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Chapter 54

“My father told me to always bring flowers when visiting a girl at the hospital,” I announced, laying a freshly cut bouquet of roses on Allison’s lap.

“They’re beautiful, Trenton,” she exclaimed, trying to hide the pain the sudden excitement caused. “I’m sorry I couldn’t go to the funeral.”

“Don’t mention it. I have to admit, though, I was surprised to see the Colonel there.”

“It’s his way of saying he’s willing to give you a second chance.”

“Gee, what an honor.” She sensed my sarcasm and cocked an eyebrow. I retreated slightly. “I know, it’s a good start and better than the alternative.”

“So I guess things go back to normal now, huh?”

“Not sure about that … Ms. Petrovich wants to interrogate me some more.”

“I don’t think interrogation is quite the right word.”

“You’re right, they don’t interrogate guinea pigs, they just poke and prod them until they fall over dead.”

“You’re a valuable asset now. At least they’re going to let you finish high school like us normal folks.”

“Good timing too with my suspension ending tomorrow.”

“Any luck with the manuscript?”

“A little, but I’m not a quantum physicist so they’ve got me working with one to try and sort out the madness bouncing around my brain. It would be much easier if it were just literature … or sports.”

“So what about Matt?”

“Off the radar, but I’m sure he’ll be back … and a lot stronger. Who knows what he’s got cooking.”

“But he has Klovatz’s coin.”

“Ms. Petrovich had it deactivated and they’re monitoring the time travel continuum in case he was successful at reverse-engineering it.”

“Let’s hope he gets stuck somewhere.”

“Let’s not. There’s no telling what kind of chaos he could create back in another time with an understanding of today’s technology.”

“And what about your Chinese friend?”

“Number Nine is off the menu for good, or so they tell me, which means you’re safe.”

“I feel like we’re living a dream … or a nightmare. Really depends how you look at it, I guess.”

“Hey, the good guys won, so it’s definitely a dream. Besides,” I added, revealing a small box, “you only get belated birthday presents in your dreams.”

Allison’s eyes popped open and she tried to sit up, but winced.

“Take it easy, okay?”

She nodded and opened the box.

“Trenton, it’s beautiful,” she exclaimed, examining the gold necklace that had a pendant made of a curious, sparkling substance. “What is it?”

“The Benadine Mineral.” Allison nearly dropped it and was about to protest, but I put a finger to my mouth. “Sshhh … it’ll be our little secret. Besides, they won’t miss this tiny amount.”

“No, I guess they won’t,” she agreed and clipped the ends behind her neck. “How does it look?”

“Out of this world.”

Allison rolled her eyes and planted the sweetest kiss a guy who just saved the world could ask for. I stepped back, admiring her and said I had another interrogation to get to.

As I reached the door, she asked, “Hey, you never said whether or not you opened your Past Lives Letter.”

“No,” I said coyly. “That’s classified.”

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