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An hour later, Jared parked the car on my driveway and took the key out of the ignition

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An hour later, Jared parked the car on my driveway and took the key out of the ignition. He made me tell him exactly what happened the moment he picked me up from the station, refusing to wait until we got home. I was partly thankful for said request, since I didn't want my father overhearing the fact that his daughter could now, apparently, access other dimensions and was part of a prophecy that would most likely end up with her dead in an altar of a church this Sunday.

Certain details of today's events, including the fire incident with Wilson and Ms. Aldrin's odd behavior, triggered an occasional frown or sigh from Jared's part, but he did nothing to disrupt the line of events that I laid out for him. Despite my mind being distracted with the retelling, though, Hunter's continuous missed calls kept on haunting me. I forced myself to ignore his texts as well, and luckily my phone battery died before the sixth call managed to come through.

"I'm going to kill him."

I looked back at Jared, his words pulling me out of the haze. "Come again?"

"You heard me," he said, pointing an accusing finger straight at what once used to be Ms. Norton's house. "I'm going to go up to that house and I'm going to kill him."

"You know he can do things you can't, right? Like, supernatural things."

He gave me a quizzical look. "So, what? Having magic suddenly cancels being an asshole?"

I leaned back into the seat with a sigh. "I'm just saying that, one, killing Hunter is not the solution, and two, I don't want to have anything to do with this mess anymore. That includes keeping you as far away from him as possible."

Taking the door handle, I pushed myself out of the jeep. A small pang of pain shot through my sore muscles when my feet connected with the floor, and I wondered why Homer though that giving his son such a giant vehicle would be a good idea. He'd refused to let Jared keep the Volkswagen that Lyn's boyfriend offered initially, handing him the dusty, red jeep that Jared now referred to as Hank, the Jurassic Jeep, instead.

Not that my best friend minded at all. He seemed to enjoy the rather constant, unknown cracking sounds that allowed him to play pretend as a mechanical engineer from time to time.

"Well, I doubt Mr. Perfect Asshole knows the first thing about fencing," Jared resolved, rounding Hank to meet me on the other side with a bag of clothes in his hand. "And I'd love to show him where I want to stick my foil at."

"Let's just drop it for now, okay?" I pleaded. There was a steady ache pulsing through my head, and the light shining down over the veranda made it worse. Jared reached the hem of his fingers to the side of my temple, moving them down in a gentle stroke.

"Didn't you say Gerome fixed your head?"

"I told you his name is Gideon, Jared," I repeated. "And yes, he fixed it, but he forgot to get rid of the anxiety and stress I've been dealing with for the past few days in the process."

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