Admin note: Forum has been fixed. It took 2 hours, so we are doing a snippet this morning in lieu of normal blog content. We are aware of Amazon posting White Hot release date as 2018. I don’t know why they did that. It is likely to come out in 2016. Unless meteorite falls on the house and prevents us from finishing. Or the forum breaks again. I guess Amazon was just like, “F… it, they’ll never get this done.” 😛
De Trevinos lived in Southwyck, on a lake, next to a golf course. It would take us good fifty minutes to get there.
I glanced at Rogan. His jaw was set. He stared straight ahead, his eyes iced over. I’d seen fury in them before, but this new crystallized rage chilled me to the bone. Whatever was going on in his head was dark, so, so dark. It grabbed hold of him and pulled him under to a terrifying place where there was only glacial anger. When people got mad, they stormed, they ranted, they let it out in one way or another, but he was holding all of it in. His rage had no passion to it. I wanted to reach in there and drag him out into the light, so he’d thaw.
He turned and looked at me, as if waking up.
I had to say something. I said his name, something had to follow. “What happened to Gavin?”
“He made a deal.”
I took an exit onto Sam Houston Freeway. The road repair crews were working on the shoulder again and I had to drive next to the temporary concrete barriers. Never my favorite. The only thing worse was when there was an identical barrier on the other side at night when it was raining.
“What kind of deal?”
“A year in the juvenile boot camp facility, until he turned eighteen, followed by ten year commitment to the military in exchange for his testimony against Adam Pierce. If he manages to graduate from the boot camp program. If he fails, he will serve ten years in prison.”
“That’s a good deal.”
“Under the circumstances. He happened to have talent, so we used it as a bargaining chip.”
He was slipping away again. I wasn’t even sure why it was so important to keep him here with me, but it was.
“Have you been practicing with a gun since our last encounter?” I kept my voice light.
He just looked at me.
“No? Rogan, you said yourself, you’re a terrible shot.”
Okay, so this wasn’t the best way to bring him out, but that’s all I could think about.
“You’re riding shotgun. If bandits attack this pony express, how are you going to hold them off without a gun? Are you planning on rolling down the window, announcing yourself, and glaring at them until they faint from fear?”
He didn’t say anything. He just kept watching me.
I opened my mouth to needle him some more.
The concrete barrier on the right of us cracked as if struck by giant hammer. It stayed together, but huge fractures crisscrossed it. The cracks chased us, shooting through the concrete dividers with tiny puffs of rock dust. His magic ripped into cement with brutal efficiency. It brushed by me and I almost swung the door open and jumped out.
The cars behind us swerved, trying to shift lanes away from the fractured barriers.
“Stop,” I asked.
The cracks dropped back.
“Would you like me to drop you off?” I asked.
“Why would I want that?”
“So you can brood in solitude.”
“I don’t brood.”
“Plot horrible revenge, then. Because you’re freaking me out.”
“It’s my job to freak you out.”
“That’s the nature of our relationship.” A spark lit his eyes. “We both do what’s necessary, and after it’s over, I watch you freak out about it.”
“Oh, I don’t want you to stop. I find it highly amusing.”
That’s the last time I try to cheer you up. Go back into your dragon cave for all I care.
“Would you like me to break one more, so you can take a picture for your grandmother?” he offered.
“I changed my mind,” I told him. “I don’t want to talk to you.”
I should just stop trying.
Grandma Frida would think it was really neat.
I took my phone off the console and held it to him. “Okay but only one or two more. Just enough for the vine.”
“Your grandmother has a vine account?” The barriers fractured.
“Yes. She’ll probably post it on her instagram, too. Okay, that’s enough, thank you, or the Volvo behind us might have a heart attack.”