Relentless, p.28
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       Relentless, p.28

         Part #1 of Relentless series by Karen Lynch
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  Chapter 19

  “PLEASE SAY SOMETHING.”

  Nate stared blankly at his hands clasped in front of him on the kitchen table. He had been sitting like that for the last five minutes.

  My chest tightened. All day I had tried to prepare myself to talk to him while dreading his reaction. My worst fears had come to pass. He wouldn’t even look at me.

  His face lifted, and his troubled eyes met mine. “What do you want me to say? When you said you had to talk to me, I was worried you’d been suspended or something. Instead, you tell me this crazy story. If I didn’t know you better, I’d ask if you were on something.”

  “I know it’s a lot to take in.”

  He let out a strangled laugh. “Just a bit.”

  I wanted to reach across the table and take his hand, but I was afraid of his reaction. Anxiety and fear twisted my gut in knots. Nate was the only family I had; I couldn’t bear it if he pulled away from me now.

  There had been no easy way to come clean to him so I’d just dived in head first, fumbling my way through the story that grew more fantastic by the minute. How did you tell someone you loved that nothing in their world was as it seemed and that they were surrounded by a whole other world of magic and people and creatures that should not exist?

  Nate had listened quietly while I told him I’d always believed there was more to my dad’s death than the authorities had said. His eyes had grown wide when I explained how I had learned I could heal animals when I was little. When I’d begun describing how I met Remy and discovered that every mythical creature I’d ever heard of was real, his face had become a mask of disbelief.

  Then the real hard part came. Using as little detail as possible, I told him about Eli, Nikolas, and the werewolves and what had been happening for the past month. His tight-lipped expression made my heart ache as I revealed what I’d learned about Madeline and the truth about my dad’s murder. I stopped there because I couldn’t go any further without hearing him say something, anything.

  Nate let out a deep breath. “I’d think this was all a big prank if not for… You’d never make up stories about your father.”

  “No, I wouldn’t.”

  “I-I don’t know what to think. You have to understand that this would be hard for anyone to believe.”

  I nodded, grateful that he was still here talking to me. That was something at least.

  He leaned back heavily, and his wheelchair creaked. “You’re not telling me everything,” he said, studying my face.

  I swallowed. “I didn’t want to lay too much on you at once.”

  “You wanted to see how I’d react?”

  “Yes.”

  He rubbed his brow and fixed me with the look of a person waiting to hear something they knew would not make them happy. “Tell me.”

  I told him about meeting David and everything that happened at the rest stop. He made a sound when I recounted our close escape, but I kept talking, afraid that if I stopped I wouldn’t be able to continue. I told him about Remy and the missing trolls, our trip to Portland, and the rescue. I glossed over the worst of it because I didn’t think he could handle hearing the gory details, especially what I’d done to get the trolls out of the cage. It was asking enough of him to accept what I’d told him already. I finished by telling him about Roland being hurt and how I’d healed him.

  He was quiet and still for a long moment, and I feared I’d told him too much, that he was in shock. Finally, he ran a hand through his already disheveled hair. “Jesus! I… Jesus…”

  “Are you alright?”

  “I don’t know. I don’t know what to think. I-I need some time to process this.”

  I let out a deflated sigh. It wasn’t like I had expected him to be okay with everything right away, but I’d hoped… well, I don’t know what I’d hoped for. It killed me to see how much I was hurting him. If I had been honest with him all along, he would not be looking at me right now like I was a stranger.

  “I have something for you.” I pushed my phone across the table to him. “Peter thought it might help you.”

  He stared at the phone without reaching for it. I stood and left the kitchen, almost running upstairs to my room. I stood at the top of the stairs and listened when he played the video Peter had made for him. Then I sat on my bed and waited for him to call me back down to talk about it.

  When darkness fell, I climbed into bed and stared numbly at the ceiling until I could no longer keep my eyes open. I didn’t even bother to undress.

 
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