Home > The Strange Power (Dark Visions #1)(7)

The Strange Power (Dark Visions #1)(7)
Author: L.J. Smith

"Smile!" A flashbulb blinded Kaitlyn.


"Sorry; I just wanted to preserve the moment." The boy let go of the camera, which bounced as the strap around his neck caught it, and stuck out a hand. "You do have kind of neat eyes. Kind of weird. I'm Lewis Chao."

He had a sweet face, Kaitlyn decided. He wasn't big and gross, but rather small and neat. His hand wasn't sweaty when she took it, and his eyes weren't hungry.

"Lewis has been taking pictures since we got here this morning," Anna said. "We've got the entire block on record."

Kaitlyn blinked away blue afterimages and looked at Lewis curiously. "Really? Where do you come from?" It must be even farther away than Ohio, she thought.

He smiled beatifically. "San Francisco."

Kaitlyn laughed, and suddenly they were all laughing together. Not malicious laughter, not laughing at anyone, but wonderful torrents of giggles together. And then Kait knew.

I'm going to be happy here, she realized. It was almost too big a concept to take in at once. She was going to be happy, and for a year. A panorama opened before her. Sitting by the fireplace she'd seen downstairs, studying, the others all doing their own projects, everyone joined by a warm sort of togetherness even while they did their own things. Each of them different, but not minding the differences.

No need for walls between them.

They began to talk, eagerly, friendship flying back and forth. It seemed quite natural to join Anna sitting on the bed.

"I'm from Ohio-" Kait started.

"Aha, a Buckeye," Lewis put in.

"I'm from Washington State," Anna said. "Near Puget Sound."

"You're Native American, aren't you?"

"Yes; Suquamish."

"She talks to animals," Lewis said.

Anna said gently, "I don't really talk to them. I can influence them to do things-sometimes. It's a kind of thought projection, Joyce says."

Thought projection with animals? A few weeks ago Kait would have said it sounded insane-but then, wasn't her own "talent" insane? If one was possible, so was the other.

"I've got PK," Lewis said. "That's psychokinesis. Mind over matter."

"Like. . . spoon bending?" Kait asked uncertainly.

"Nah, spoon bending's a trick. Real PK is only for little things, like making a compass needle deflect. What do you do?"

Despite herself, Kaitlyn's heart bumped. She'd never in her life said aloud the thing she was going to say.

"I... kind of see the future. At least, I don't, but my drawings do, and when I look back at them, I see that they did. But usually only after the thing has already happened," she finished incoherently.

Lewis and Anna looked thoughtful. "That's cool," Lewis said at last, and Anna said, "So you're an artist?"

The relief that flooded Kaitlyn was painful, and its aftermath left her jubilant. "I guess. I like to draw."

I'd like to draw right now, she thought, dying to get hold of some pastels. She'd draw Anna with burnt umber and matte black and sienna. She'd do Lewis with blue-black-his hair was that shiny-and some sort of flesh-ocher mixture for his skin.

Later, she told herself. Aloud she said, "So what about the bedrooms up here? Who goes where?"

"That's just what we've been trying to figure out," Anna said. "The problem is that there are supposed to be five of us students, and they've only got four bedrooms. There's this one and another one even bigger next door, and then two smaller ones on the back side of the house."

"And only the big ones have cable hookup. I've explained and explained," said Lewis, looking tragic, "that I need my MTV, but she doesn't understand. And I need enough outlets for my computer and stereo and stuff. Only the big rooms have those."

"It's not fair for us to take the good rooms before the others even get here," Anna said, gently but firmly.

"But I need my MTV. I'll die."

"Well, I don't care about cable," Kaitlyn said. "But I'd like a room with northern light-I like to draw in the mornings."

"You haven't heard the worst part-all the rooms have different things," Lewis said. "The one next door is huge, and it's got a king-size bed and a balcony and a Jacuzzi bath. This one has the alcove over there and a private bathroom-but almost no closet. And the two rooms in back have okay closets, but they share a bathroom."

"Well, obviously the biggest room should go to whoever's rooming together-because two of us are going to have to room together," Kaitlyn said.

"Great. I'll room with either of you," Lewis said promptly.

"No, no, no-look, let me go check out the light in the smaller rooms," Kaitlyn said, jumping up.

"Check out the Jacuzzi instead," Lewis called after her.

In the hallway, Kait turned to laugh at him over her shoulder-and ran directly into someone cresting the top of the stairs.

It wasn't a hard knock, but Kaitlyn automatically recoiled, and ran her leg into something hard. Pain flared just behind her knee, rendering her momentarily speechless. She clenched her teeth and glared down at the thing that had hurt her. A nightstand with one sharp-edged drawer pulled out. What was all this furniture doing in the hall, anyway?

"I'm really sorry," a soft southern voice drawled. "Are you all right?"

Kaitlyn looked at the tanned, blond boy who'd run into her. It would be a boy, of course. And a big one, not small and safe like Lewis. The kind of boy who disturbed the space around him, filling the whole hallway with his presence. A very masculine presence -if Anna was a cool wind, this boy was a golden solar flare.

Since ignoring was out of the question, Kaitlyn turned her best glare on him. He returned the look mildly and she realized with a start that his eyes were amber-colored-golden. Just a few shades darker than his hair.

"You are hurt," he said, apparently mistaking the glare for suffering. "Where?" Then he did something that dumbfounded Kaitlyn. He dropped to his knees.

He's going to apologize, she thought wildly. Oh, God, everyone in California is nuts.

But the boy didn't apologize-he didn't even look up at her. He was reaching for her leg.

"This one here, right?" he said in that southern-gentleman voice.

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