Chapter 52: Agathe
AGATHE leapt across the coffee table and crashed into me, knocking me onto the couch, toppling it backward. A punch connected with my stomach. She did have powers, and she was a lot stronger than me.
I couldn’t dodge the punch that slammed into my face next. Agathe used all her strength, fists landing like sledgehammers. Her fighting style was more like the Hunters than ours, and she was good at it. I tried to wrap my legs around her waist and flip her, but she blocked me. She pinned me to the ground, her knees locking my arms down, and used her forearm to cut off my air.
If I separated, dropping my guard for even a second, she’d kill me. My power couldn’t save me.
The door handle shook frantically. Ian’s voice came from the other side. “Abby!”
My heart leapt in my chest.
The door thudded as he tried to break it down.
Ian yelled down the hall, warning that Lena was going to kill me, that she was the murderer.
Agathe reared back. “Took you long enough to find my message.” She pounded another fist into my face. I’d never been hit that hard before. Where had she gotten that kind of strength?
Agathe slipped a knife from her boot and raised it above her head.
Kat materialized out of nowhere, flying through the air sideways in a kick. Her foot smashed into Agathe’s shoulder, knocking her off of me, sending the knife flying. Kat vanished, not giving Agathe time to get ahold of her.
Ian burst through the door and jumped on Agathe, trying to pin her to the ground. She kicked him off like a ragdoll. He careened through the air and crashed into a wall. Ian was much stronger than anyone else in Winter’s Edge. If she could do that to him, she really was powerful. But it was almost too easy for her, as if Ian weren’t even using his powers.
I rushed her, throwing several punches she blocked with ease. Even though she fought more like the Hunters, she’d trained with us too. She knew what to expect. So I changed up my attacks and put all my increased strength into them. Agathe managed to block the onslaught for a time, but she’d break soon. I just needed the right moment. This was my dance.
I faked a left cross, and she took the bait, leaving her left side undefended. I kicked her knee. She went down. I kneed her head with all the force I could muster. She flipped backward and landed face-down.
Ian was about to pounce on Agathe when a fuming Joseph and confused Reilly ran through the door. Joseph crossed the room in record time and grabbed Ian before he could jump on Agathe.
She turned on her side to get up, then gasped as if she saw something above her, but there was nothing there. Then Kat appeared and kicked her in the stomach. Could Agathe see Kat when she was invisible?
“That’s for Braden.” Kat kicked her again. “And that’s for Robert.” Her last kick sent Agathe slamming into the wall. “And that’s ’cause I like to kick little bit—”
“Whoa!” Reilly said. “Take it easy.” His face twisted with the pain of a broken heart as he put a foot on Agathe’s back to keep her from getting up. She’d faked her relationship with him to blend better. She’d stabbed us all in the back after duping us into liking her. But at that moment, Reilly’s face showed he was feeling it worse than anyone else. He bent down and pulled her to her feet, restraining her arms behind her.
“You left me behind!” Agathe yelled with a crazy enraged look in her eyes. The madness had taken her. That’s why she was stronger than me. “You took my sister from me and left me for the Hunters.”
Joseph looked at the others, frowning. “What’s she talking about?”
“That’s not Lena. It’s her evil twin,” Ian said. “She’s the killer.”
Realization showed on Joseph’s face, and his hold on Ian loosened. Ian pulled free.
I ran to him, throwing my arms around his neck. He pulled me tight as I buried my head into his chest.
Joseph’s nostrils flared as he glared at Agathe. “Where’s Lena?”
“She’s a Hunter, now.” A wicked smile spread across Agathe’s lips.
Sparks leapt up and danced across Joseph’s fist as he moved closer to Agathe. “I said where is Lena?’“ His hand crept toward her neck, threatening to release thousands of volts through her flesh.
“Why do you care?” Agathe glared at him. “She’s working with me. How do you think I got in here? How do you think I knew she’d be in the junkyard?”
Joseph’s eyes flashed a dark warning.
She sneered, taunting him. “Why do you think she tried to seduce Ian? She knew Asa would send her out on a run and make her go with Artie to the junkyard just like she always does. You people are so predictable. Who do you think killed Jonathan?”
No, not Lena. Was she really capable of doing something like that?
Joseph had told me Jonathan was killed by Hunters, but if Agathe were telling the truth, Lena had killed him shortly after she arrived in Winter’s Edge. She was only eleven years old, though. How could she do something like that? I didn’t want to believe it, but I had a feeling it was true.
A shard of jagged betrayal ripped through my stomach and settled in my heart at the loss of yet another friend.
Jesse ran through the door and stopped, taking in the scene with a stunned look. As Kat explained the situation, his jaws clenched. It looked like it was all he could do to keep from killing Agathe right then and there.
I shot a questioning look to Joseph, whose veins bulged from his neck and forehead. Then his shoulders relaxed, and the electricity dissipated from his hand, flickering out. His wounded look confirmed that Agathe’s story was true and that he’d lied to me about Jonathan.
No, not just that. There was more behind that look. Much more. There was a weighted shame present there. What had he done?
Joseph closed his eyes for a brief moment as he sighed, shaking his head. “Get her out of here. Lock her in one of the Old City cells for now.”
Jesse crossed the room and yanked Agathe from the ground. Reilly took her other arm, helping tote her out of the room.
“This isn’t over yet.” Agathe let out a giggle tainted with treachery.
“What’s your power?” I said.
Agathe’s giggle fell away leaving a wicked smile that said she wasn’t afraid of us. “I see through walls.”
One by one, everyone’s eyes grew large.
She’d seen the gate code and the path to the city.
“Get Artie. Now.” Joseph’s words barely made it free of his clenched teeth. “Tell him to change the gate code.”
Just then, a gunshot rang out from the town square.