Dark Seraphine (The Seraphine Trilogy) (3 page)

BOOK: Dark Seraphine (The Seraphine Trilogy)
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Bam!
It was kind of like somebody shot me in the chest. I would never have thought hardcore prissy Erica Jensen suffered through something like I was hearing.

She—you said she was attacked?

Mom stretched her eyes as if sending her thoughts to me.

You know what I mean
,
Caleb.


No
,
M
om
,
I don

t know
,”
I said
,
my heart sinking. I

d been a total douche toward Erica all of these years. Thinking about it made me feel bad. But then
,
how did Erica manage to keep something like being
raped a
secret? Even Kyle hadn

t caught on to it.
H
e
could draw every inch of
her
body like a pro artist
just from memory.
 

Mom folded her arms and said
,

She
wasn’t violated
,
thank God. But he beat that poor girl to a pulp. A neighbor walked in before the maniac could defile the child.
H
e
almost had his way
,
too.

She shook her head slowly and then attacked her fruit salad
again
.

My tongue went numb. I was caught between trying to speak and staying silent. I guess it all made sense when I thought about it: Erica

s over the top eye-batting
,
the way she obsesses over coordinating the color pink with everything. Deep down inside
,
she was pretty much a scared little girl grieving over her parents

deaths.

How would I be able to go back to school and face her?


She

s in my defense class.

I spoke real fast.

Mom

s eyebrow raised and then her eyes widened.

I

ll
put you on eternal punishment
if you say anything about what we just discussed.

With the silver spoon being pointed right at my left eye
,
I had no doubt she

d do just that.


Mom. Chill with the spoon threat
,
okay? I

m just saying
,
it

ll be hard to go back to school and
act normal around Erica now
.

Her face hardened.

We made the pinky promise before I even said a word.

My cheeks flushed. There was something about being a seventeen-year-old guy getting scolded about breaking a pinky promise that was just downright humiliating.


She doesn

t remember anything.
The Jensens
want to keep it that way.

She reached across the table and took my hands in hers.


Why are you telling me all of this?

I asked
,
confused about M
om

s intentions.

A long pause passed before she said
,

Because one day she might need someone to understand
, to tell her
that she isn

t alone. One day she will remember. They always do.

A faraway look crossed her face, and then
she blinked several times.
I thought she was about to tell me about the angels that walk among us again the way she usually did when she got that look on her face, but she didn’t.

Releasing my hands
,
she smiled
,
stood
,
and placed
her empty
bowl
in the sink
. But what she

d told me still drifted in my head. I

d probably be scarred for life. Any hopes I had of being a hard ass
with Erica
just flew straight out the
window.

Mom disappeared up the stairway for about ten minutes
, leaving me to bake in thoughts of how much of an ass I’d been toward Erica, a girl who already suffered through more than most kids our age
.
She
strolled back into the kitchen
.
Her
hair was loose
,
and she wore a plum colored casual business suit.

On the way out the door
,
M
om stopped and planted a kiss on my cheek. My face heated and I shook my head to make her think I didn

t want to get kissed by her. But I did. Craving affection starts at an early age for guys and we never lose that needful thing.

Now that I realized I was about to be alone, I felt indifferent. Part of me wanted to pull out the crucifixes and guard against the
Walker
s. The other half craved a chance to see the girl again. She’d spoken to me and seemed so real. But no one else in class acknowledged her presence; even while she stood in the doorway with everyone else gawking at my idiot moment.

As soon as the coast was clear
,
I texted Kyle.

* * *


So
,
you have the hottest girl in school
flirting with
you
,
right? And you got issues with that? Dude
,
what

s wrong with you?

Kyle smirked
, plopped down on the loveseat across from the TV,
and gave me an incredulous look just before he stuffed a
burrito
into his mouth.

Man I hate you.


Hey
,
she knows good lookin

and fabulous when she sees it
,”
I teased. That statement got me the king of glares.

Just kidding. Lighten up
,
alright
?


Why would she sign up for a defense class anyway? I don

t get it,

Kyle sai
d.

But I got it. After
M
om’s
conversation earlier this evening
,
I figured it had something to do with what she told me about her
past
.


I know what it is
,”
Kyle said
,

It

s that long hair thing you got going on. Girls tend to go for other guys who remind them of their eh-em
,
other girlfriends.

I put my fist up in the air like I was going to pass one into his face; but he held a
burrito up in front of it, blocking
my aim.


That

s right. Hide behind your
food
,”
I joked.

It

s not always about looks
,
my man.

Kyle gave me an amazed look and set his
burrito
down on the plate.

Wait a minute. Where

d all this sympathy for the enemy come from? I mean that was you who said she

s pretty much alien territory
,
right?

Yeah
,
that was me
,
Mr. Hypocrite extreme
.

People change. Besides it

s not always good to judge.

His cell phone saved me from that crazed look he had going on. Any number of stupid things could be expected to
roll off those lips of his
. Kyle groaned just before he mouthed the
name
Shani
and answered it. He stood up and headed out the front door.


Yeah
,
talk to me about being a hard ass next time
,
won

t you?

I teased. So I promised Mom
I wouldn

t say a thing about Erica. Just how do you keep something like that from the person you discussed your first manga crush with? I wish she wouldn

t have said anything. Now I get to walk around and feel like a true douche for the way I treated her.

The extra marinara in the
taco
sauce made my stomach boil. Man
,
next time I

ll be ordering from that new little Italian place down the street.
Stalking
into the kitchen
, I
cradl
ed
my stomach
,
feeling thankful Kyle wasn

t around to witness my moment of weakness.
I trudged over to the cabinet beside the sink and scoped the shelves. “Where’d Mom put those Tums?”
That was when the smell hit my nostrils: sweet
,
strong
,
feminine.
Crap!

Slowly
I
shut the cabinet door
and made my way back to the living room. Nerves now mixed with the sauce in my stomach and my chest rolled up with anticipation.

She sat on the sofa
,
laughing at the television
,
and was eating the rest of my
tacos. It was the
Walker
.


I love these stupid funny people shows
,”
she said without looking at me. Right. A spirit
,
or angel
,
or whatever she was actually sat in my living room
,
laughing at my favorite television show ever.

I glanced at the door
,
swallowed the lump in my throat
,
and took a step toward the couch. Yep
,
I admit it. She k
ind of
scared me. Who wouldn

t feel just a tad strange about a spirit that suddenly started talking to them
while scarfing down their supper
? Only
someone ready
for the white jacket
,
my man.

I glanced
through the thin curtains draped across the window beside the front door. Kyle stood out there, waving his arms around. He was pretty much wrapped up in his conversation.


No worries. Your friend

s going to be
on the phone
for a long time
,”
she said and turned that dazzling face toward me. Black hair
,
dark and shiny like
an expensive thread
,
glided across the jacket she wore. It was made of leather. I wondered whether she was burning up. I know
,
that was a pretty strange thought to have considering the circumstance
,
right?


What do you want?

I used my deep
,
demanding voice. No way was I about to let her know how strange she made me feel.


I already know I frighten you
,
Caleb. Don

t be afraid. I won

t bite.
But
if I do it won

t hurt you
,”
she
said
and
winked at me
.

I closed my eyes. When I was a little boy
,
my
U
ncle
Mashu told me that if I imagined the spirits of the medicine men inside my head
,
then they

d protect me from evil
things
. Man
,
I hoped he still knew what he was talking about. I opened them and jumped back.

BOOK: Dark Seraphine (The Seraphine Trilogy)
9.63Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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