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I park the car behind Hannaford’s, the Maine grocery store chain. Big, elevated, cement truck stall things for loading produce stick out of the back of the building. Tire tracks mar the snow. Ugly green dumpster covers rattle in the breeze. The wood creeps in behind us.

Issie gulps as I turn off Yoko. “Maybe we should’ve just gone to your house.”

“No. Nick or my grandma would have smelled him there. You know their noses.”

“Like they aren’t going to smell him in your car?”

“Good point. Okay. Good point.” I run my hands over my face. “But they never actually come in my car, do they?”

“That’s because nobody would voluntarily ride in your car because you’re such a bad winter driver. No offense.”

“You volunteered.”

She half smiles. “I’m a little nuts. Plus, I love you. Plus, I am worse than you.”

I pull on my knit hat that my mom ordered me from American Eagle. There are no outlet stores up here. No malls. It’s crazy. The big place to hang out is actually the grocery store.

“Let’s just do this,” I say.


Neither of us move.

“Girls…” comes the voice from the back of the car.

“Do not talk!” I yell. “If you talk I will just haul you back to that house and put you inside, got it?”

“You plan to do that no matter what I do,” he says.

Issie’s hand twitches on the door handle. “He has a point.”

The wind blows loose snow across the back lot in random patterns. It has no path. It doesn’t know where it’s going. It just moves and settles, moves and settles.

“Okay. I’m going.” I push open my door, hustle around to the back of the car. Issie does the same. We stand there together, staring at the back of my Subaru. It’s covered with road filth. Sand and slush obscure the license plate.

“We don’t have to do this,” Issie whispers. Her hand grabs my coat sleeve.

I take in a deep breath. “He said that Nick was in danger.”

“He could be lying.”

“He might not be.”

“True. But I’m not in a super trusting mode since he is Mr. Evil Pixie Man.”

“He let us tie him up,” I argue.

“True.” Issie lets go of my arm. “But maybe he knew we sucked at knots.”

I reach forward and squeeze the handle-latch thing that’s underneath the middle part of the door. I don’t know what to call that. Luckily, the word doesn’t matter. The action does. The back of the Subaru slowly lifts open.

There’s a blanket there, an old red quilted blanket. Issie and I sewed iron into the batting last night, filled it up with tiny bars. Then we wrapped iron wire around his feet and hands.

“You think that’s enough to hold him?” Issie asks.

“He didn’t escape when we were driving.”

“True. I kept thinking he was going to jump up and strangle us.”

“Me too!”

“Seriously? You were acting so brave.” Issie hugs her arms around her chest, hopping to stay warm in the cold. The wind blows again. The dumpsters rattle. The snow swirls.

My stomach falls into some far away place. “I’m going to have to reach in there and fold the blanket back.”

Issie stops hopping. “Uh-huh.”

I reach out and tug the edge of the blanket, folding it back just enough to show his strained, white face. Little lines of blue seem to trace right under the surface of his skin making him look less human than usual.  He used to be so handsome with his thick, black hair, his features angular and masculine, the eyes that focused so intensely on everything, but now… Now his face is as pale as winter feet. Now his eyes hunch into his face. Now blue lines tattoo their meaning underneath the surface of him, declaring his foreignness. He looks like he’s about to die, and that is basically my fault.

His chapped lips twist up into a half smile. I almost want to reach out and touch him, soothe him somehow, but I don’t. I can’t. I know what he is.

“Princess,” he whispers.

I nod. “Dad.”

Excerpted from CAPTIVATE © Copyright 2011 by Carrie Jones. Reprinted with permission by Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books

. All rights reserved.

by by Carrie Jones

  • Genres: Paranormal Romance
  • hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
  • ISBN-10: 1599903423
  • ISBN-13: 9781599903422