Spirit Page 90

“Maybe if you told me what happened, I could get around to the thanking you part.”

Gabriel’s face lost the mockery. “When we realized that the shopping center was a false lead, we had to make a decision: find you, or get out of the area before the school blew up.” He shrugged, and mischief sparked in his eye. “So we flipped for it.”

“Thank you for finding me.”

“You should be thanking the coin.”

Hunter didn’t say anything for a long moment. Gabriel waited.

Then Hunter looked away. “I’m sorry I lied about the shopping center. I just—I didn’t want anyone else to get hurt—”

“We knew you were lying.”

Hunter blinked. “What?”

“We knew. How do you think we found you so fast?”

“And you still came after me?”

“I’m not sure anyone has ever told you how this whole friendship thing is supposed to work, but . . .” Gabriel stared at him, hard. “Yeah, you idiot. We came after you.”

Hunter wasn’t sure what to say to that.

So Gabriel kept talking. “It took some time to find you. And then we saw that dickhead pointing a gun at you. I tried the trick you mentioned, the one about stopping the spark before the gun could fire.”

Hunter remembered the flash, the way the gun had exploded in Silver’s hand. “So what happened?”

“Yeah, so I don’t have enough control for all that, but I kinda like how it worked out anyway.”

Now Hunter understood. He could read between the flippant answers. “Thank you.”

“If I’d let you die, I couldn’t have kicked your ass for going after Noah Dean.”

Hunter propped himself up on his elbows. “Of everything, why are you still pissed about that?”

For the first time, Gabriel’s expression showed true fury. “Because, jackass, you should have taken me with you.”

Hunter dropped back on the pillow, wondering if he should punch Gabriel or hug him. “So that night you knocked me down the stairs—you weren’t mad that I might have been screwing over your family. You were mad that I left you behind?”

“Hell, yes! Nicky never wants to do that stuff.”

Hunter was touched. “I’m getting all misty.”

“Fuck you.” Then Gabriel’s expression changed. “You look really different without all the piercings.”

Hunter’s hand flew to his face. They were all gone. “What happened?”

“You had an MRI.” He glanced at the clock over the television. “Your mom will be back soon.”

“She was here?”

“She’s been sleeping here.”

She’d been sleeping here? “How long have I been in the hospital?”

“Two days.”

“What happened to Silver?” Hunter paused, remembering the feeling of the power driving into his enemy. “Did he die?”

Gabriel looked like he was bracing himself for Hunter’s reaction. He glanced at the doorway before pulling his chair closer. “Arrested.”

Hunter shoved himself upright again. “He’s still alive?”

“Oh, your blast of power did a lot of damage, but not enough to kill him. We dragged him out. We needed someone to take the fall for all of it—kidnapping kids and hiding them under the school, including you. It’s the only thing that covered everything: your disappearance, the shoot-out at our house—”

Hunter was incredulous. “Where do you guys fit into that?”

“Out of town. Weekend college visit for Nick. Missed the whole thing.”

Hunter opened his mouth. Closed it. “Wow.”

“It’s helpful that Layne’s dad is smoothing things over with the cops. Mike keeps saying that guy is brilliant with spin.”

“What about the kids?”

“They said what we told them to say. You think they wanted to take the fall?”

“Are they all safe?”

Gabriel lifted one shoulder. “Confused.” He paused. “There’s no sign of Calla. We’re trying to figure out exactly who’s involved so we can try to keep them out of trouble.”

“More Guides will come.”

Gabriel nodded. “I know.”

Then they fell into silence for the longest time, until Gabriel pulled his chair even closer and rested his arms on the bed rail. “How did that guy know where to find you?”

Hunter looked away from him, at the speckled tile of the hospital ceiling. “Just lucky, I guess.”

Gabriel hit him on the top of his head. Hunter swung around to glare at him.

“Try again,” Gabriel said.

Hunter was so sick of lying. He sighed. “I turned on her phone.”

“Why? Why did you do that?”

“I didn’t realize he’d get there so fast.”

Gabriel waited, but Hunter didn’t say anything else.

“That doesn’t answer the why,” Gabriel finally said.

“I didn’t want anyone else to get hurt. I was going to kill him. And if I couldn’t do it, I was going to blow up the school with him in it.”

“Jesus, I could shake the crap out of you.” Gabriel shoved him in the shoulder. “When you’re going to do awesome stuff, let me in on it.”

Hunter had to look at the speckled ceiling again. “I didn’t expect to survive it.”

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