple as needing to focus on the goal and forget how he got there?

Kate was full of rage against pure Elementals—and he got it, if they’d killed her mother. He hadn’t been able to kill Michael and Gabriel a few weeks ago. He hadn’t been able to kill Calla.

He hadn’t been able to do the job he’d been born to do.

The Merricks were a family. They’d stick together. They’d do whatever they had to do to keep themselves together and safe.

And was working with Silver even a betrayal? They were leaving.

With a sudden flash of understanding, he wondered if this was the true reason his mother had hidden those weapons, those files. She thought he was living in enemy territory. She thought the Merricks might be a danger to him.

And they were, in a way: they’d made him a target. A bullet through his shoulder had proven that.

He’d been off track for a while now. But here, talking to Silver, a man who’d tried to kill him, he felt like he’d found the rails.

He squared his shoulders and looked up. “I’m not your enemy,” he said. “Tell me what you want to know.”


Kate sat with Hunter outside the middle school. He was nursing a bottle of water, twisting it between his hands until she was reminded of Silver with his weapons.

“Nervous?” she said.


“Which one are we waiting for?”

“I’ll know when I see them.”

He was different this afternoon, more determined, maybe. It reminded her of the first day in the cafeteria, when she’d seen him so tightly coiled, so full of control. She wondered just what Silver had said to him.

And what it would take to make him snap again.

“Did I miss anything exciting in History?” she said.

He didn’t look over. “Do you really care?”

“I care deeply about the Treaty of Versailles.”

His eyes flicked her way. “Really. Describe it.”

She could call his bluff since she’d read the chapter last night, thinking she’d be in school today. If Silver hadn’t been so damned overbearing, she would have been. “It ended the First World War and made Germany realize they weren’t the badasses they thought they were.”

Hunter sniffed and looked back at the door of the school.

“Look,” she said. “I don’t get what your problem is.”

“I don’t have a problem, Kate.”

“What’s with the attitude?”

“No attitude.” His eyes cut her way again, his gaze sharp as steel. “I’m just done being played.”

“I never played you.”


“The sarcasm really isn’t attractive.”

“Like I care.”

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