The Lost Saint Page 29

I took a step back. That wasn’t the response I’d expected. “But you saw me fight a few minutes ago. I’m getting stronger and faster. I mean, you saw what I’m capable of …”

“Yes, Grace. I saw exactly what you’re capable of. And that’s why I won’t train you. Daniel should have never started in the first place. What you did back there was lose control. You wanted to hurt me. I saw it in your eyes.”

“Yes …” I felt tongue-tied by frustration. Gabriel was basing his entire summation of my character on that one incident. He didn’t really know me. “But that’s never happened before. And it won’t happen again. It was one brief lapse … I can do this—”

“One brief lapse is all that it takes, Grace. Do you have any idea how close you were to losing yourself to the wolf? All you’d had to do was squeeze.”

Dad shot up from his chair. I didn’t know what he wanted to do, but he hesitated and glanced between Gabriel and me, obviously realizing that he’d missed something before coming into Don’s apartment. Daniel sat frozen like a statue in his chair, staring at the floor.

“Daniel, tell them. This was your idea in the first place. You’re the one who convinced me that I could become a hero. You know I can do this.” Daniel owed me this, and I tried to get that across in my tone of voice. After all that crap in his driveway, and whatever secrets he was keeping, this was his chance to make up for being a jackass. “Tell them.”

Daniel took a deep breath. He didn’t look up at me. “I’m sorry, Grace,” he said sternly. “But I think they’re right.”


My lips trembled. I should have been angry, but all I felt was hurt. Tears stung behind my eyes, but I forced them back. Bursting out crying right now wasn’t going to convince anyone that I was the pinnacle of control. I couldn’t look at Daniel anymore.

“But you said I was special,” I said to Gabriel, trying one more time to get through to him. “Isn’t that why you wanted to come here? And isn’t this what you wanted? Isn’t this what you told Katharine you wanted to do? Find a way to help the Urbat use these powers for good? Fight the good fight?”

“I wrote those letters eight hundred and thirty years ago, Grace. I used to think that these powers could be used for good. I don’t believe in fighting anymore. I don’t use my powers if I can help it.” Gabriel stepped toward me. “You are special, Grace. I can tell just by hearing how badly you want to save your brother. But that’s why we can’t lose you to the curse.” He reached for my hand again.

I pulled it away. This person standing in front of me wasn’t the Gabriel I’d expected—the Gabriel I’d imagined meeting someday. This wasn’t the Gabriel I’d gotten to know through those letters.

I didn’t know this man at all.

“You can help people, Grace,” he said. “But not in the way you’re thinking. There are other ways to be a hero in this world. That I am willing to teach you if you’ll let me.”

I let out a long breath between my teeth. “Fine,” I said, even though I felt far from it. I just didn’t want to talk anymore. How could the three people who were supposed to help turn their backs on me?

Dad tapped his desk with his knuckles and sat back down in his chair. “I need to get some work done here. But the three of you should get to bed. You’ve all got school in the morning.”

“All of us?” Daniel asked.

Gabriel tugged on his collar.

“Meet Pastor Saint Moon, junior pastor and your new religion teacher,” Dad said. “Gabriel will be taking over Mr. Shumway’s religion classes and covering for me at the parish if I need to leave again.”

“He’s the new religion teacher?” My mind couldn’t really wrap itself around the idea of an eight-hundred-something-year-old Catholic monk turned werewolf teaching religion classes at a Protestant private school for teenagers. But the part that bothered me was that my mental decision to never talk to Gabriel again wasn’t going to work if he invaded my school life—and especially not if he was going to be my freaking teacher.

“This’ll be interesting,” I said, a little too much sarcasm in my voice.

“I agree.” Gabriel grimaced. “But do I have to wear this stupid collar? Makes me feel like a dog on somebody else’s leash.”

“Get used to it,” I said.

“Grace,” Dad snapped, with a very knock-it-off tone. “You should get home. Daniel, will you see Grace back to the house?”

I glanced at Daniel and crossed my arms in front of my chest. I wasn’t in the mood to go anywhere with him, but I’d already learned it was of no use to protest this sort of thing.

“Actually, sir”—Daniel got up from his chair—“I really need to speak with Gabriel—alone. It can’t wait any longer.”

Dad glanced from Daniel to me, as if noticing the tension between us for the first time. “Very well.” Dad picked up a book and put it in his bag. “I’ll finish up here as quickly as I can and then she can go home with me.”

Daniel nodded. He picked up his duffel bag and motioned for Gabriel to go with him outside. He didn’t even glance my way before leaving.

Gabriel put his hand on my shoulder. “We’ll become fast friends yet, Grace.” He gave me an ancient smile. His eyes crinkled with age in his otherwise smooth, youthful face. “You look so much like Katharine, you know. At least what little of her I can remember.” He tapped his forehead and then let go of my shoulder. He followed Daniel out of the office.

“I’ll just be a few minutes,” my dad said.

I nodded and leaned against the door Gabriel had just closed behind him. I held my breath and concentrated as hard as I could, listening beyond the thick metal door. My ears burned only slightly—it was getting easier to call on this power—and then I heard Gabriel’s voice.

“What is it, my boy?” he asked Daniel. They sounded like they were a good twenty feet from the door.

“I don’t know,” Daniel said. His voice was even farther away now. From the sound of it, they were walking toward the back of the parish. Probably back to Don’s apartment. I assumed that was where Gabriel would be staying. “I’m not sure what—”

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