With All My Soul Page 15

“No fear?” I said, and Sabine shook her head.

No fear of not fitting in? Of standing out for all the wrong reasons? Of having bombed the math placement test? Of being sucked back into the Netherworld by the hellion who’d already killed her once? I’d never met anyone who had no fear.

“You bet your ass it’s anger.” Emma shoved her chemistry text into her bag. “What the hell do I have to be afraid of? I should be pissed off to be stuck in a second-rate body, in this stupid-ass school, without my own clothes, and my stuff, and my car. Whose brilliant idea was this, anyway? Yours?” The depth of anger in her gaze stunned me. And scared me a little. “Sounds like something you’d do. Another pathetic attempt to help that only makes shit worse.”

“Back off, Em.” Sabine stood, both palms planted firmly on the table. “This is the only warning you get. Kaylee may be skinny, and naive, and clueless more often than not, and borderline adulterous, but you’re lucky to have her as a friend. She saved your life.”

“Part of it, anyway,” Em mumbled. But she seemed a little calmer.

If I didn’t know any better, I’d swear Sabine just came to my defense. Sort of. “I’m not adulterous,” I said, for the record.

Sabine shrugged, still frowning at Em like she’d hardly heard me. “I said ‘borderline.’”

Nash put a hand on Sabine’s arm, and she sat. Reluctantly. Less than mollified by Em’s response. “Something’s wrong with her.”

“Yeah.” Emma huffed. “I just rattled off a whole list of what’s wrong with me.”

“Emotionally, she’s been kinda all over the place for the past two days,” I added, still reeling from her outburst.

“What the hell are you talking about?” Em demanded.

“You cried at the funeral.”

“Lots of people cry at funerals,” Luca pointed out, and when he said it aloud, it sounded perfectly reasonable. But it wasn’t reasonable, even if I couldn’t explain why.

“She was fine one minute, assessing the funeral she’d planned for herself. Then she was bawling and clinging to her mom.”

“Well, yeah. Her mom was crying.” Nash stuck a fry upright in a pool of ketchup, but it fell over. “Crying moms are contagious.”

But it was more than that... “Then, that afternoon, she got all angry and determined to dish out vengeance to Invidia, and that kind of came out of nowhere, too....”

“That wasn’t out of nowhere,” Sabine said around a bite of her burger. She swallowed, then continued, “You were feeling the vengeance, too, Kay. We all were.”

Yeah. And Em caught it from us—like it was contagious.

“Wait, when was that?”Sophie said, and I realized I’d said too much.

“Stop talking about me like I’m not here!” Em stood and people at the next table turned to stare until she noticed and sat again, glowering at them from a distance.

“Sorry,” I whispered, leaning toward the center of the table. “This just doesn’t make any sense. We’ve been friends since we were kids, and for more than ten years, I’ve been the one bouncing from one emotional extreme to the other—”

“That’s true,” Sophie interjected. “Kaylee’s never been incredibly stable.”

“Thanks.” I scowled at her. “Now stop helping. My point is that Em’s always been my rock. Steady. Even. Nice.” I turned to her so she’d know I wasn’t trying to leave her out of a discussion about her. “You’ve never blamed me for anything. Even things I deserved the blame for. And these are the same cafeteria hamburgers we’ve been choking down for three years—why are you just now mad about that? And what on earth did Jennifer Lamb do to deserve being called an idiot?”

Em frowned, and her gaze fell. She was thinking. Really thinking. “She... Well, she bumped my elbow and made me spill water all over our lab table. But she did apologize. And clean it up.” Her frown deepened. “I do hate those burgers, though. And you...” Her eyes widened. “Oh, Kay, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean any of that. None of this is your fault. You did save my life, and I am lucky to have you as a friend. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking. I was just so mad.”

But that was only partially true. She’d meant everything she’d said. I could see that in her eyes. She did hate living in Lydia’s body, and on some level she did blame me for that. But the part that made the churning in my stomach ease a little was the fact that Emma—the Em I’d known most of my life—would never admit that. She would go to her grave trying to spare my feelings.

Whatever was wrong with her, it was wearing off.

Luca cleared his throat and pushed his empty tray toward the center of the table. “You know, considering how common it really is, death is actually a strange process. Inhabiting someone else’s body is even stranger. Maybe something about her death or her occupation of someone else’s body has thrown her emotions out of balance.”


“Oh, no...” I stared at the table and that sick feeling in my stomach grew to encompass my chest, too.

“What?” Em looked worried now. Everyone else looked curious. “What’s wrong?”

“It’s about balance.” Luca had no idea how right he was. “Lydia was a syphon. And now you’re in her body.”

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