Chapter no 48

Unravel Me (Shatter Me Book 2)

James joins us during our training session before dinner.

He’s been hanging out with us a lot since we got back, and we all seem happier when he’s around. There’s something about his presence that’s so disarming, so welcome. It’s so good to have him back.

I’ve been showing him how easily I can break things now.

The bricks are nothing. It feels like crushing a piece of cake. The metal pipes bend in my hands like plastic straws. Wood is a little tricky because if I break it the wrong way I can catch a splinter, but just about nothing is difficult anymore. Kenji has been thinking of new ways to test my abilities; lately he’s been trying to see if I can project—if I can focus my power from a distance.

Not all abilities are designed for projection, apparently. Lily, for example, has that incredible photographic memory. But she’d never be able to project that ability onto anyone else.

Projection is, by far, the most difficult thing I’ve ever attempted to do. It’s extremely complicated and requires both mental and physical exertion. I have to be wholly in control of my mind, and I have to know exactly how my brain communicates with whichever invisible bone in my body is responsible for my gift. Which means I have to know how to locate the source of my ability

—and how to focus it into one concentrated point of power I can tap into from anywhere.

It’s hurting my brain.

“Can I try to break something, too?” James is asking. He grabs one of the bricks off the stack and weighs it in his hands. “Maybe I’m super strong like you.”

“Have you ever felt super strong?” Kenji asks him. “Like, you know, abnormally strong?”

“No,” James says, “but I’ve never tried to break anything, either.” He blinks at Kenji. “Do you think maybe I could be like you guys? That maybe I have some kind of power, too?”

Kenji studies him. Seems to be sorting some things out in his head. Says, “It’s definitely possible. Your brother’s obviously got something in his DNA, which means you might, too.”

“Really?” James is practically jumping up and down.

Kenji chuckles. “I have no idea. I’m just saying it might be possi—no,” he shouts, “James—”

“Oops.” James is wincing, dropping the brick to the floor and clenching his fist against the gash bleeding in the palm of his hand. “I think I pressed too hard and it slipped,” he says, struggling not to cry.

“You think?” Kenji is shaking his head, breathing fast. “Damn, kid, you can’t just go around slicing your hand open like that. You’re going to give me a freaking heart attack. Come here,” he says, more gently now. “Let me take a look.”

“It’s okay,” James says, cheeks flushed, hiding his hand behind his back. “It’s nothing. It’ll go away soon.”

“That kind of cut is not just going to go away,” Kenji says. “Now let me take a look at it—”

“Wait.” I interrupt him, caught by the intense look on James’ face, the way he seems to be so focused on the clenched fist he’s hiding. “James—what do you mean it’ll ‘go away’? Do you mean it’s going to get better? On its own?”

James blinks at me. “Well yeah,” he says. “It always gets better really quickly.”

“What does? What gets better really quickly?” Kenji is staring too now, already catching on to my theory and throwing looks at me, mouthing Holy shit over and over again.

“When I get hurt,” James says, looking at us like we’ve lost our minds. “Like if you cut yourself,” he says to Kenji, “wouldn’t it just get better?”

“It depends on the size of the cut,” Kenji tells him. “But for a gash like the one on your hand?” He shakes his head. “I’d need to clean it to make sure it didn’t get infected. Then I’d have to wrap it up in gauze and some kind of ointment to keep it from scarring. And then,” he says, “it would take at least a couple days for it to scab up. And then it would begin to heal.”

James is blinking like he’s never heard of something so absurd in his life. “Let me see your hand,” Kenji says to him.

James hesitates.

“It’s all right,” I tell him. “Really. We’re just curious.”

Slowly, so slowly, James shows us his clenched fist. Even more slowly, he uncurls his fingers, watching our reactions the whole time. And exactly where just a moment ago there was a huge gash, now there’s nothing but perfect pink skin and a little pool of blood.

“Holy shit on a cracker,” Kenji breathes. “Sorry,” he says to me, jumping forward to grab James’ arm, barely able to rein in his smiles, “but I need to get this guy over to the medical wing. That okay? We can pick up again tomorrow—” “But I’m not hurt anymore,” James protests. “I’m okay—”

“I know, kid, but you’re going to want to come with me.” “But why?”

“How would you like,” he says, leading James out the door, “to start spending some time with two very pretty girls ”

And they’re gone. And I’m laughing.

Sitting in the middle of the training room all by myself when I hear 2 familiar knocks at my door.

I already know who it’s going to be. “Ms. Ferrars.”

I whip around, not because I’m surprised to hear Castle’s voice, but because I’m surprised at the intonation. His eyes are narrowed, his lips tight, his eyes sharp and flashing in this light.

He is very, very angry. Crap.

“I’m sorry about the hallway,” I tell him, “I didn’t—”

“We can discuss your public and wildly inappropriate displays of affection at a later time, Ms. Ferrars, but right now I have a very important question to ask you and I would advise you to be honest, as acutely honest as is physically possible.”

“What”—I can hardly breathe—“what is it?”

Castle narrows his eyes at me. “I have just had a conversation with Warner, who says he is able to touch you without consequence, and that this information is something you are well aware of.”

And I think, Wow, I did it. I actually managed to die of a stroke at age 17. “I need to know,” Castle hurries on, “whether or not this information is true

and I need to know right now.”

There’s glue all over my tongue, stuck to my teeth, my lips, the roof of my mouth, and I can’t speak, I can’t move, I’m pretty sure I just had a seizure or an aneurysm or heart failure or something equally as awful but I can’t explain any of this to Castle because I can’t move my jaw even an inch.

“Ms. Ferrars. I don’t think you understand how important this question is.

I need an answer from you, and I need it thirty seconds ago.” “I I—”

“Today, I need an answer today, right now, this very moment—”

“Yes,” I choke out, blushing through my skull, horribly ashamed, embarrassed, horrified in every possible way and the only thing I can think of

is Adam Adam Adam how will Adam respond to this information now, why does this have to happen now, why did Warner say anything at all and I want to kill him for sharing the secret that was mine to tell, mine to hide, mine to hoard.

Castle looks like he’s a balloon that fell in love with a pushpin that got too close and ruined him forever. “So it’s true, then?”

I drop my eyes. “Yes, it’s true.”

He falls to the floor right across from me, astonished. “How is it even possible, do you think?”

Because Warner is Adam’s brother, I don’t tell him.

And I don’t tell him because it is Adam’s secret to tell and I will not talk about it until he does, even though I desperately want to tell Castle that the connection must be in their blood, that they both must share a similar kind of gift or Energy, or oh oh oh

Oh God. Oh no.

Warner is one of us.

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