Chapter 36: Rescue
THE car crashed into me like a sledgehammer and darkness hit as I reentered my body. Dreadful light stabbed my aching eyes as I cracked them open. My head pounded. Had someone just hit me with a Mac truck? Oh, no, that’s right—it was an Aston. Apparently, the faster I hit my body, the harder the impact felt when thrust into it.
I found myself in the Aston’s passenger seat with Kat at the wheel. My eyes adjusted to see the needle climbing the speedometer. Yep—170 mph. Somehow, she’d managed to squeeze through a tiny hole between the flaming SUVs at that speed.
“What happened?” My voice was scratchy. Hoarse.
“What do you think?” Kat shifted to fifth. “I just saved your ass.”
I poked my head up, looking out the rear window. The flames were a good distance behind us and quickly disappearing. “You have to go back and get Ian.”
“I can’t. My orders are to only get you.”
“Since when have you followed orders?” I said. “You can’t just leave him.” It didn’t come out with as much intensity as I’d intended. “He’s your friend.”
Kat stared straight ahead, her voice void of emotion. “I’m just following orders.”
“Turn the car around.” I tried to grab the steering wheel, but my arms lacked the strength.
“I can’t.” Kat’s eyes darted to me, then back to the road.
“We have to go back for him.” My pleas didn’t faze her.
“Joseph says Ian’s the killer. He told me to leave him behind.”
A sick, twisted feeling knotted my stomach. If I’d had the energy, I would’ve curled into a ball and cried. It was happening all over again. The Hunters had taken another person I loved.
It was useless to argue with her. “How did you know I was still back there?”
“I know about your powers, Abby.” Kat sounded offended. “I can’t believe you didn’t tell me.”
The cold, dark whisper came back. “Kat’s the killer, Abby. She knew about your power.” Surely this was the madness. Part of me longed to fulfill its wishes, but I had to resist. What had Chen done to me?
I snapped my attention back to Kat. “How do you know about them?” I mimicked her tone.
“o! I can turn invisible.” Kat waved her hand once with a look that said I should have known she’d been spying on everyone.
“You spied on me?” Indignation saturated my tone.
The voice in my head came again. “She’s the spy. Kill her.” I winced, pushing the voice from my head.
“Cool it, goldilocks.” Kat’s words were dry. “It wasn’t on purpose.” She downshifted and took a corner way too fast, throwing the rear end of the car out for a moment. The tires caught. The car jerked forward hard, and we were headed in a straight line again. “After Braden’s murder, I started snooping around looking for suspicious behavior.”
“And nothing,” she said.
The cold voice whispered in my head again. “How convenient. That’s exactly the type of story you’d feed someone if you were the murderer.”
I shivered. “How’d you find out about my powers?”
“One night, I saw you walking around the Commons. I didn’t think anything of it till I saw you walk through a wall.” Kat shot me a glance that said she wasn’t happy about that. “I followed you to see what you were up to. I thought you were the murderer for a while.”
“What?” I couldn’t believe she’d think I was capable of that.
“Hey, pipe down,” she said. “I figured out it wasn’t you when you were talking to Ian about coming up empty handed.”
“So, you watched me go back into my body?”
Ahead of us, a police car’s lights sprang to life. He headed right for us. Kat sank into the gas even more. The police car flew by and Kat shifted our car and its contents into another dimension, vanishing from the physical realm.
She didn’t miss a beat in the conversation, though. “Yeah, lots of times.”
What she’d done was perfect. No police officer would call in a vanishing car if he wanted to keep his job.
All around us, the city appeared different. It existed in shades of blue and didn’t quite look corporeal anymore. Kat took a turn and ran through a building. I flinched as clothing racks and cashier counters barreled our direction. We passed through them, unscathed.
I unfocused my eyes and imagined my thoughts instead. It was difficult, to say the least. “How do you get used to this?”
“Your brain figures it out, eventually.”
With some effort, I pulled my thoughts back to the conversation. “Why could you see me, but I couldn’t see you?”
She shrugged. “I was probably dropping into a different dimension than you. Our powers obviously aren’t the same.”
“No kidding. You don’t have to leave our body behind.” I raised an eyebrow with some effort. “Speaking of which, how did you get to me so quickly?”
“Joseph had me follow a few miles behind you guys. You weren’t supposed to go, though, so Murph followed me just in case something like this happened. He’s got Joseph.”
I let out a weary breath. “Joseph knows I have powers now.”
“Everyone’s gonna know, soon.” Kat downshifted and turned through a Kwik-E-Mart.
A giant slushie nearly took out my head but vanished right through it. “This is bad. Very bad.”
She shot me a sharp look. “Why didn’t you tell me you had powers?”
“For the same reason you didn’t let anyone know you were stalking around looking for the murderer. If the murderer knew what I could do, he might target me next.”
Kat’s tone was sullen. “Fine.” She looked me over for a second. “Why’d you go get yourself beaten up?”
“I didn’t actually expect to get beaten up, you know?”
“Whatever. You’ll be healed up in a couple of days anyway.”
“I hope so.”
We’d left Ian with the Hunters, and I was dying a slow death inside.
My head slumped to the side.
The dark voice came back. “She knows you have powers. She’ll come for you next. Kill her.” Was the voice right? Something told me there was more truth in the voice than I wanted to believe. When I started considering the clues, certain things did add up.
For a second, I actually considered killing Kat. Then I snapped myself out of the horrible thought. Sure, she was rude and obnoxious at times, but she wasn’t a murderer.
Abruptly, the color of everything around us shifted, and the car came back into physical reality.
“Abby?” Kat shook my shoulder. “Abby?”
The car slid to a screeching halt as my vision went black.