Because he watched every single one.

“Where are the houseguests?” I asked.


“Kaleb and Lily went to find Michael and Em so I could bring you straight home. They’re all back. Probably asleep.”

“I don’t remember what happened.”

“It was a rip world. The whole thing took us over. Not only did you stop your possessions, you got us out, too.”

“How?” I asked.

“I hoped you’d remember. Poe saved Em and Michael from a rip world once, but it was a totally different situation.” His lips touched mine, and he smiled with his eyes. “You saved our lives.”

I climbed on top of him and dropped my forehead to his shoulder. Images of some of the people who’d possessed me flickered in my subconscious, but I didn’t want to recall any of it.

“You cried in your sleep. I couldn’t decide whether or not to wake you up.”

“Bad dreams. The night I was possessed in the ballroom, there were happy moments. Everything I saw in that alley tonight was terrible, depraved in some way. I don’t want the memories, but I have them.”

“Do you want to talk about it?”

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“Not now.” Maybe never.

“Whatever you need, I’m here.”

“You’re here.” I sat up straight. “In my bed. My dad is going to kill you!”

“No, he’s not. Carl is heading up security tonight, and after I told him what happened, he didn’t want you left alone any more than I did. I put the security feed on a loop, just for tonight. We’re safe.”

“Look at you, taking care of me.” I wanted to touch his skin, not the cotton of his T-shirt. I pulled it over his head and was almost disappointed when I didn’t see more tattoos than the one on his shoulder. Then I ran my hands over his chest, and all disappointment left the building. Smooth skin. Defined muscles.

Floaty hearts. Falling. I let my fingertips absorb the warmth of him and hoped it would smother the nightmares.

“Tell me about your tattoo. You said you wanted to keep these memories for life.”

He explained the different parts as I traced over them. “The swirls stand for past, present, and future.”

“Is that a turtle?” I would’ve expected a sea animal to look hokey, but it didn’t on him.

He gave me his crinkle smile, like he knew what I was thinking. “They have remarkable migratory patterns. They always return home.”

I leaned over to place a kiss in the center of the turtle’s shell. “And the word aiga?”

“It means ‘family.’ The ten stars represent everyone I’ve lost, and the moon is for my father.”

I hoped he didn’t have to add any more stars. My sigh caught on a sob, but I stopped myself before it broke.

“Hey.” He lifted my chin with one finger. “Like I said tonight, I’m not going to lose you.”

“You saved me in that alley; you didn’t leave. You or your friends.” I couldn’t imagine what I would do if Dune weren’t part of my life. “You stayed, and gave me a reason to hold on.”

As if he heard the words I couldn’t utter, he said, “I’m not going anywhere. Not without you.”

I moved to the skin over his heart, placed a kiss there. “I don’t want that, either. Not ever.”

“Hallie.” He spoke my name in a whisper.

He was watching me. Raw, unmasked. All that control conquered. Finally.

“Dune,” I whispered back.

His fingers dug into my hips, holding me back, but his expression didn’t change. “A lot of terrible things went down tonight.”

“Yes, they did. Good reason to claim a stake on life, don’t you think?”

“All I can think about is trying to stop this.”

“Are you saying you don’t want to kiss me?” I traced the outline of his bottom lip, staring at his mouth. “Are you really going to tell me no?”

“Yes, I want to kiss you. I’m not insane. And who could possibly tell you no?”

I had time to smile before his kisses burned down the column of my throat, across my collarbone. He took my face in his hands, leaned back, and brought my mouth down to his.

I let myself sink into the kiss, into him.

When he rolled me over and covered my body with his own, I lost my breath.

Dune thought he was so quiet, sneaking out of bed. When a 220-pound weight lifted, a girl noticed.

I’d slept enough, but I stayed quiet, letting him think I was still out cold. I had a lot to think about, and he’d spent a good part of the past hour making sure I hadn’t thought at all.

When he shut the door behind him, I opened my eyes. His laptop was open on my desk. I didn’t hesitate.

I clicked on the external hard drive that held all the Infinityglass info. I didn’t look at anything else on his computer. I didn’t want to invade his privacy. I just wanted a quick look at the things that pertained to me that I hadn’t seen yet. No one could fault that.

Especially if I didn’t get caught.

There were carefully labeled folders organized by year, and one with the words time-related objects underneath. I found other folders with lists of links, articles scanned from old newspapers, and thumbnails of pictures, one of which showed an hourglass in a frame made out of human bones. It had been stolen from a museum.

By me.

Others were things I’d never seen or heard of, and while some of them were truly scary, others seemed downright ridiculous. I kept skimming until I found a folder with my initials on it, and then I was overcome by that undeniable feeling of anxiety that arrives when you’re seeing something you shouldn’t.

That didn’t stop me from clicking.

Three other names occupied my desktop file, each with folders of their own.

Two females, one male.

Very little information was provided. One of the girls helped on an archeological dig that took place around the time Tut’s tomb was discovered, in the golden age of archeology. The other worked on a farm, possibly in the United Kingdom, and listed no dates.

The guy’s folder had nothing but a name and a GPS location.

I scanned the rest of the information.

Scientific terms, mathematical equations—gibberish to me. I closed out the hard drive and saw a minimized document I’d missed before. It didn’t even have a title, so it must have been what Dune was typing when I woke up.

There were notes about activation, with more questions than answers, and paragraphs written in another language: what looked like Arabic or Egyptian. There were also photographs of hieroglyphs.

Attempted translations were directly below the pictures, and one phrase in bold jumped off the page.

I read it. Twice.

And went to find Dune.


I’d tried to be quiet getting out of bed. Hallie needed rest, but there was no way I was sleeping after tonight.

I went down to grab a drink and found Poe in the kitchen.

“Popsicles again?” I asked.

“Picked them up on the way over, after you called.” He shut the freezer door and met my eyes. “Is Hallie okay?”

“She’s asleep. She got us out, Poe. We’d still be in that alley without her.” I stepped around him to the fridge, took out a bottle of water. “Something clicked for me tonight. Have you seen the section of the Skroll about the Infinityglass and the transfer of abilities?”

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