Chapter Fifteen

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The silence in the room was so complete that Zoe could have heard a pin drop on the stairs outside.

Her father's gaze moved between the three men—from Michael, to Raphael, to Gabriel—patiently waiting for somebody to crack a grin, to start laughing and declare that they were only joking. That this was all some kind of elaborate prank.

But they just stared back at him with those serious expressions on their faces.

Zoe looked to Nate and Paris. Neither one of them were smiling either, and Celia's expression was solemn as she grasped her husband's hand.

It felt like they sat there an eternity, waiting for somebody to break, before Zoe's father turned to her with a steely look in his eyes and said, "Come on, Zoe. We're leaving."

"Sir." It was Celia who spoke, raising her hands in a placating manner as she did so. "I know this all sounds crazy to you, but you really should hear them out. If not for your own sake, then for your daughter's."

Her father practically growled. "What does any of this have to do with her?"

"It has everything to do with her. She's inherited some of your abilities—and she's suffering because of it, isn't she?"

Zoe's father glanced at her. Yes, she suffered because of her dreams—physically, mentally, and emotionally. But to say that these were the powers of an angel? To suggest that it was her father's fault she had them in the first place? It was ridiculous.

"I didn't believe them when they first found me either," Raphael said from Paris's side, "but how else do you explain what our kids can do?"

"Plenty of people out there claim to see deaths before they happen," Zoe's father said evenly. "And there are those who say they can heal people. Nine out of ten might be con artists, but there's always a chance the last one is telling the truth."

Mr McKay—Michael—didn't turn to look at his son as he said, "Nate. Show them."

Zoe and her father both turned to look at Nate as he moved forward. Show them what, Zoe wondered? Was he going to sprout a pair of fluffy white wings and start flapping around? She might have liked to see that.

Nate's eyes zeroed in on the abandoned bottle of water Zoe's father had set on the table. He held out a hand toward it, palm facing outward.

A translucent red bubble appeared around the bottle, pulsing steadily.

Zoe stared at it.

"An illusion," her father declared. His gaze was hard when Zoe looked to him. "There are magicians all around the world who can do shit like this."

There was a challenge in Nate's eyes as he said, "If it's just an illusion, then take the water bottle."

Her father reached out to grab it—and it looked like his hand met a wall of resistance.

He frowned at the red bubble. He pushed at it, poked at it, even went as far as to pick up an abandoned pen from the table and stab at it—but nothing could pierce the thing.

Michael's voice held the same challenge as his son's. "How do you explain that one?"

Zoe's father stared at the bubble, contemplating.

Zoe reached out to touch it herself, and was surprised at how solid it felt against her palm. It looked as weak as an ordinary bubble, ready to pop at the slightest touch, but in reality it was unmoving. Impenetrable.

A force field. Nate had conjured a freaking force field.

"Okay," she said, drawing her hand back. "So there's something different about us. It's not angelic."

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