Home > Toxic (Denazen #2)

Toxic (Denazen #2)
Jus Accardo

1

Most people probably wouldn’t advise downing Jell-O shots before racing to the top of a thirty-foot crane.

Me? Well, it sounded like a good idea. Plus, Jell-O shots? My fave. The slimy glob of vodka-infused jelly—strawberry banana—went down nice and easy. Probably due to the sweet Jell-O-y goodness…or possibly the four that came before it.

I set the empty plastic cup down in the dirt and scanned the crowd. My new group of friends. Sixes. Every last one. Not that there was anything wrong with my old friends—I actually missed them like crazy. My antics weren’t nearly as impressive when there was a guy in the crowd who could walk on water. Or a chick that could breathe underneath it.

But this was safer. For now. These kids all knew about Kale’s ability. They knew to keep their distance, while at the same time, doing their best to make him feel welcome.

There were about twelve of us scattered around the construction site. From the base of the crane, I could see our own personal lightning rod—David, I think his name was—starting some of the construction vehicles by simply touching them. His ability drew off electricity, allowing him to receive and channel it through his body. The electric current spitting from his fingers brought the engines to life, accompanied by a round of enthusiastic applause.

What the hell was it about guys and big equipment?

Squealing metal filled the air as one of the dump trucks tipped its bed, sliding debris onto the lot. A few seconds later, a large chunk of concrete rocketed into the air. A blue-white ball of twitching light followed, leaving a shimmering trail in its wake as it shot across the night sky. The two objects collided with a deafening crack, and the concrete shattered, raining tiny bits and pieces over our heads. There was a chorus of cheers, followed by hysterical laughter.

Six or not, all drunken teenagers found destruction an epic source of amusement. At least some things in life were static.

Good thing Paul was with us, or someone might have heard all the noise. With his ability to cloak stationary people, places, and things, the rest of the world could only see the future home of the new Parkview strip mall. A silent, empty construction site after dark.

Yep. Nothing going on here.

There were a million and five things I should have been doing at that moment. Obsessing over my meager wardrobe of suitable school outfits. Looking over my shoulder for stick-up-the-ass men in Armani knockoffs just salivating to snatch me. Worrying about the fact that I had roughly five months—possibly less—of sanity left.

It was a new and vicious trend. Worry, worry, worry.

What was I doing? What I did best. Crazy shit.

“Last chance to step off, Dez,” the girl on the other side of the crane said, waving. She had brown eyes and long purple hair that twisted down her back in an intricate braid.

Step off? Someone had been sniffing some serious glue. I gripped the bars of the crane and arched my back. Snap, crackle, and pop. “Not a chance, baby.”

Kiernan was a fairly new recruit to Ginger’s Six mafia. We found her over the summer by following the list my cousin Brandt had given me before he left town. Her gift allowed her to blend into the environment, creating a bubble that rendered her pretty much invisible and silent. It was something Dad was drooling all over himself to get.

He’d tried, too. In an attempt to win her trust, Kale and I had taken her along on an amusement park trip. Dad’s men used the opportunity to try snagging all three of us. It nearly ended in disaster, but in the end, we more than proved which side of the good versus evil fence we stood on, and Kiernan came back to the Sanctuary with us. She was crude and abrasive, and there was a good chance she was even crazier than me—and I kind of loved her.

Kale cringed beside me as I arched my back again to get rid of a stubborn kink. He hated the sound of my joints cracking. His eyes darted between me and the top of the crane. “What’s this called again?”

“Craning.”

“And why do you do it?”

“Because we’re not supposed to? That’s what makes it so damn fun.”

Instead of stepping back to join the gathering crowd, he took position beside me. “I’m going up, too.”

“I’ll be fine,” I insisted.

Above us, thunder boomed, and a blast of cool wind blew through the lot. A shiver ran through me. I prayed the rain held off because Kiernan had won the last race. I wanted a chance to even the score.

Kale rolled his eyes—a fairly new thing for him. “Of course you will. But you said it was fun. I’d like to try.”

My heart gave a little squeeze. Deep, dark voice. Check. Soulful eyes. Check. Well-muscled arms that could make a girl’s legs go rubbery—and a penchant for the dangerous. Check frigging plus. Could any guy be more perfect?

“You both goin’ up?” Kiernan kicked the crane twice, and it gave an echoing rattle, sending vibrations up the bars. “Remember, no cheating!”

“I don’t need to cheat,” Kale called to her. He flashed me a lopsided grin and stepped through the metal rungs to the inside hollow. Poking his head back through the bars, he kissed me. Not a quick peck on the cheek, either. No, kisses from Kale were enough to make a porn star blush.

Just part of the awesome that was my boyfriend.

My über hot, strangely innocent-yet-could-kill-you-with-a-bar-of-soap boyfriend.

“We’ll see about that, Ninja Boy.” Kiernan laughed. She’d been calling him that since the day she met him, and it’d kind of caught on. Last week she’d even bought him a black I’m a Ninja T-shirt. Kale pretended to be irritated by it, but secretly, even though it was short sleeved, I was pretty sure he loved the thing.

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