A World of New

Page 18


She looked at him thoughtfully. Without asking for permission, she placed her hands over his head and brushed her thumbs over his forehead. She eyed his legs.
“Well,” she said. “I can try. Josh is a half-blood, I note.”
“Yes,” I said. “Thank you.”
“Give me a few hours,” she muttered. “Most likely, I’ll deliver something by tomorrow. To the hospital, yes?”
“Top floor, room G5,” I replied.
“Very well.”
“Thanks, Safi.”
With that, she closed the door.
I checked on Josh’s expression again as I wheeled him away. He looked dumbstruck, like he was still processing the vision of Safi. Having been brought up on an island of supernaturals, I just took all of this for granted. It was hard to imagine what it must be like for Josh to wake up here.
“The bottom half of her,” he muttered, as we exited the mountain. “Why is there smoke?”
I found it amusing that this was the first question he asked about her. I remembered asking the same question of my mother when I was a kid.
“Jinn do have bottom halves, legs and the rest of it,” I explained. “But it’s kind of like a custom that they don’t reveal their lower selves to anyone but their significant other.”
Now that I was on the subject of jinn, as I wheeled him back into the woods, I told him some stories about my father and mother’s experiences with the creatures. Jinn played a big part in their history. After all, they had first met while being kept as slaves of the Nasiris in The Oasis. And then there was the whole adventure with my father figuring out how to defeat King Cyrus. That was always a fun one. As I recounted my parents’ history, I realized just how many stories I had to tell.
Josh asked me all sorts of questions as I told him of our history. It was an encouraging change to see him so interested, intrigued.
“What about you, Grace?” he asked finally. “You told me that you are half fae, while your father is fully fae. What are fae exactly? What do they do?”
Ironically, in my overview the other day about supernaturals, I had not touched on fae. I had kept mostly to physical beings like vampires, werewolves and witches, and had not really gotten to the more subtle ones like fae, jinn and ghouls.
“I’ll show you what I do, if you like,” I said with a grin. “But I need to take you somewhere first.” He seemed to be in better spirits than yesterday, and he wasn’t showing nearly as much sign of exhaustion. So I started pushing him toward the direction of Sun Beach. Thankfully I found a witch along the way—Macie, one of Shayla’s friends—who transported us most of the distance. Josh looked breathless as we arrived by a line of trees at the border of the beach.
“You okay?” I asked.
“Yeah,” he managed. “Think so.”
“Sorry,” I said. “I should have given you more of a warning about what it’s like to travel by magic.” It was something I was so used to, I just took it for granted.
Josh gazed toward the rays of light spilling through the trees, his eyes widening.
I pulled out an umbrella from my backpack. I opened it and moved to hand it to him so that he could hold it over himself.
He just looked at me and frowned. “I don’t need an umbrella.”
“Well, you might feel more comfortable with it,” I said. “As a half-blood, you can tolerate the sun much better than vampires, but it can still be unpleasant. But if you want to try it…” I shrugged. “Up to you.”
I pushed him out of the shade and into full sun. I watched his reaction closely as the rays touched his skin. He winced, as I’d been expecting him to, though not too much.
“All right?” I asked.
I glanced up and down the beautiful beach. It was completely empty at this time. It usually was during school hours on a weekday. It was weekends that this place got really packed, and on a Friday after school. Now we had it all to ourselves. I crossed the sand with him, pushing the wheelchair to the border of the ocean. At this point, whatever sensation he was feeling from the sun seemed to have intensified.
“I’ll have the umbrella now, please,” he said.
I handed it to him. Then, after making sure his chair’s brakes were on, I left him at the edge of the waves, facing me as I backed into the water.
“You said you wanted to see what I could do,” I said, scooping up water in my hands. Fixing my eyes on it, slowly I made it rise from my palms, every drop, and take the shape of a ball. I made it swell and churn in my hands, then rise until it reached the level of my neck. Here I paused to catch Josh’s reaction.
He was staring at me in wonderment. I smirked.
“How do you… do that?” he asked.
“I’m not really sure, to be honest.” Manipulating elements like fire and water came as second nature to me. They just responded to my will, the same way my limbs would. Though most fae usually had a leaning toward a particular element—in my and my father’s case, fire— all fae were able to affect other elements also.
Still molding the ball of water, I moved up to him, bringing it close enough for him to pass his hand through it. Then I relinquished my power, and it disintegrated.
For the first time, I witnessed him smile. A small, half smile, but a smile nonetheless. He shook his head in disbelief even as he chuckled. “Bloody amazing.”