King 02 - Breathless

King 02 - Breathless by Tawdra Kandle Read Free Book Online

Book: King 02 - Breathless by Tawdra Kandle Read Free Book Online
Authors: Tawdra Kandle
Tags: YA 14+, BBF
unbearable. I don’t even know where my mother might be—but she’s not here.” Nell’s voice turned brooding. “I’m alone, except for the half-wits who are supposed to ‘help’ me. Yes, just like you, they think that’s possible.”
    “Nell, how did you get here?” I was trying to nonchalantly scan the room for any possible weapons I could use for defense and wondering when the rest of the students with fifth period lunch would arrive.
    Her laugh rang out, so familiar that chills shivered down my spine. “Oh, that’s another very good question! You’re so inquisitive today. Or is it tonight?” She glanced over her shoulder, and I realized for the first time that the windows were dark.
    My heart began to pound, and my head was swimming. Why was it night? I struggled to remember walking to the cafeteria, my morning classes, but everything was a blank. What was happening?
    “Don’t panic, Tasmyn,” Nell scolded. “You were always so cool under pressure when you were ruining my life. Where did that gumption go? Could it be that Michael was your real backbone? And now that he’s gone, maybe you’re not really that formidable an adversary.” Her eyebrows raised, Nell’s tone was unquestionably ironic. I knew that she had never considered me an enemy; instead, I had been either an annoying impediment to her success or an intriguing pathway to greater power.
    “Michael’s not gone,” I corrected. “He’s just away.”
    Nell laughed again. “Oh, that’s right. That’s what you’re telling yourself. The grand romance goes on, even when you’re apart. You never were very good at facing facts. But that’s neither here nor there. You asked me what I was doing here and how I got here, but you’ve neglected to ask me why I’m here. And that’s the key question.” She tilted her head.
    “Okay.” I drew in a deep breath. “I’ll ask. Why are you here? Why is it dark out there? Why don’t I remember anything about today before seeing you here?”
    “Oh, thank you, all the interesting inquiries at last. It’s dark because it’s night. In one sense of reality, you’re not really here in the cafeteria. You’re at home in your own bed. Safe and sound. That’s why you don’t remember getting here. I called you to this place while you were still in another part of your sleep.
    “We’re here because this is a place that I thought wouldn’t alarm you. If I had called you to the clearing, I think you would have panicked much faster than you did. But we both know this lunchroom, we’ve been here together, and that was necessary. Of course, I could have chosen the chemistry classroom, but I hardly think that holds happy memories for either of us.” She sighed heavily.
    “So I’m just dreaming this? I can wake up at any time?” It didn’t feel like a dream, but it was somewhat comforting to think I had a modicum of control.
    “Perhaps something like that. But you can’t leave until I’m ready for you to go. And I’m not quite prepared for that yet.”
    “What do you want from me?” I was back to whispering.
    “Tonight, I don’t want much. I just wanted to make sure you hadn’t forgotten about me. This is simply a little reminder visit. I want to make sure that I’m on your mind when you go back to school. I might not be there, but I’m not ready to be forgotten yet.” Suddenly Nell looked more lost and woebegone than threatening.
    “I’ve never forgotten you, Nell,” I said, keeping my voice as steady as I could. “I-I couldn’t let you hurt Amber, or Michael and me, but I never wanted you to be hurt, either. When I heard that your dad had sent you away—I was very sorry.”
    “Yes, I know.” Nell looked at me thoughtfully. “The guilt practically ate you up the first few months, didn’t it?”
    I didn’t answer, but I wondered how she could know that.
    “Doesn’t matter,” she continued, and I wasn’t sure if she was answering my unvoiced question or referring to the

Similar Books

The Kings Man

Rowena Cory Daniells

Knight of My Dreams

Lynsay Sands

Out of Mind

Catherine Sampson

Portals Of Time

J. Lee Coulter

Arab Jazz

Karim Miské