Black Knight

Free Black Knight by Christopher Pike

Book: Black Knight by Christopher Pike Read Free Book Online
Authors: Christopher Pike
never tasted anything so wonderful.”
    Cleo nods. “Because the Syn and Kendor you saw had never tasted ice cream before. They didn’t even know what it was.”
    I hesitate. “This is still crazy.”
    My father speaks. “I’ve confirmed through DNA testing that Syn and Kendor are still in their graves. And I doubt anyone here believes that the Alchemist has the power to bring the dead back to life.”
    “May I ask a personal question?” I ask Cleo.
    “You want to know if I possess this gene. I don’t.” Cleo pauses. “But you do, and so does Lara.”
    “How do you know?” I ask.
    Cleo stares at me. She doesn’t need to speak to tell me that she just knows.
    “I assume the ability takes time to emerge,” I tease her. The pun is intended. Yet Cleo replies seriously.
    “I only heard rumors of the power when I was young,” Cleo says. “My mentor told me it could take thousands of years before the ability came to fruition.”
    “A pity,” I say. “I would have liked to have gone back in time and welcomed Columbus to America.”
    “He landed in the West Indies,” my father corrects me.
    “I was joking,” I say.
    “Who knows,” Cleo remarks. “You might see Columbus sooner than you think.”
    “Huh?”
    Cleo ignores me. “The Alchemist said you were unprepared. He repeated that remark twice. Then, when you asked about Syn and Kendor, he said they were there to prepare you.”
    “I think he was just messing with me,” I say.
    “The man’s older than history. He doesn’t waste words. If I were you, I’d take what he said at face value.”
    Cleo’s words hang in the air and I’m not sure what they mean. Or perhaps I don’t want to admit what she’s trying to tell me. I reply in a quiet but defiant tone.
    “I don’t give a damn what he said. I’ve had enough of the Lapras, and I’ve got my own life to live. Like I told you, let the Lapras kill each other, it’s not my problem.”
    “That might not be for you to decide,” Cleo says gently.
    I snort. “That’s the sort of line you tried to feed me in Las Vegas. And we all saw how that turned out.”
    “Yes, we did see,” Cleo replies. “You got Lara back alive, and you escaped with your life.”
    I shake my head. “Whatever you’re suggesting, I’m not interested.”
    Cleo reaches over and touches my arm. “You’re a strong-willed young woman, Jessica. The courage you showed in Las Vegas last month was remarkable. You’re clever and fearless and that makes you a formidable opponent for anyone seeking to take over the Lapras. But you lack humility, wisdom—you don’t know when to stop and listen.” She pauses. “If you’re not careful, it may be the death of you and your daughter.”
    I feel a flash of anger and again want to snap at her. But I stop and struggle to calm myself. Because I have the genetic gift of intuition, and can hear the truth in her words.
    “Speak. I’m listening,” I say softly.
    Cleo nods. “If what the Alchemist says is true then it means Syn and Kendor are here to prepare you, which can only mean they are here to help you fight off others who wish to take control of the Lapras.”
    “But I’ve already told you—and I’ll be happy to tell them—I don’t want to take control of the Lapras! And I can’t believe that fact doesn’t matter to them! For chrissakes! I’m about to start college at UCLA and look at the classes I’m signed up to take. Inorganic and organic chemistry. Biology and microbiology. Physics and calculus. My schedule’s solid premed. I want to be a doctor like my dad and help save lives, not practice how better to kill people. So when it comes to preparing to be the next Wicked Witch of the West—shit, I’ll tell the Alchemist myself the next time I see him that someone else can have the job.”
    The room falls silent for a long time. Hatsu lowers his head while Cleo stares out the window at the dark watery bay and the lights illuminating the magnificent Golden Gate

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