Home > The Strange Power (Dark Visions #1)(11)

The Strange Power (Dark Visions #1)(11)
Author: L.J. Smith

"Look," Lewis said, clearing his throat. "I don't want to change the subject, but. . . can I pick my room next? Because I'd like . . . ummmm, that one."

Rob glanced into the room Lewis had indicated, then stepped down the hall and looked into two other doors. He turned and gave Lewis an oh-come-on look.

Lewis wilted. "But this is the only one left with cable. And I need my MTV. And my computer and my stereo and-"

"There's only one fair thing to do," Rob said. "We should make that room a communal place. That way, everybody can watch TV-there isn't one downstairs."

"But then what do we do?" Lewis demanded.

"We double up in the small rooms," Rob said briefly.

Kaitlyn and Anna glanced at each other and smiled. Kaitlyn didn't mind rooming with Anna-she was actually glad. It would be almost like having a sister.

Lewis groaned. "But what about my stereo and stuff? They won't even fit in one of those small rooms, especially if there's two beds in there."

"Good," Rob said relentlessly. "Put 'em in the common room. We can all listen to them. Come on, we'd better start moving furniture."

The first thing Gabriel did was scan the room, prowling around it with silent, wary steps.

He looked in every corner, including the bathroom and closet. It was big, and luxurious, and the balcony offered a quick escape route-if it turned out that escape was necessary.

He liked it.

He flopped on the king-size bed and considered whether he liked anything else about this place.

There was the girl, of course. The one with the witch eyes and the hair like flame. She might be an interesting diversion.

But something inside him twisted uncomfortably. He found himself on his feet and pacing again.

He'd have to make sure it was just a diversion. That kind of girl might be too interesting, might tempt you to get involved. ...

And that could never happen again.

Never. Because ...

Gabriel wrenched his thoughts away. Aside from the girl, there wasn't much to like here-and several things to hate. Kessler. The restrictions on his freedom-being under house arrest. Kessler. The stupidity of the whole study these people had planned. Kessler.

He could do something about Kessler if he wanted. Take care of him permanently. But then he'd have to run, and if he got caught, he'd end up in lockup until he was twenty-five. It wasn't worth it-not yet.

He'd see how annoying Kessler turned out to be. This place was tolerable, and if he could last out the year, he'd be rich. With that much money, he could buy freedom-could buy anything he wanted. He'd wait and see.

And as for them testing his powers-he'd see about that, too. Whatever happened, it was their problem. Their fault.

He settled down on the bed. It was early, but he was tired. In a few minutes he was asleep.

Kait and the others didn't get much moved before Joyce called them down for dinner. Kait rather liked the feeling of eating at the big dining room table with five other people-five, because Gabriel hadn't come out of his room, ignoring all knocks at his door. It was like being part of a large family, and everyone seemed to have a good time-except maybe Marisol, who didn't talk much.

After dinner they went back to furniture arranging. There was plenty of furniture to pick from; the jumble in the hall and rooms seemed to include every style ever invented. Kait and Anna's room ended up with two mismatched single beds, a cheap pressed-wood bookcase, a beautiful French Provincial chair, a Victorian rolltop desk, and the nightstand that had attacked Kait in the hall. Kaitlyn liked all of it.

The bathroom in between the two small rooms was designated the girls' bathroom-by Rob's decree. "Girls need to be nearer to their stuff," he said obscurely to Lewis, who by then only shrugged. The boys would use the bathroom off the common room.

Going to bed, Kaitlyn was happy. Indirect moonlight came in the window behind her bed-north light, she noted with pleasure. It shone on the beautiful cedar-and-cherry-bark basket Anna had placed in their bookcase, and on the Raven mask Anna had hung on the wall. Anna herself was breathing peacefully in the other bed.

Kaitlyn's old life in Ohio seemed worlds away- and she was glad.

Tomorrow's Sunday, she thought. Joyce promised to show us the lab, and after that, maybe I'll do some drawing. And then maybe we can look around town. And on Monday we'll go to school and I'll have a built-in set of friends.

What a wonderful idea. She knew that Anna and Lewis, at least, would want to eat lunch together. She hoped Rob would, too. As for Gabriel-well, the farther off he was, the better. She didn't feel sorry for him at all. ...

Her thoughts drifted off. The vague discomfort she'd felt about Mr. Zetes had entirely disappeared. She slipped easily into sleep.

And then, suddenly, she was wide-awake. A figure was standing over her bed.

Kaitlyn couldn't breathe. Her heart seemed to fill her mouth and throat, pounding. The moonlight was gone and she couldn't make out any details of the figure-it was just a black silhouette.

For a wild instant-without knowing why-she thought, Rob? Gabriel?

Then a dim light came through the window again. She saw the halo of mahogany hair and the full lips of Marisol.

"What's wrong?" she whispered, sitting up. "What are you doing here?"

Marisol's eyes were like black pits. "Watch out-or get out," she hissed.

"What?"

"Watch out... or get out. You kids think you're so smart-so psychic-don't you? So superior to everyone else."

Kaitlyn couldn't speak.

"But you don't know anything. This place is different than you think. I've seen things . . ." She shook her head and laughed roughly. "Never mind. You'd just better watch out-" She broke off suddenly and looked behind her. Kaitlyn could see only the black rectangle of the doorway-but she thought she heard a faint rattling sound down the hall.

"Marisol, what-"

"Shut up. I've got to go."

"But-"

Marisol was already leaving. An instant later, the door to Kaitlyn's room silently closed.

By the next morning, Kait had forgotten about the strange visit.

She woke up to a distant clanging, feeling as if it were very late. A glance at her bedside clock showed that it was seven-thirty, which, of course, meant it was ten-thirty in Ohio.

The clanging was still going on. Anna sat up in bed.

   
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