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Chapter no 38

Unravel Me (Shatter Me Book 2)

An explosion.

The sound of glass shattering.

Someone yanks me back just as I pull the trigger and the bullet hits the window behind Anderson’s head.

I’m spun around.

Kenji is shaking me, shaking me so hard I feel my head jerk back and forth and he’s screaming at me, telling me we have to go, that I need to drop the gun, he’s breathing hard and he’s saying, “I’m going to need you to walk away, okay? Juliette? Can you understand me? I need you to back off right now. You’re going to be okay—you’re going to be all right—you’re going to be fine, you just have to—”

“No, Kenji—” I’m trying to stop him from pulling me away, trying to keep my feet planted where they are because he doesn’t understand. He needs to understand. “I have to kill him. I have to make sure he dies,” I’m telling him. “I just need you to give me another second—”

“No,” he says, “not yet, not right now,” and he’s looking at me like he’s about to break, like he’s seen something in my face that he wishes he’d never seen, and he says, “We can’t. We can’t kill him yet. It’s too soon, okay?”

But it’s not okay and I don’t understand what’s happening but Kenji is reaching for my hand, he’s prying the gun out of the fingers I didn’t realize were wrapped so tightly around the handle. And I’m blinking. I feel confused and disappointed. I look down at my hands. At my suit. And I can’t understand for a moment where all the blood came from.

I glance at Anderson.

His eyes are rolled back in his head. Kenji is checking his pulse. Looks at me, says, “I think he fainted.” And my body has begun to shake so violently I can hardly stand.

What have I done.

I back away, needing to find a wall to cling to, something solid to hold on to and Kenji catches me, he’s holding me so tightly with one arm and cradling my head with his other hand and I feel like I might want to cry but for some reason I can’t. I can’t do anything but endure these tremors rocking the length of my entire frame.

“We have to go,” Kenji says to me, stroking my hair in a show of tenderness I know is rare for him. I close my eyes against his shoulder,

wanting to draw strength from his warmth. “Are you going to be okay?” he asks me. “I need you to walk with me, all right? We’ll have to run, too.”

“Warner,” I gasp, ripping out of Kenji’s embrace, eyes wild. “Where’s—” He’s unconscious.

A heap on the floor. Arms bound behind his back, an empty syringe tossed on the carpet beside him.

“I took care of Warner,” Kenji says.

Suddenly everything is slamming into me all at the same time. All the reasons why we were supposed to be here, what we were trying to accomplish in the first place, the reality of what I’ve done and what I was about to do. “Kenji,” I’m gasping, “Kenji, where’s Adam? What happened? Where are the hostages? Is everyone okay?”

“Adam is fine,” he reassures me. “We slipped in the back door and found Ian and Emory.” He looks toward the kitchen area. “They’re in pretty bad shape, but Adam’s hauling them out, trying to get them to wake up.”

“What about the others? Brendan? A-and Winston?”

Kenji shakes his head. “I have no idea. But I have a feeling we’ll be able to get them back.”

“How?”

Kenji nods at Warner. “We’re going to take this kid hostage.”

“What?”

“It’s our best bet,” he says to me. “Another trade. A real one, this time.

Besides, it’ll be fine. You take away his guns, and this golden boy is harmless.” He walks toward Warner’s unmoving figure. Nudges him with the toe of his boot before hauling him up, flipping Warner’s body over his shoulder. I can’t help but notice that Warner’s injured arm is now completely soaked through with blood.

“Come on,” Kenji says to me, not unkindly, eyes assessing my frame like he’s not sure if I’m stable yet. “Let’s get out of here—it’s insanity out there and we don’t have much time before they move into this street—”

“What?” I’m blinking too fast. “What do you mean—”

Kenji looks at me, disbelief written across his features. “The war, princess.

They’re all fighting to the death out there—”

“But Anderson never made the call—he said they were waiting for a word from him—”

“No,” Kenji says. “Anderson didn’t make the call. Castle did.” Oh

God.

“Juliette!”

Adam is rushing into the house, whipping around to find my face until I run forward and he catches me in his arms without thinking, without remembering that we don’t do this anymore, that we’re not together anymore, that he shouldn’t be touching me at all. “You’re okay—you’re okay—”

“LET’S GO,” Kenji barks for the final time. “I know this is an emotional moment or whatever, but we have to get our asses the hell out of here. I swear, Kent—”

But Kenji stops. His eyes drop.

Adam is on his knees, a look of fear and pain and horror and anger and terror etched into every line on his face and I’m trying to shake him, I’m trying to get him to tell me what’s wrong and he can’t move, he’s frozen on the ground, his eyes glued to Anderson’s body, his hands reaching out to touch the hair that was so perfectly set almost a moment ago and I’m begging him to speak to me, begging him to tell me what happened and it’s like the world shifts in his eyes, like nothing will ever be right in this world and nothing can ever be good again and he parts his lips.

He tries to speak.

“My father,” he says. “This man is my father.”

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