Chapter no 14

Ignite Me (Shatter Me Book 3)

Warner tackles me to the ground just as the sound of gunshots fills the air.

His arms are under me, cradling me to his chest, his body shielding mine from whatever imminent danger we’ve just gotten ourselves into. My heart is beating so loudly I can hardly hear Warner’s voice as he speaks into my ear. “Are you all right?” he whispers, pulling me tighter against him.

I try to nod.

“Stay down,” he says. “Don’t move.”

I wasn’t planning on it, I don’t say to him.


My body goes stiff.

That voice. I know that voice.

I hear footsteps coming closer, crunching on the snow and ice and dirt. Warner loosens his hold around me, and I realize he’s reaching for his gun.

“Kenji—no—,” I try to shout, my voice muffled by the snow. “GET UP!” Kenji bellows, still moving closer. “Stand up, coward!” I’ve officially begun to panic.

Warner’s lips brush against my ear. “I’ll be right back.”

Just as I turn to protest, Warner’s weight is lifted. His body gone. He’s completely disappeared.

I scramble to my feet, spinning around. My eyes land on Kenji.

He’s stopped in place, confused and scanning the area, and I’m so happy to see him that I can’t be bothered to care about Warner right now. I’m almost ready to cry. I squeak out Kenji’s name.

His eyes lock on to mine.

He charges forward, closing the gap between us and tackling me in a hug so fierce he practically cuts off my circulation. “Holy shit it’s good to see you,” he says, breathless, squeezing me tighter.

I cling to him, so relieved, so stunned. I press my eyes shut, unable to stop the tears.

Kenji pulls back to look me in the eye, his face bright with pain and joy. “What the hell are you doing out here? I thought you were dead—”

“I thought you were dead!”

He stops then. The smile vanishes from his face. “Where the hell did Warner go?” he says, eyes taking in our surroundings. “You were with him, right? I’m not losing my mind, am I?”

“Yes—listen—Warner brought me here,” I tell him, trying to speak calmly, hoping to cool the anger in his eyes. “But he’s not trying to fight. When he told me about what happened to Omega Point, I didn’t believe him, so I asked him to show me proof—”

“Is that right?” Kenji says, eyes flashing with a kind of hatred I’ve never seen in him before. “He came to show off what they did? To show you how many people he MURDERED!” Kenji breaks away from me, shaking with fury. “Did he tell you how many children were in there? Did he tell you how many of our men and women were slaughtered because of him?” He stops, heaving. “Did he tell you that?” he asks again, screaming into the air. “COME BACK OUT HERE, YOU SICK BASTARD!”

“Kenji, no—”

But Kenji’s already gone, darting away so quickly he’s just a speck in the distance now. I know he’s searching the vast space for glimpses of Warner and I need to do something, I need to stop him but I don’t know how—

“Don’t move.”

Warner’s whispers are at my ear, his hands planted firmly on my shoulders. I try to spin around and he holds me in place. “I said don’t move.”

“What are you d—”

“Shhhh,” he says. “No one can see me.”

What?” I crane my neck to try and glance behind me, but my head knocks against Warner’s chin. His invisible chin.

“No,” I hear myself gasp. “But you’re not touching him—”

“Look straight ahead,” he whispers. “It won’t do us any good for you to be caught talking to invisible people.”

I turn my face forward. Kenji is no longer in sight. “How?” I ask Warner. “How did you—”

Warner shrugs behind me. “I’ve felt different since we did that experiment with your power. Now that I know exactly what it’s like to take hold of another ability, I’m more easily able to recognize it. Like right now,” he says. “I feel as though I could quite literally reach forward and take hold of your energy. It was just as simple with Kenji,” he says. “He was standing right there. My survival instincts took over.”

And even though this is a terrible moment to dwell on these things, I can’t help but allow myself to panic. That Warner can so easily project his powers. With no training. No practice.

He can tap into my abilities and use them as he pleases. This can’t possibly be good.

Warner’s hands squeeze my shoulders. “What are you doing?” I whisper.

“I’m trying to see if I can pass the power on to you—if I can retransfer it and make us both invisible—but it seems I’m unable. Once I’ve taken the energy from someone else, I can use it, but I can’t seem to share it. After I release the energy, it can only be returned to the owner.”

“How do you know so much already?” I ask, astonished. “You just learned about this a few days ago.”

“I’ve been practicing,” he says.

“But how? With who?” I pause. “Oh.”

“Yes,” he says. “It’s been rather incredible having you stay with me. For so many reasons.” His hands fall from my shoulders. “I was worried I might be able to hurt you with your own power. I wasn’t sure I could absorb it without accidentally using it against you. But we seem to cancel each other out,” he says. “Once I take it from you, I can only ever give it back.”

I’m not breathing.

“Let’s go,” Warner says. “Kenji is moving out of range and I won’t be able to hold on to his energy for much longer. We have to get out of here.”

“I can’t leave,” I tell him. “I can’t just abandon Kenji, not like this—” “He’s going to try and kill me, love. And while I know I’ve proved

otherwise in your case, I can assure you I’m generally incapable of standing by as someone makes an attempt on my life. So unless you want to watch me shoot him first, I suggest we get out of here as soon as possible. I can feel him circling back.”

“No. You can go. You should go. But I’m going to stay here.” Warner stills behind me. “What?”

“Go,” I tell him. “You have to go to the compounds—you have things to take care of. You should go. But I need to be here. I have to know what’s happened to everyone else, and I have to move forward from there.”

“You’re asking me to leave you here,” he says, not bothering to hide his shock. “Indefinitely.”

“Yes,” I say to him. “I’m not leaving until I get some answers. And you’re right. Kenji will definitely shoot first and ask questions later, so it’s best that you leave. I’ll talk to him, try to tell him what’s happened. Maybe we could all work together—”


“It doesn’t just have to be me and you,” I tell him. “You said you wanted to help me kill your father and take down The Reestablishment, right?”

Warner nods slowly against the back of my head. “Okay. So.” I take a deep breath. “I accept your offer.” Warner goes rigid. “You accept my offer.”


“Do you understand what you’re saying?”

“I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t mean it. I’m not sure I’ll be able to do this without you.”

I feel the breath rush out of him, his heart beating hard against my back. “But I need to know who else is still alive,” I insist. “And the group of

us can work together. We’ll be stronger that way, and we’ll all be fighting toward the same goal—”


“It’s the only way—”

“I have to go,” he says, spinning me around. “Kenji is almost here.” He shoves a hard plastic object into my hand. “Activate this pager,” he says, “whenever you’re ready. Keep it with you and I’ll know where to find you.”


“You have four hours,” he says. “If I don’t hear from you before then, I’ll assume you are in some kind of danger, and I will come find you myself.” He’s still holding my hand, the pager still pressed against my palm. It’s the craziest feeling, to be touched by someone you can’t see. “Do you understand?”

I nod, once. I have no idea where to look.

And then I freeze, every inch of me hot and cold all at once because he presses his lips to the back of my fingers in one soft, tender moment and when he pulls away I’m reeling, heady, unsteady.

Just as I’m regaining my footing, I hear the familiar sound of an electric thrum, and realize Warner has already begun to drive away.

And I’m left to wonder what on earth I’ve just agreed to.

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