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No, I tell myself. He probably thinks it was the wind. How could he know?
“Uh, yeah,” I say. “I’m sorry to hear about your brother.”
“It’s all in the past,” Ethan says. “But you—you’re the future.”
Ethan’s lips curl up in a smile.
“Tell me more about yourself,” he says.
And so I start talking. Nothing about Lorien or the island, but about the things I like. Arepas, movies, books, arcades. And Ethan looks fascinated. It turns out he’s a movie buff. He’s waxing on about a long list of films I should have seen when I suddenly start to wonder how I managed to end up in a fancy Miami restaurant talking movies with some high-ranking criminal mastermind.
What would Rey say? I wish he were here. I wish he could see how well I was doing on my own. How important I’m becoming.
Emma is always hungry for more, wanting bigger and better assignments.
Eventually, we get one.
Ethan wants a series of warehouses bugged to keep tabs on competitors or something like that. As usual, we don’t ask questions. Emma and I are supposed to sneak in at night when the buildings are empty and plant a few tiny devices Ethan has supplied us with. It’s an extremely simple task.
So of course everything goes wrong.
Emma and I split up to get the work done, and I’m halfway through planting the bugs in a small warehouse filled with row upon row of boxes and shelves when a dozen guys show up. If I lived in a superhero movie, they’d be stereotypical henchmen.
“Uh,” I say as they form a half circle around me. “Hi. I was just looking for a place to sleep tonight. I’ll move along and—”
“Ethan sent you, didn’t he?” one of the men asks.
“Ethan?” I ask. “Who’s that?”
The man answers by throwing a punch at me.
At first the rudimentary training Rey had given me during hand-to-hand fighting comes in handy, but I’m rusty and was never really that good at it to begin with. And there are just so many of them. I dodge a few punches and then a fist lands in my gut and I crumple. Then I’m on the ground, kicks coming from every direction, my vision sparking as someone’s heel meets the back of my head.
They can’t kill me—there are still two Garde standing between me and death—but they can break me. Incapacitate me. Send me to the emergency room or abduct me.
I only have one chance of getting out of this.
Telekinetic energy erupts from my body, sending all the attackers sprawling backwards. I don’t give anyone a chance to recover. I use my Legacy to send them flying into walls and one another, lifting them into the air and then slamming them down onto the concrete. I lash out and use my powers in ways I never imagined. It’s strange how naturally it comes to me, this destruction. It feels so good—like I’m stretching a muscle I haven’t used in a while. I realize that I miss using my telekinesis so often, like I had on my little island or when I was first picking pockets. Bodies fly all around the room, crashing into shelves and lights, until someone calls my name and I freeze.
I turn to see her standing in one of the open loading bay doors, half silhouetted by the moonlight. She makes no move to come forward. There’s a look on Emma’s face I’ve never seen before. Her eyes are wide, the whites standing out in the near darkness. Her hands are shaking.
Around me, all the attackers fall from the air, hitting the ground with thuds.
“Emma,” I say, stepping towards her.
She takes a step back.
“What are you? How did you—” she says.
Her eyes fall on someone lying a few yards away from me.
“Marcus?” she asks. And then she’s running towards him. He doesn’t respond when she shakes him, and tears start to fill her eyes.
It takes a moment for me to figure out why I know the name Marcus, and then it clicks. I hadn’t immediately recognized the name because she usually just calls him her brother.
Marcus appears to be alive but his leg is twisted in a way that I know means it’s broken. He’s probably cracked a few ribs from the drop in the air too.
What have I done?
“I’m sorry, I—” I start, but I’m cut off by Emma’s glare, one of pure hatred.
“You monster,” she says. “You fucking freak. Are you possessed? How did you do this?”
I take a step forward but she’s on her feet, a pipe from one of the shelves I knocked down in her hands.
“Emma . . .”
“Don’t you take another step closer.”
“It’s okay,” I say. “It’s me. Cody.”
She shakes her head. Or maybe it’s just trembling—it’s hard to say. At her feet, her brother gurgles something unintelligible.
I take another step forward.
“Let me help you—”
And then she swings. The pipe connects with the side of my head and everything goes black.
When I wake up I’m in a car. A really nice car, all gray leather and touch screens. A man in a suit drives. I sit in the back passenger seat. Ethan sits beside me.
“Welcome back to the world of the living,” he says.
My head pounds. I raise my fingers to find a throbbing knot on the side of my skull.