“Not that you asked me.” Chevy yanks me out of my brain. “But you need to be careful with Breanna. She’s not from our world, and what’s worse, she’s not the type that’s curious about the club. She’s one of those quiet types and those girls can be fragile. Guys like us can hurt girls like her without meaning to.”

There’s a twisting in my gut. Years ago, I was the one who killed the most bugs. It was never my intention to cause harm. In fact, the desperation to capture one alive caused me to go faster, and in my haste, I crushed more. “You telling me to stay away?”

“I’m telling you that you keep pissing off people—people who love you. Starting shit with a girl outside of our world isn’t going to help anyone. Your dad asked me to tell him if you get into trouble at school. Breanna could be trouble and I’m not looking to rat you out on anything. Guess I’m saying stop making life complicated.”

“You’re right,” I say. “I didn’t ask.”

“You never do. Figured out what Olivia wants you to do with her ashes yet?”

I shake my head and appreciate the change in subject. I’ve read through the bylaws Olivia left me a dozen times over. Even compared them to the current copy I found in the clubhouse. Nothing is different. Everything the same. I can’t help but feel like she’s toying with me from beyond the grave.

“Makes me wonder what she has up her sleeve for me,” he mumbles. It’s what we all think—that she left her ashes to each one of the brat pack. That we will each receive the same wooden box and messed-up set of instructions. It happened to Oz and Emily after her death. Now to me. Maybe her mind was in neutral toward the end.

I should confess everything to Chevy—the visit from the detective, my thoughts and fears about Mom’s death and the increasing paranoia that the club was involved, but I don’t. As he clearly pointed out, I don’t ask for advice and his anecdote reminds me why. In the end, even the people I care for the most believe I’m crazy.

Stone rounds the corner in that quirky way he walks with his shoulders rolled forward and his feet moving too fast. He’s fourteen, a redhead like Violet, tall like a tree, thin like a sheet of paper, and the wires in his brain are crossed—not like mine, but more like Breanna’s. Where she’s supersmart, Stone is, too, but he’s socially inept and he can’t empty thoughts from his brain. Stuff circles and the loop won’t end.

Asshole guys in this school try to harass anyone associated with the Terror, and Stone’s connection with us combined with his personality has tattooed a target on his forehead. Good news—he’s Terror family.

Rumor has it the two juniors down the hallway have been dared to bully Stone, and we won’t permit that to happen. They block Stone’s path and Chevy and I push off the lockers, but Chevy raises his hand. “I got this. If this goes bad and I get suspended, I need you here.”


I withdraw and let Chevy run the show. Stone belongs to all of us, but because he’s Violet’s younger brother, Chevy takes it more personally. As soon as Chevy joins Stone, the two juniors retreat. Chevy glares at them as he passes and I wait for them to piss their pants.

“...okay, thank you.”

My head whips toward the sound of Breanna’s sweet voice. At the corner, she waves at our English teacher, then starts for our classroom. She holds her books to her side and a part of me lightens as if I heaved a hundred-pound chain off my shoulders.

Breanna has this fluid, effortless way about her that draws me in. Her light-colored skirt swishes as she walks and I appreciate the white button-down shirt that’s tailored to her curves. One side of her midnight hair is pulled up and I love how it exposes her neck and the smooth skin I came close to tasting last Friday.

Breanna reminds me of slow-moving time and summer nights. She’s sexy, I’m attracted and we’re on opposite ends of the social scale.

Breanna glances up before entering class and, screw me, a hint of a smile plays across her lips. “Hi.”

“Hey,” I respond, and in one of the rare times in my life, I search for something to say. Do that small talk that Chevy and Oz find easy.

Her expression falls as she scans my body like she’s trying to discover a bleeding wound. “Where were you yesterday?”


A reprimanding frown in my direction. “Obviously. We need to talk. Something’s happened.”

An adrenaline rush charges through me. “Is it the code? Did you crack it?”

“No. I haven’t had a chance to dig into it yet. When I texted, I didn’t think my problem through and we shouldn’t discuss it here. Can we meet somewhere private later?”

The sights and the sounds of the hallway zone out as my mind tries to guess what has her spooked. “Tell me.”

“Not here.”

And I’m not waiting. “Spill. Now.”

Breanna’s fingers drum against her folder and she does a sweep of the hallway. This time when she speaks, she lowers her voice to the point I have to strain to listen. “Do you remember when we were talking on Friday night and you had sat me on the tailgate and how you were...close?”

Whatever the hell is bothering her causes a scary stillness inside me. “Go on.”

“We weren’t alone.”

Breanna’s words are a straight kick to the torso and I ease toward her as something dangerous unfurls within me. “What do you mean, not alone?”

Her eyes dart to the left, and when her face pales out, I track her line of sight. A wave of anger rumbles through my bloodstream as I go eye to eye with Kyle Hewitt.

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