Chapter Seventeen

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It was all Zoe could think about that weekend: the fact that the tragic accident that had taken her mother's life hadn't been an accident at all. It had been deliberate. An act of vengeance, as her father said. Somebody had lit that fire with the intention of killing her mother—but who?

And more importantly, why?

She'd hoped her father might be wrong. Maybe his memories were still fuzzy, or he'd remembered things wrong. Hell, maybe her dreams were different to whatever power he'd supposedly possessed. It didn't have to be true; there was still a chance that the fire had been caused by a simple, accidental gas-leak, as they'd been told.

But she'd made the mistake of checking through news reports of her other victims—and they had been all the proof she needed to know that her father was right.

Family Perish in Teen's Revenge. Hayden Parker's house fire had been set by his ex-girlfriend, who was angry that he wouldn't take her back. Girl Struck Down by Own Father. Meredith Kayla's hit-and-run had been her father's way of making sure her mother couldn't have sole custody. Man Butchered for $10,000. Jackson Phillips had been murdered by his own brother, all so they wouldn't have to share their inheritance—which turned out to be a measly ten thousand dollars.

So who had Satine Halsman pissed off?

Zoe couldn't think of a single soul who would want to hurt her mother. The woman had been a saint. Half the town had turned up for her funeral, and the other half had sent so many flowers and casseroles that Zoe could still remember the overwhelming scent of it all. Her father was as clueless as she was, frowning as she asked him about it again and again. I don't know, he kept insisting. Everybody loved her. And if an angel didn't have the answer to her question, then what hope did she have of find it?

Ugh. She needed to get out of her head.

Paris was fast asleep when she peered past his and Nate's open bedroom door, his blond waves the only thing visible above the doona he'd cocooned himself in. The room was dark, with the curtains still drawn and nothing more than the light of a television screen to illuminate the mess. Nate sat with his eyes glued to it, waiting for something to load—his back to his bed, and a gaming controller in hand.

He glanced over when Zoe knocked lightly on the door.

"Hey," he said, his voice soft as he briefly glanced his cousin's way. "Come on in. I didn't think we'd be seeing you today."

"Thought you'd scared me off?"

Nate gave her half a smile. "Something like that."

"I see death in my dreams. It's gonna take a little more than healing powers and force fields to scare me."

Zoe stepped into the room, giving it a once over as she moved to sit by Nate. It was cleaner than the last time she'd been in here, though not by much. There were still clothes piled in the corner, the boys' schoolbags had been dumped unceremoniously at the ends of their beds, and Nate hadn't bothered making his bed that morning. Even their gaming console—an outdated Xbox 360—was dusty and covered in scuff marks.

Matt would never have allowed his beloved Playstation 4 to look so beat up.

"Quit judging our mess, Halsman."

Zoe's eyes found Nate again. "Jeez. Can you read minds or something?"

"No. But Uncle Gabe could, when he had his powers. I'm just a good judge of character." He nodded to his game's loading screen. "Do you play?"

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