The Soul Healer
an unhappy line. I sighed. “Look, Nina, I’m sorry about before.” Total lie; I wasn’t sorry for asking. She was the one who should be sorry—for not helping me!
    “I’m going to see about getting you some food,” Nina replied, completely ignoring my apology. My eyes narrowed, but instead of calling her out for being rude, I just shrugged.
    “It’s okay, I’m not hungry.” Another lie; I was starving.
    “Oh.” She paused, looking momentarily confused. “I’ll bring you food anyway, since Director Adler told me to. It’s up to you whether you eat it or not. I’ll be back in a bit!”
    Rolling my eyes, I watched her dash away, her flip-flops clomping against the floor as her bracelets and necklaces clinked together musically. Yes, because heaven forbid we don’t do what Director Adler tells us. What would happen then, Nina? What would happen if all of you stupid hunters stood up to your fearless leader and told him he was completely out of his mind and needed to retire immediately?
    I sighed. That was a wonderful fantasy, but that’s all it was. It was clear everyone was happy with Charles, or else they would have revolted a long, long time ago. Like Rafe and Evan had. Well, just Rafe now.
    Rafe, Rafe, Rafe. Why did I keep torturing myself by thinking about him? Still, I couldn’t help but wonder what he was doing right now, at this exact moment. There was a deep ache in my chest. Was he hurting because of me and the stupid things I had said last night?
    Had it really been only last night? I shut my eyes. So much had happened since then that it felt like years, not hours. A deep weariness settled over me. I wondered if they would let me sleep, or if I would be forced to meet with Charles, or maybe even Alexandra, as they tested my powers.
    First thing first. I opened the door to the adjoining bedroom and turned on the sink’s faucet. I scrubbed at my hands, washing away Jonathan’s blood that still stained my fingers after my failed attempt to heal him. I wondered, briefly, if he had recovered, but found myself unable to care, either way. Once my hands were blood-free, I changed into the clothes Nina had lent me, pulling Philip’s hoodie back on, over the sweater.
    Exiting the bathroom, I parted the curtains from the room’s only window to reveal a quiet residential block. Hmm, that was surprising. I figured HQ would be smack dab in the middle of skyscrapers so tall their tops were hidden by clouds, as taxis honked their way down the street and pedestrians rushed along the sidewalk s. I wasn’t expecting a view of brownstones, in various shades of red, no taller than five or six floors, stretching from one side of the block to the other. Quite a few of the windows were decorated for the holidays, as were the trees that lined the block, their bare branches and trunks draped with tiny, twinkling white lights. No one was out walking, but there were cars parked in every available spot.
    I had no idea where I was. I had always lived in upstate New York, and the last time I had been to Manhattan had been back in the ninth grade for a field trip to see The Lion King on Broadway. But we had been in the bus the entire time—bus to the theater, bus to the restaurant, and bus back home. Uptown, downtown, the East Side, the West Side—it was all foreign to me. And forget the subway. I’d probably get on the wrong train and end up in Queens or something without even realizing it.
    So even if I managed to get myself out of HQ, I’d be lost within two seconds of hitting the pavement.
    It is pretty, though , I thought wistfully. Even the overcast winter sky did little to dispel the charm of the apartment buildings that surrounded HQ. I squinted. If the buildings surrounding HQ weren’t towering skyscrapers, did that mean I was downtown? Who knew? I could be on the moon for all I knew. I was hopelessly lost.
    Still… I rested my palm on the cold glass. I wish I could have come here with Rafe. Not HQ, but the

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