CHAPTER 16

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The sight of Sasha's name painted on her locker ripped a hole through my heart. It'd been next to mine in our little office cave for over a year now. I cranked the silver knob up and clicked open the orange, steel locker.

She had the power of telekinesis but not of cleanliness.

Compared to my spic and span locker, Sasha's was cluttered with scraps of clothes, papers, text books, and make-up stuff. But what tugged at my heartstrings the most was the familiar scent that emitted from the cluttered mess.

Subtle roses, sugar, and spice.

A picture of her copper-blond hair and flashing green eyes assaulted my head. Tears stung, and I gripped the bottom of the locker with both hands to hold me steady. I glanced around the empty office and drew in a deep breath.

It really sucked being the oldest. I had to deal with the locker clean outs when they died. I almost wished I'd died at that lookout station. Then stupid Sean would have to clean out my locker.

At least he knew enough to stay away. Had to give him credit for that. He hadn't even tried to talk to me at the funeral. Must have picked up on the mental vibes I'd been sending out, because it'd been four days since the mental boxing match him and Tom got into.

And I still wasn't ready to see either of them.

I glanced at the empty box sitting on the wooden bench. Sasha's stuff wouldn't fill it on its own, so I had better get to it. I reached in and pulled out the clothes. Typical Sasha fashion-exercise tank tops. The red one I remembered from when we were fighting in the ring last week.

A smile tugged at my face. She'd nailed me in the cheek with a solid jab and freaked. She apologized profusely for the entire day. I shook my head free of the memory and grabbed a stash of chocolate, then tossed it into the box. She'd always been one to share her chocolate, and she always had some on her. Was part of her normal scent.

My laugh echoed off the lockers, but the sounds of my sobs followed just as closely-only louder. I melted onto the bench and fisted my hands in my hair until it stung.

I should have been at that lookout. It should be me lying in that casket beneath six feet of dirt. Why was I still alive? I'd stared death in the face more times than I could count, but somehow, I'd always survived.

I slid my fingers beneath my leaking eyes and stood. Nothing would get figured out with me sitting here sobbing. I had to be strong. Be the example for the rest of the Agents.

I grabbed the box, propped it beneath her locker, then reached in and slid everything into it. Enough of the memories. They hurt too much. If I focused on them too long, it'd break me.

I slammed her locker shut, closed up the box, then tucked it under my arm. I stomped through the narrow hallway toward the tiny gym our little underground office had. Sure, it was just an office room, but Smith had knocked out a couple walls and opened it up for us. It barely fit the boxing ring, two treadmills and mats to stretch, but it worked.

The box jingled as I set it on the bench to the side of the empty gym. Seemed like everyone else had taken the day off as well. Probably all together at some bar, reminiscing about Sasha and her wicked sense of humor. Or her funny, snort-like laughter.

I slid a pair of thin boxing gloves over my fingers and used my teeth to tighten the right hand. Tears and curses filled the first twenty minutes I pounded on the bag. I even kicked it a few times for good measure. I glanced at the ring to my left. Echoes of Sasha laughter as we boxed last week sounded in my brain.

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