Home > The Strange Power (Dark Visions #1)(10)

The Strange Power (Dark Visions #1)(10)
Author: L.J. Smith

Kaitlyn turned and saw a girl coming through the dining room. She looked college age, and had tumbled mahogany hair and full lips which looked a bit sullen.

"This is Marisol Diaz, an undergrad from Stanford," Joyce said. "She won't live here, but she'll come daily and help with your testing. She'll also help me cook. You'll find a schedule for meals on the dining room wall, and we'll go over the other house rules tomorrow. Any questions?"

Heads were shaken.

"Good. Now, why don't you go upstairs and fix up your rooms? It's been a long day, and I know some of you must be tired from jet lag. Marisol and I will throw together something for dinner."

Kaitlyn was tired. Although her watch said 5:45, it was three hours later by Ohio time. Mr. Zetes said good-bye to each of them, and shook their hands. Then Kait and the others headed upstairs.

"What did you think of him?" she whispered to Lewis and Anna as they reached the second floor.

"Impressive-but a little scary. I kept expecting him to introduce 'Masterpiece Theater,'" Lewis whispered back.

"Those dogs were interesting," Anna said. "Usually I can sort of read animals, tell if they're happy or sad or whatever. But those two were very guarded. I wouldn't want to try to influence them."

Something made Kait glance behind her-and she found that Gabriel was looking at her. She felt disconcerted, so she immediately went on the attack.

"And what did you think?" she asked him.

"I think he wants to use us for his own reasons."

"Use us how?" Kaitlyn said sharply.

Gabriel shrugged, looking bored. "How should I know? Maybe to improve his corporation's image- 'Silicon Valley Company Benefits Humankind.' Like Chevron financing wildlife programs. Of course, he was right about one thing-we are superior to the rest of the human race."

"And some of us are more superior than others, right?" Rob asked, from the stairs. "Some of us don't have to follow the rules-or the laws."

"Exactly," Gabriel said, with a rather chilling smile. He was walking around the hallway, glancing into each bedroom. "Well, Joyce told us to pick our rooms. I think I'll take . . . this one."

"Hey!" Lewis squawked. "That's the biggest room -the one with the cable hookup and the Jacuzzi and . . . and everything."

Gabriel said blandly, "Thanks for telling me."

"It's much bigger than any of the others," Anna said with quiet heat. "We decided it should go to whoever rooms together."

"You can't just grab it for yourself," Lewis finished. "We ought to vote."

Gabriel's gray eyes narrowed and his lip lifted in something like a snarl. With one step he was close to Lewis. "You know what a lockup cell looks like?" he said, his voice cold and brutal. "It has a two-foot-wide bed and a metal toilet. One metal stool attached to the wall and one built-in desk. That's all. I've been in a cell like that on and off for two years. So now I figure I'm entitled. Are you going to do something about it?"

Lewis scratched his nose, looking as if he were considering it. Anna pulled him back a step.

"MTV isn't worth it," she told him.

Gabriel looked at Rob. "You, country boy?"

"I won't fight you, if that's what you mean," Rob drawled. He looked half-disgusted, half-pitying. "Go ahead, take the room-you sad bastard."

Lewis made a faint sound of protest. Gabriel stepped inside his newly acquired room and began to shut the door.

"By the way," he said, turning, "everyone else had better keep out of here. After you spend so much time in lockup, you get to like your space. You get kind of territorial. I wouldn't want anybody to get hurt."

As the door closed, Kait said, "Gabriel-like the angel?" She could hear the heavy sarcasm in her own voice.

The door opened again, and Gabriel gave her a long, measuring look. Then he flashed a brilliant, unsettling smile. "You can come in any time you like," he said.

This time after the door slammed, it stayed shut.

"Well," Kaitlyn said.

"Jeez," Lewis said.

Anna was shaking her head. "Gabriel Wolfe-he's not like a wolf, really, because they're very social. Except for a lone wolf, an exile. One that's been driven out of the pack. If wolves get driven out far enough they go a little crazy-start attacking anything that comes near them."

"I wonder what his talent is," Kaitlyn mused. She looked at Rob.

He shook his head. "I don't really know. I met him back in North Carolina-at a place in Durham, another psychic research center."

"Another one?" Lewis said, looking surprised.

"Yeah. My parents took me to see if they could make any sense of the weird stuff I was doing. I guess his parents did the same thing. He wasn't interested in working with the staff, though. He just wanted his own way, and the hell with other people. A girl ended up... getting hurt."

Kait looked at him. She wanted to ask, "Hurt how?" but from the closed-off expression on his face, she didn't think she'd get an answer.

"Anyway, that was over three years ago," Rob said. "He ran away from the center right after it happened, and I heard he just went from state to state, getting in a heap of trouble everywhere. Making a heap of trouble everywhere."

"Oh, terrific," Lewis said. "And we've got to live with this guy for a year?"

Anna was looking at Rob closely. "What about you? Did that center help you?"

"Sure did. They helped me figure out just what it was I was doing."

"And just what is it you do?" Kaitlyn put in, staring significantly from him to her leg.

"Healing, I guess," the blond boy said simply. "Some places call it therapeutic touch, some places call it channeling energy. I try to use it to help."

Looking into his steady golden eyes, Kaitlyn felt oddly ashamed. "I'm sure you do," she said, which was as close as she could come to saying "thank you." Somehow she didn't want the others to know what had happened between her and Rob earlier. She felt strangely confused by him-and by her reaction to him.

"I'm sure we all do," Rob said, again simply. His smile was slow but infectious-irresistible, in fact.

"Well, we try," Anna said. Kait glanced at Lewis, who just widened his eyes without saying anything. She had the feeling that, like her, he hadn't worked too hard at helping people with his powers.

   
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