The Lost Saint Page 12

A group of guys horsed around by the back exit of the pub only a few yards away. Their loud bursts of laughter seemed so unnatural compared to how I felt at the moment.

“Don’t know,” Daniel said as he flung one of the bags into the Dumpster. “Insurance will only cover so much, and if we don’t get it up and running soon … A place like this can’t survive long with that kind of lost revenue.”

“It’s not fair, you know. I mean, why would Ju—I mean, why would anyone want to target Mr. Day that way?”

“Maybe it’s because he employs freaks,” a familiar voice said.

I turned around and saw Pete Bradshaw strutting toward us from the group of rowdy guys. A thin line of smoke wafted from the cigarette between his fingers. Apparently, he’d taken up smoking since he’d been kicked out of HTA—that, and grown a nasty little goatee. Daniel swore under his breath as Pete walked right up to us.

“First that Mooney retard, and now you.” Pete waved his cigarette too close to Daniel’s face.

“Back off, Pete,” I said.

“You gotta expect it. You hang with trash, and sooner or later somebody is going to trash you.”

Pete always tried to pick a fight whenever we ran into him. He had a pretty big chip on his shoulder, since being kicked out of HTA meant he lost his hockey scholarship and his dad refused to pay for anything other than community college.

“Yo, Pete?” one of his friends called from the group near the exit. “This place blows, man. Didn’t you say you know a dude who can get us into The Depot?”

The Depot? I stuck my hand in my jacket pocket and fingered the plastic card I’d found this morning at Day’s.

Pete glanced back at his friend. “Yeah, Ty. You want to announce that a little louder to rest of the world?”

“Whatever, let’s go.”

“Good thing for you I’ve got better places to be.” Pete flicked his cigarette at Daniel’s feet. He turned back toward his friends and started to walk away.

Daniel let out a small sigh.

Pete liked to talk the talk, but he usually found an excuse to walk away when Daniel didn’t react to his goading. And I knew I should just let him keep on going, but I couldn’t stop myself from doing what I did next.

“Wait, Pete,” I called after him.

“What?” Pete looked back at me.

“What are you doing, Grace?” Daniel whispered. “Let him go.”

I shook my head. “The Depot? Where is it?” I asked Pete.

He laughed. “You want to go to The Depot?”

“Can you just tell me where it is? It’s important.”

Pete laughed even harder. His friends all watched us now. He took a step toward me. “And what do I get in return for this bit of information? Or are you looking to ditch this piece of trash here and come party with a real man?”

“It was just a question, Pete. Do you have an answer or not?”

“And I asked you what the answer was worth.”

“Shut it, Bradshaw.” Daniel stepped up next to me. “Just forget she asked and leave.”

“Or what? Mooney ain’t around to mess people up for her. And what can you do?”

Daniel clenched his fists at his sides, but he didn’t move.

“That’s what I thought,” Pete said. He turned slightly, like he was about to leave again, but then he suddenly lunged at Daniel and shoved him hard. Daniel stumbled back and fell over the box of trash I’d left by the Dumpster.

“No!” I yelled, and ran to Daniel.

I tried to help him stand, but he waved me off. His face twisted into a terrible wince as he pushed himself up from the asphalt. A red slash painted his forearm, and I gasped when I saw a shard of bloodstained glass sticking out of the box where Daniel had fallen.

“Oh my … Are you okay?”

At the same time I heard someone from the group of guys call to Pete. “You need some help?” The guy named Ty and another one of Pete’s friends approached from the group.

I expected my body to tense, acknowledging the danger surrounding us, and my powers to seep into my muscles with that aching, familiar pain—but nothing happened. Crap, I thought. This was no time for my powers to hit the Snooze button. I needed them now.

“You going to fight?” Pete stepped up in front of Daniel. His two friends flanked us on both sides. “Or you gonna let me use you as a punching bag?”

“Better me than Grace,” Daniel said, gripping his bleeding arm.

“How do you know she’s not next?” Pete asked as he pulled back his fist.

“Stop!” I lunged at Pete, but Ty caught me around the waist. I tried to summon my supernatural strength as I kicked at his legs, but he just laughed. I felt like a rag doll when he pushed me aside.

I hit the brick wall of the pub and was momentarily stunned. Then I heard a smacking noise, like fist on face, and then something large stumbled over my feet. I looked down, expecting to find Daniel, but it was Pete who’d hit the ground right in front of me. I heard a louder thud and grunt, and Pete’s unnamed friend fell to his knees beside me, doubled over. Ty threw his hands up and backed away as fast as he could.

Pete moaned and wiped his bleeding nose. “You are a freak,” he said to Daniel as he slowly stood up. “Come on,” he said to his injured friend. “We don’t have time for this trash. Let’s go.” He spat a bloody loogie on the asphalt by my feet.

“You better watch your backs,” Pete called to us before he and the other two rejoined the group of guys. Their loud laughter echoed off the buildings around us as they took off down the street.

Daniel stood next to the Dumpster, his back to me. His shoulders heaved as he breathed in and out, and he clenched his hand over the wound in his arm.

“That was … awesome,” I said. “Who needs superpowers when you can fight like that?”

“Is that all you ever think about?” Daniel asked. “Damn superpowers?”

“What?” His words stung, but I guess I deserved his reproach for making light of the situation. I came up beside him and put my hand on his shoulder. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said anything like that. You’re hurt. Let me see your arm. Are you okay?”

“No,” Daniel said, and shook off my touch. He pressed his injured arm against his chest so I couldn’t see his wound. “I need to go home.”

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