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Nineteen

   The next day couldn’t come quickly enough. I glanced over at the clock on the table next to me. 11:00 pm. I wanted to hit someone.

           Jace strolled in, holding a towel loosely around his waist. I rolled my eyes. “Oh, please,” I said.

           He smiled and bent down to kiss me. I turned my face so that his lips fell to my cheek. He glanced down to the ground, turned around, and left into the bedroom. Immediately, I wondered what was wrong.

Jace

           After pulling on boxers and some jeans, I sighed and dropped down onto the bed and allowed myself to think- something that people seemingly never do anymore.

            Something’s wrong with Ava. She has her dog. I’m bringing her to see her friend tomorrow morning, and then I’ll take her to Hawaii. I… If she doesn’t want to go with me, maybe I should just leave her here with her family. I don’t want her to resent me for the rest of-

           My thoughts, which I so desperately needed, were abruptly cut off by a scream. I threw open the door and sprinted back into the living room, where Ava was on the floor, sobbing.

           I fell to my knees next to her and rubbed her neck with my cold hands. “Ava, wha-“ But then I saw it.

           The golden retriever’s limp body rested on the floor in the dining room. I held my breath as I realized that he wasn’t moving. His body was no longer rising up and down, as it should’ve been to keep breathing.

           An idea struck me, a sudden light going off in the darkness of my mind.

           I pulled her off the floor and whispered, “Try something. I need you to calm down and listen to me, okay? This might be the only chance you- we- have to save Sammy.” Instantaneously, the sobbing stopped. She sniffled for the last time and wiped her eyes with her sleeve. My heart sunk, hit whatever bottom was there, and shattered into a million pieces. Her wet, red eyes were what did it.

           And yet, she still looked beautiful. I shooed away the thought, trying to focus on the dog. “Ava, what you need to do- You have to listen to me very carefully. I want you to go over to Sammy and say- very quietly- ‘Viens vivre et de vivre ta vie.’”

           She took a deep breath, exhaled, and crawled over to the dog.

Ava

  I crawled over and ran my hands over Sammy’s tummy. I kissed his head and whispered, “Viens vivre et de vivre ta vie” just as Jace had instructed. Those five years of French came in pretty handy, eh?

           I whispered it over and over again, until, slowly, I felt some kind of… sensation. It’s hard to describe, really. It was a certain coldness, one that gave me the chills, washing over me from head to toe, trickling down my body like a waterfall.

           I felt the beginning of a headache come on, but I simply continued whispering the phrase, only to stop when I realized I was screaming. I let myself cry, then.

           I cried for Sammy and what a wonderful dog he was. I’d had a relationship with him as my friend. Even though he was a dog, he was the one who was there when I was feeling alone, when my family had designated me the outcast to their perfectly perfect happy family.

           I glanced once more at Sammy’s face- the golden hair covering his skull, his bright white teeth, his wet black nose, his big brown eyes, his-

           His eyes hadn’t been open when I saw him fall over with that choking nose. I remembered it vividly. His eyes closed slowly, as if he could simply no longer hold them open…

           Then, I felt it. His body was rising and falling under mine.

           I jumped up and clapped my hands, tears in my eyes.

           I glanced over at Jace, who’d been sitting on the floor, only to have seemingly disappeared now.

 Jace

           I was running down the hallway. The carpeting was cold under my bare feet, the cold air brushing against the skin on my chest. I slid to a stop when I came to the door I’d been searching for.

General  (Nobody’s POV)

Joseph answered looking tired. He had green pajama pants with little bunnies- not what you’d expect, right?- on with a white t-shirt.

           “What the **** do you want?” he demanded, not bothering to hide a yawn.

           Jace pushed past him in the doorway. “It’s Ava. She’s got powers.”

           “You mean-“

           “Yes,” Jace said, knowing what he would ask.

           “Oh *******

           “My thoughts precisely.”

           “We need to get on a plane right now.”

           “Why?” Jace asked, surprised. Not only had he thought that Joseph didn’t care about Ava, he also needed to get her to her friend.

           “Get your things.” He said, grabbing his phone. Moments later he said, “We have athree a.m.flight toFlorida.”

           “What happened toHawaii?” demanded Jace.

           He shrugged. “Oh, you know. Plans change. I’ll tell you about it later.”

           “I want-“

           Joseph shook his head. “Get the girl. Now.”

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