Spirit Page 58

“I watched Gabriel pull you out of the line of fire, after Silver shot you.”

Hunter didn’t say anything. Then he looked over. “Whose side are you on?”

“I’m just making sure you’re not going to stab us in the back, too.”

“I’m not stabbing anyone in the back. They know what I am. God knows they question me about it enough. They’re looking out for themselves, so I need to do the same.”

“What does that mean, they’re looking out for themselves?”

“It means exactly what it sounds like.” But he’d hesitated for a moment.

Before she could question him about it, the school bells rang and the side door was flung open. Middle schoolers came pouring out.

She couldn’t believe how young they looked. Had she ever been this young? She’d been tiny when her mother first took her to that farm in Virginia. She’d been about this age when her bloodied face had been pressed into filthy straw. What was the worst thing these kids had ever encountered? Hangnail? Forgotten homework?

Hunter was trained on the door, watching as each kid came out. The courtyard filled with students, the gray sky dulling the bright jackets and backpacks. Girls laughed and giggled, boys yelled to each other about sports and games, and they were suddenly surrounded.

“We can’t just shoot him, you know,” she said.

Hunter didn’t say anything, but he gave her another look, as if to say, I’m not an idiot.

She didn’t like all these looks. They were keeping her off balance.

She didn’t like being off balance.

“You act like you’re so experienced all of a sudden,” she scoffed. “What’s your plan, then?”

He turned, put a finger to his lips, and shushed her.

Shushed her!

She wanted to cut him to his knees, but Hunter shifted on the bench, straightened a little.

Kate knew exactly who he’d spotted, because as soon as the dark-haired kid laid eyes on Hunter, he bolted.

Then Hunter bolted after him.

Kate swore and took up the chase.

The boy had an advantage. He’d been coming out of the door, so he was able to run along the school wall, while she and Hunter had to fight through a swarm of students to follow him.

The kid was fast, too, lean and lanky with a stride that ate up the grass and gave him early distance. They made it to the soccer fields behind the school, a long stretch of turf that offered no cover. For a terrifying moment, Kate wondered if this boy had cursed himself, because Silver was surely waiting somewhere, watching this whole episode, and he’d already proven he wasn’t afraid to shoot first and ask questions later.

Then she felt power and knew Hunter was pulling energy from the air, from the misting rain, from the ground under their feet. For an instant, jealousy snaked through her mind—she didn’t have anywhere near enough control to borrow so much at once—but then Hunter was surging forward to tackle the kid and bring him to the ground.

They rolled in the grass, but Hunter had him pinned by the time she got to them.

The boy was fighting like hell.

Her senses were wide open, and his fear assaulted Kate, his panic, his rage that they’d caught him so easily. It hit her so fiercely that she almost grabbed Hunter’s arm to drag him off the boy.

She knew better. She’d learned about that the hard way.

“Let me go,” the kid cried. “Let me go. They’ll know you did this. They know—”

“Stop!” said Hunter. “I just want to talk to you—”

The boy spit in his face.

Hunter swore and ducked his head to wipe his cheek on his shoulder. “Seriously?”

“You can’t stop us. There are too many, and we know where to hide.”

“Don’t be stupid,” said Hunter. “You know what happened to Calla.”

“I know Calla is going to destroy you.”

Hunter froze. His shock was almost palpable. “What did you just say?”

The boy spit at him again. “Calla is going to kill you all.”

“Calla’s alive?” Kate couldn’t figure out the emotion in Hunter’s voice, as if relief and dismay were fighting to come out on top.

She knew one thing for sure: Silver was going to shit a brick. And he was probably going to blame her.

The boy was shaking, but his eyes were full of fury. “Do it. Kill me. If I disappear, you’ll just make it worse for everyone.”

“What does that mean?” said Hunter.

“The carnival was nothing. You wait. We’ll show the Guides what we can really do.”

“How many of you are there?” said Kate.

“Where’s Calla?” demanded Hunter.

“Like I’d tell you. What’s the worst you can do—kill me?”

“Break his arm,” she said to Hunter.

She meant it as a threat, as something to throw a little fear into the boy. But Hunter made a movement with his wrist, sharp and quick, and then there was a snap and the kid was screaming bloody murder.

Holy crap.

Kate couldn’t breathe. She must have lost time from the shock of it all, because now the kid was quiet. He’d passed out.

She wouldn’t mind doing the same thing. Hunter had—he’d—it was—

Then people were yelling, just there, coming across the soccer field.

A teacher was grabbing Hunter’s arm and dragging him away from the boy on the ground.

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