Revealed by Amanda Valentino Read Free Book Online

Book: Revealed by Amanda Valentino Read Free Book Online
Authors: Amanda Valentino
about ninety seconds to develop the ability to fly.”
    â€œI think I’d better go, too,” I said. My eyes were still on the box. Were we really supposed to just . . . leave it?
    Like she’d read my mind, Louise observed, “Seems like you all could use a little more time with that box.”
    Callie was pretty much always nice, but now she turned on some serious charm. She flashed Louise her girl-next-door smile and (I am not kidding you here) actually folded her hands in front of her chest as if she were begging. “Um, Louise, I have a huge favor to ask you.”
    Like she knew exactly what Callie was doing, Louise released a burst of laughter. “Honey, save that sweet-girl show for your boyfriends.” Callie blushed, but she didn’t get pissed the way Nia might have.
    â€œYou’re going to let us have the box, aren’t you?” Nia’s question wasn’t an attack, it was a realization, and I understood that something had somehow been settled between them.
    Louise didn’t answer her directly. “That box needs to stay in the right hands,” was what she said instead. “I hope you understand my meaning when I say it would be very, very dangerous for the wrong people to get ahold of it.”
    â€œWe’ll protect it,” Callie assured her.
    â€œWe’ll guard it with our lives,” I added, because what might have sounded melodramatic a couple of weeks ago seemed called-for now.
    Looking from one of us to the other, Louise slowly rubbed her hands together, almost like she was washing them. Then she nodded. “I believe you will.” With that, she turned and walked even deeper into the back of the store. A minute later, we heard a door open and close.
    The three of us looked at one another.
    â€œWe still don’t know if it opens or not,” Nia pointed out.
    Callie took a step toward the table and picked up the box. The way it had been wedged between the furniture must have made it seem heavy because Callie didn’t have to strain to lift it at all. Holding it extended in front of her, she looked down at the surface of the wood that seemed to ripple in the soft light.
    And then, with Nia and me watching, she gently shook the box.
    From inside, we heard the sound of something sliding back and forth.
    â€œWell,” said Nia into the silence of our amazement. “I guess we have our answer.”

Chapter 6
    My mom was standing in the front hallway with her hands on her hips when I opened the door. One look at her face, and it wasn’t hard to imagine she’d been in that exact position for the past several hours.
    â€œHenry Bennett!” she announced the second she saw me, and I wondered why I’d been so scared of Officer Marciano. He had nothing on my mom.
    â€œDo you realize that a man was attacked in his own office at your school? Do you know what it feels like when I’m driving home from work and I call your cell phone three times and get no answer? And then I call your sister and she says you haven’t come home yet? Do you realize I am thinking you could be dead somewhere?” Her eyes welled up at her last question, but I knew now was definitely not the time to point out that
obviously I wasn’t dead, what with my having just walked in the front door.
    â€œI’m really sorry, Mom,” I said.
    â€œOh, you better believe you’re sorry, young man. And you can sorry yourself into the kitchen and set the table for dinner and after we eat you can sorry yourself into doing the dishes right before you do all your homework. And nothing else, no games, no guitar, no internet, nothing.”
    â€œI’m on it!” I said quickly, and I followed my mom down the hallway and into the kitchen, where Cornelia was sitting at the table doing her homework.
    My mom’s a great mom, but she’s not exactly a great cook (let’s just say the burned roast wasn’t

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