With All My Soul Page 20

“Here.” I passed out lattes, and Em snatched a napkin dispenser from an empty table.

“What’s the occasion?” Sabine looked suspicious. I couldn’t blame her. We’d reached an understanding—she could have Nash, and I could never again touch him, for any reason whatsoever, so long as we both shall live. Which isn’t as bad as it sounds. Nash and I had made serious strides toward actual friendship, which was more than I could say for him and his brother. Sabine and I would never be like sisters, but we had definitely reached something akin to friendship.

And that was good, considering that the alternative always seemed to involve her trying to kill me, with little regard for the fact that I was already dead.

“I need some information.” I took the lid off my cup and blew over the top of my latte. “From Nash.”

“What’s up?” He dumped a packet of sugar into his open cup, then realized he had nothing to stir with.

“I need you to make a list of everyone you know who tried frost, back when Doug was, um, distributing to your teammates.”

Emma flinched at the mention of her ex, and I felt guilty all over again. Both of her most recent boyfriends had died because of me and my otherworldly complications.

“I don’t have a list.” Nash scowled at the powder that refused to mix with the foam on top of his coffee. “In fact, I don’t know a single name for sure. I didn’t even know Doug was using, until that party. The night he hit your car.”

“You don’t have a single name? Seriously? Not even an educated guess?”

He shrugged and put the lid back on his cup. “I can tell you who I saw him with at that last party, when his dealer showed up.”

“Was Marco Gutierrez one of them?”


“Good enough.” I pulled a notepad from my bag and pushed it across the table toward him. Em added a pen. “Write down all you can remember. Please.”

“Is this about what happened with Marco yesterday?” Sabine sipped from her cup while Nash scribbled on the notepad.

“Yeah. He was just possessed, so it was pretty easy to get rid of Avari, but I’d like to avoid a repetition. Or at least see it coming ahead of time.”

“So, where do we stand with Sophie and the liquid envy?” Em cradled her cup in both hands.

Sabine’s smile looked almost euphoric. Which kinda scared me. “I gave her the first dose this morning, in her coffee. Had to dump in extra sugar to cover the taste.”

“Half a drop?” Em said. “Because Kaylee went bat-shit crazy on a full drop.”

“I did not—”

“Yeah. Half a drop, as instructed.” Sabine spoke over me. “But I’m telling you, this whole thing would be much more entertaining—and would go a lot faster—if you’d let me really dose her.”

“No. Iknow you enjoy your work, but the object isn’t to drive her nuts.”

Sabine huffed. “Speak for yourself.” Then she shrugged. “At least I’m getting a decent bedtime snack out of this.” Because she was feeding from Sophie’s relevant fears as part of the process.

Em chuckled, staring into her cup. “I can’t believe you put real sugar in her coffee. She’d kill you if she knew it wasn’t calorie-free sweetener.”

“Here.” Nash slid the notepad back to me. “That’s all I can remember.”

I glanced at the list. “That’s only three names.”

He shrugged and sipped his coffee. “If I had more, I’d give them to you.”

“Thanks.” I turned to Em. “What about you? Did you see Doug hang out with anyone in particular?”

“Yeah.” She shrugged. “Half the school. But I never even saw him with a balloon.” Which is what they’d used to store frost in. Which was kind of...my idea. Though I’d never intended to contribute to the ease of drug trafficking when I’d thought of it.

“Hey, Kaylee, can I talk to you for a minute?” I twisted in my chair to see Chelsea Simms holding a green paper folder.

“Sure.” I shoved the notepad into my bag, picked up my coffee, and stood. “I’ll see you guys at lunch.” Sabine, Nash, and Emma nodded, and I followed Chelsea into the hall.

She opened the folder as we walked in the general direction of our first-period math class, then pulled out a sheet of paper and handed it to me. “I just wanted to show you this.” It was a screen print from some kind of layout program. “It’s for her memorial page in the yearbook.”

In the center was a candid shot of Emma at a football game, from the fall semester. Her cheeks were red from the cold and she wore a green scarf; her thick, golden hair was flying over her shoulder in the wind. She looked happy.

She looked alive.

In that moment, I understood what Emma had lost, beyond her family, her clothes, her car, and the future she’d always assumed she’d have. She’d lost herself.

I’d met Emma in the third grade, and in all the time I’d known her, I couldn’t remember her ever lacking confidence or self-esteem before I’d exposed her to truths about the world no human should have to deal with. She’d always known who she was and where she fit into the world. She’d known what she wanted to do with her life—even if that changed on a monthly basis—and exactly what she was capable of.

She had none of that now, and even if I spent my entire afterlife trying to make that up to her, I could never give her back what she’d lost. Ever. The best I could do was help her adjust to the life she had now. Show her that she still had her friends, and that this new life could still be a good one.

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