JARED WAS quiet for the next few hours as they continued their drive. He hadn’t responded when Ananda explained that she had seen his sister and the message she had given her. The idea that not only had Sophie known about her brother’s gift but somehow also had the gift herself was alarming and Ananda just knew that asking questions now would be a bad move. So rather than talk and risk upsetting the man further, Ananda decided to catch up on as much sleep as possible. She was still unsure of their destination and secretly she was terrified that the dark figure from her vision would find them before they reached whatever destination they were heading to.
“I’m sorry.” The sound of Jared’s voice was almost overly loud in the quiet of the car. Ananda opened her eyes but refused to turn around. Somehow she knew that whatever the man needed to say, it would be much easier for him to get it out if she weren’t looking at him. “I’m not angry with you…it’s just…” Jared paused, as if to gather courage. “The whole time we were growing up, Sophie never ever told me she had a gift. Not even when I started hearing voices and told her. I always thought that if I had done more, I could have saved her that day. If only I had told someone about Kevin instead of hiding away like a coward. Or if I had stayed in the cafeteria that day…”
“Then you would have died along with everyone else and you wouldn’t have been here, now, alive and able to keep me from being caught or killed by whoever is after me!” Ananda couldn’t help but turn to look at the man. The sound of his grief was almost more than she could bear. “I didn’t know your sister, but I’m sure she would never have wanted you to be there that day. She was your big sister and for some reason, for some reason that I just can’t explain, I know she knew what was going to happen.”
If not for his iron grip on the steering wheel, Jared might have jerked out of his chair with shock. “What?” He couldn’t wrap his head around the thought. Even if Sophie had had the gift, she wasn’t old enough for extra abilities to have manifested. “She wasn’t old enough to have that ability. Abilities like that don’t manifest until after maturation.”
“I know, I know you said that but…I don’t know how to explain it Jared.” She put her hand softly on Jared’s shoulder, willing him to understand what she saw and felt. Suddenly a tingling sensation manifested almost like an itch behind her ear. The feeling traveled down her arm and into the tips of her fingers as they rested against Jared’s warm skin until she was sure that the man had to be feeling something. It was odd how surely Ananda felt about Jared when they had only met one another seventy-two hours ago. She spared a thought for Kerri and wondered what her dearest friend was doing in her absence. “Do you think I could call Kerri, or my parents? I mean, would it be safe to call them? They aren’t in any danger right?”