Unraveled, page 40part #2 of Intertwined Series
Finally, a “what if” she liked.
Would calling a meeting to order herself count, though? Or would she simply earn the wrath of some very powerful women?
Worth trying, she thought. And besides, she’d already earned their wrath. So, next question: when to begin? Aden would be busy most of the evening; he had an appointment with his therapist and a dinner at the D and M Ranch. But Riley and Victoria, and even Lauren, could help her. They’d all planned to meet up anyway, but if Mary Ann struck out on her own, she could find the witches, call her friends, and they could bag and tag. Of course, Victoria and Lauren might wonder exactly how Mary Ann was able to sense witches now, and Riley had told her not to tell anyone about her new ability. With very good reason.
Crap. Victoria and Lauren were out. Mary Ann would have to rely on Riley. Only Riley. Her stomach clenched. He was clearly angry with her again. After all, she hadn’t told him about Aden’s possible murder. And she’d broken up with him, had meant it, and she wouldn’t change her mind. Don’t cry. That didn’t mean they had to stay away from each other, though. Didn’t mean they couldn’t be civil. They could work together, amicably, to save their lives. Couldn’t they? Yes. Yes, they could. And next time she saw him, she would tell him so. Even yell at him if she had to.
He’d commanded his brothers—the snow-white wolf and the golden wolf who had followed her and Penny that night—to walk her home after school and had taken off. Where he’d gone, she didn’t know. She’d asked the brothers, but they had ignored her, merely keeping step beside her.
Now she pounded inside her house, shutting the two out before they could race past the front door. Her dad could barely tolerate Riley. No way she’d introduce him to two more wolves. Wolves she didn’t even know, at that. Wolves who clearly hadn’t wanted her to know them.
“How old are you?” she’d asked both after failing to gain Riley’s location.
“Do you have the same parents as Riley?”
“Are you nervous about the death curse placed on him?”
Finally she’d given up on that, too. Her relationship with their brother was over—seriously, don’t cry—so of course they hated her and wanted nothing to do with her.
She sighed. Her dad was still at work, the house silent. Mary Ann sprinted up the stairs, down the hall and into her bedroom. All the colors splashed throughout blended together and created a bright rainbow haze. Usually she found comfort in that. Today, not so much.
At her desk, she withdrew her cell phone from her backpack and sat down. Are you really going to do this?
A moment passed before she nodded. Oh, yes. She was going to do this. There was no other way. Just after she punched the first word in her text, her house phone rang. Frowning, she leaned over to the unit poised at the edge of her desk and glanced at the caller ID. Penny.
Though she felt harried, Mary Ann answered. “Hello. ”
“Hey, you. You raced out of school today before I could talk to you. ”
“Sorry. I just—” What? Telling the truth wasn’t an option.
“I hardly see you anymore. Unless you’re sneaking out, that is. Which brings me to the reason I’m calling. ” There was so much glee in Penny’s tone, Mary Ann had no doubts about what her friend was thinking.
“I can’t sneak out again,” she lied, and hated herself. Honesty was prized, but she didn’t want Penny involved in tonight’s hunt. “I need my rest. ” Now that was the truth. She needed it, but she wouldn’t get it.
“Oh. Well, that’s too bad because I hear a big group of kids will be making an appearance in town tonight. ”
Mary Ann groaned. “That’s not safe. ”
“The fun things never are. ”
“Nah. Not if you’re staying in. The baby…”
“Are you sick?”
“A little. Only, it’s not just morning sickness anymore. It’s now nighttime sickness, too. And get this. I think I saw Tucker today. ”
Mary Ann straightened, her ears perking. “Me, too. Yesterday, I mean, but I wasn’t sure. ”
“I know the feeling. He was in the trees when I walked out of school. Not that he bothered to come talk to me, the bastard. And he was gone so fast I couldn’t tell if it had really been him to begin with. ”
What was he doing, lurking about? After surviving a vampire attack, he’d vowed to behave. “Just…be careful. Okay?”
“I will. Love you, Mary Contrary. ”
“Love you, too, Penn. ”
As she hung up, Mary Ann spied another of her candy bars from the corner of her eye. Her mouth didn’t water, but she found herself ripping past the wrapper, lifting the chocolate sticks and holding them to her nose, sniffing. Not a single hunger pang, no flooding of moisture in her mouth.
She’d been without any food for nearly a week. Well, except for that one bite of Snickers, but it didn’t count since she’d immediately barfed. In front of Riley. How mortifying. His opinion doesn’t matter. You can’t have him.
She swallowed the lump in her throat, set the candy bar aside and reclaimed her cell phone. With trembling fingers, she typed the rest of the text to Riley. He rarely used his phone, but she wasn’t going to concern herself with that. It would be his fault if he missed her message.
In two hours, I’m hunting witches. Either come with me or don’t. Up to you. Either way, I’m headed out without the others.
Good or bad, she had to try to find them, and she had to go before her dad got home. That way, she could leave him a note—studying with friends, be back later—and not have to endure the Spanish Inquisition.
Are you really going to do this?
Yes, she thought again. She was. Though her trembling increased, she pressed “send. ”
ADEN LAY ON Dr. Hennessy’s couch again, the room dimmed, that same tranquil music playing in the background. He waited…craving answers…
“Did you take your medication today?” the doctor asked him.
“Yes,” he lied.
“If that’s so, why aren’t your pupils dilated?”
“I don’t know. I haven’t had any medical training. ”
Good one, Caleb said, mentally high-fiving him. Julian laughed.
Behave, Elijah cautioned. We have to tread carefully.
“Do you like the souls, Aden? Is that why you refuse my aid?”
Aid? Ha! For once, Aden opted for honesty with this man. “Actually, Dr. Hennessy, I just don’t like you. ”
“I see. ” The good doctor didn’t seem like he cared.
“What did you do to me, the last time I was here?”
“What I always do. Talk. Listen. ”
Hardly. “And you plan to talk and listen to me again this evening?”
“Of course. Mr. Reeves is very pleased with your progress. He says you now get along with the other boys at the ranch. He says you’re doing your schoolwork and are even impressing your teachers. But he also says you’re still talking to yourself, and you and I both know why that is, Aden. Don’t we?”
He stiffened, even as the soft lounge beneath him begged him to relax. “You tell me. ” He would have to act soon. He couldn’t risk being sucked under again. No telling what the doctor would do.
“I’ve encountered your kind before, you know. ”
“No. A…what did you call yourself? A magnet. ”
And he’d thought himself stiff before. He’d never told Dr. Hennessy he saw himself as a supernatural magnet, but he had thought it. He’d told Mary Ann and the others, but none of them would have confided in Dr. Hennessy. Which meant that the doctor had dragged the confession out of him, without his awareness.
What else had he learned?
Not yet. Steady. He wante
“No lies to feed me? That’s not like you, Aden. ”
“You mentioned that you’ve met others. ”
“Who? When? What could they do?” Did he believe Dr. Hennessy? No.
But lies could be checked out, information verified—or not.
Good. Keep him talking, Elijah said.
“What do you know of your parents?” the doctor asked, rather than answer him.
Not much. He knew they’d once lived next to Mary Ann’s mom and dad. That Mary Ann’s mother had been pregnant at the same time as Aden’s mother. That he and Mary Ann had been born on the same day, in the same hospital. That Mary Ann’s mother had died immediately after giving birth and he’d somehow pulled her soul into his head—along with several others, people who had probably died at the hospital, as well.
“Nothing,” he finally replied.
Dr. Hennessy sighed. “Perhaps one day you’ll trust me. ”
In unison, the souls snorted.
Yeah. Right. “What of the others? Did they trust you?”
Again, the doctor sidestepped the question. “It’s time for you to relax, Aden, and let your troubles fall away. ”
Subtle. Clearly, there was to be no more talking. Well, then, it was finally time for Aden to act, even though he’d learned very little. He straightened, throwing his legs over the side of the chair.
“Lie back down, Aden. ”
“In a minute. ”
Caleb, he said inside his mind, praying the soul could, for once, hear him through the constant flow of chatter. Get ready. He closed the distance between himself and the doctor, and as he made contact with the cold skin of the doctor’s wrist, Hennessy’s eyes—a rainbow of colors now, a pretty mask once more appearing beneath that plain face—widened.
Caleb leapt into action.
Aden moaned in pain as his body morphed from solid mass to insubstantial mist, that mist slipping inside Dr. Hennessy and taking over mind and body. Never failed to amaze him when this happened.
GENA SHOWALTER SERIES:
Other author's books:
- Wicked NightsThe Darkest PleasureThe Darkest NightThrough the Zombie GlassAlice in ZombielandAwaken Me DarklyThe Darkest FireThe Darkest Seduction
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