phone number. Since it was Wednesday, I’d typed up a quick “Waiting on Wednesday” post for my blog featuring this YA book about a hot boy with a killer touch — can’t go wrong there — apologized for my extended absence, responded to comments, and stalked a few other blogs I loved. It was like coming home.

“Katy?” Mom yelled up the stairs. “Your friend Dee is here.”

“Coming,” I shouted back and closed the lid of my laptop.

I skipped down the stairs, and Dee and I headed off to the hardware store, which wasn’t anywhere near FOO LAND like Daemon had said. They had everything needed for me to fix that gross flower bed out front.

Back home, we each grabbed a side of a bag and hauled it out of my trunk. The bags were ridiculously heavy and by the time we’d gotten them out of the car, sweat poured off of us.

“Want to get something to drink before we drag those bags over to the flower beds?” I offered, arms aching.

She wiped her hands against each other and nodded. “I need to lift weights. Moving stuff sucks.”

We headed inside and grabbed iced tea. “Remind me to join the local gym,” I joked, rubbing my puny arms.

Dee laughed and twisted her sweat-soaked hair from her neck. She still looked gorgeous, even red-faced and tired. I’m sure I looked like a serial killer. At least now we knew I was too weak to do any real damage. “Umm. Ketterman. Our idea of a gym is dragging your garbage can to the end of a dirt road or hauling hay.” I dug up a hair tie for her, joking about the uncoolness of my new small-town life. We’d only been inside ten minutes tops, but when we went back out, all the bags of soil and mulch were stacked next to the porch.

I glanced at her, surprised. “How did they get over here?”

Dropping down on her knees, she started pulling up the weeds. “Probably my brother.”


She nodded. “He’s always the thankless hero.”

“Thankless hero,” I muttered. Not likely. I’d sooner believe the bags levitated over here on their own.

Dee and I attacked the weeds with more energy than I thought we had. I’ve always felt pulling weeds was a great way to let off steam, and if Dee’s jerky movements were any indication, she had a lot to be frustrated about. With a brother like hers, I wasn’t surprised.

Later, Dee stared at her chipped nails. “Well, there went my manicure.”

I grinned. “I told you, you should’ve gotten gloves.”

“But you’re not wearing any,” she pointed out.

Lifting my dirt-stained hands, I winced. My nails were usually chipped. “Yeah, but I’m used to it.”

Dee shrugged and went over and grabbed a rake. She looked funny in her skirt and wedge sandals, which she insisted were the height of gardening couture, and dragged the rake over to me. “This is fun, though.”

“Better than shopping?” I joked.

She seemed to consider it seriously, scrunching her nose. “Yeah, it’s more…relaxing.”

“It is. I don’t think when I’m doing stuff like this.”

“That’s what’s nice about it.” She started raking the faded mulch out of the bed. “Do you do it to avoid thinking?”

Sitting back, I ripped open another bag of mulch. I wasn’t sure how to answer that question. “My dad…he loved doing things like this. He had a green thumb. In our old apartment, we didn’t have a yard or anything, but we had a balcony. We made a garden up there, together.”

“What happened to your dad? Did your parents get divorced?”

I pressed my lips together. Talking about him wasn’t something I did. Like ever. He’d been a good man — a great father. He didn’t deserve what happened to him.

Dee paused. “I’m sorry. It’s none of my business.”

“No. It’s okay.” I stood, brushing the dirt off my shirt. When I looked up, she was leaning the rake against the porch. Her entire left arm blurred. I could see the white railing through it. I blinked. Her arm was solid again.

“Katy? You okay?”

Heart pounding, I dragged my eyes to her face and then back to her arm. It was whole. Perfect. I shook my head. “Yeah, I’m okay. Um…my dad, he got sick. Cancer. It was terminal — in the brain. He’d been getting headaches, seeing things.” I swallowed, looking away. Seeing things like I did? “But other than that, he’d been fine right up to the diagnosis. They started him on chemo and radiation, but everything…went to shit so quickly. He died about two months later.”

“Oh, my God, Katy, I’m so sorry.” Her face was pale, voice soft. “That’s terrible.”

“It’s okay.” I forced a smile I didn’t feel. “It was about three years ago. It’s why my mom wanted to move. A new start and all that jazz.”

In the sunlight, her eyes glistened. “I can understand that. Losing someone doesn’t get easier with time, does it?”

“No.” By the sound of it, she knew what it felt like, but before I could ask, the door to her house swung open. Knots formed in my stomach. “Oh no,” I whispered.

Dee twisted around, letting out a sigh. “Look who’s back.”

It was past one in the afternoon, and Daemon looked as if he’d just rolled out of bed. His jeans were rumpled, hair tousled and all over the place. He was on the phone, talking to someone as he rubbed a hand along his jaw.

And he was shirtless.

“Doesn’t he own a shirt?” I asked, grabbing a spade.

“Unfortunately, I don’t think so. Not even in the winter. He’s always running around half-dressed.” She groaned. “It’s disturbing that I have to see so much of his…skin. Yuck.”

Yuck for her. And hot damn for me. I started digging several holes in strategic places. My throat felt dry. Beautiful face. Beautiful body. Horrible attitude. It was the holy trinity of hot boys.

Daemon stayed on the phone for about thirty minutes, and his presence had a swamping effect. There was no ignoring him, not even when I had my back to him — I could feel him watching. My shoulder blades tingled under his heavy stare. Once I glanced over, and he was gone, only to return a few seconds later with a shirt on. Damn. I kind of missed the view.

I was patting down new soil when Daemon swaggered over, dropping a heavy arm over his sister’s shoulder. She tried to wiggle free, but he held her close. “Hey, Sis.”

She rolled her eyes, but she was grinning. A look of hero-worship filled her eyes as she gazed at him. “Thanks for moving the bags for us.”

“Wasn’t me.”

Dee rolled her eyes. “Whatever, butthead.”

“That’s not nice.” He pulled her closer, smiling — really smiling, and it was a nice look on him. He should try it more often. Then he glanced over at me and his eyes narrowed, as if he just realized I was there, in my yard. The smile was completely gone. “What are you doing?” I glanced down at myself. It seemed pretty obvious considering I was covered with dirt and there were several plants scattered around me. “I’m fixing—”

“I wasn’t asking you.” He turned to his red-faced sister. “What are you doing?”

I was not going to let him get to me again. I shrugged and picked up a potted plant. Yanking the plant out of its container, I ripped roots right along with it.

“I’m helping her with the flower bed. Be nice.” Dee punched him in the stomach before squirming free. “Look at what we’ve done. I think I have a hidden talent.”

Daemon turned his eyes on my landscaping masterpiece. If I had to pick a dream job right now, it would be working with landscaping and the outdoors. Yeah, I sucked butt in the wilderness, but I was at my best with my hands sunk deep into the dirt. I loved everything about it. The numbing it brought, the way everything smelled earthy and rich, and how a little water and fresh soil could bring life back into something that was faded and dying.

And I was good at it. I watched every show on TLC. I knew where to place plants that needed more sun and ones that thrived in the shadows. There was a layered effect, taller and leafy, sturdier plants in the back and flowers in the front. All I had to do was put down soil and voila!

Вы читаете Obsidian
Добавить отзыв


Вы можете отметить интересные вам фрагменты текста, которые будут доступны по уникальной ссылке в адресной строке браузера.

Отметить Добавить цитату