Finale (Hush, Hush #4) - Becca Fitzpatrick

Becca Fitzpatrick - Hush, Hush #4 - Finale

Finale (Hush, Hush #4)
Becca Fitzpatrick

romance/fantasy/young mystery

Hush_Hush-4/index

Prologue

EARLIER TODAY

SCOTT DIDN’T BELIEVE IN GHOSTS. DEAD MEN stayed in the grave. But the tunnels crisscrossing under Delphic Amusement Park, echoing with rustling, whispered sounds, made him rethink. He didn’t like that his mind traveled to Harrison Grey. He didn’t want to be reminded of his role in a man’s murder. Moisture dripped from the low ceiling. Scott thought of blood. The fire from his torch cast skittish shadows on walls that smelled of cold, fresh earth. He thought of graves.

An icy current tickled the back of his neck. Over his shoulder, he gave the darkness a long, distrustful look.

Nobody knew he’d sworn an oath to Harrison Grey to protect Nora. Since he couldn’t say, “Hey, man, sorry for getting you killed,” in person, he’d defaulted to vowing to watch over Harrison’s daughter. When it came to decent apologies, it didn’t make the cut, not really, but it was the best he could think of. Scott wasn’t even sure an oath to a dead man held any weight.

But the hollow sounds behind him made him think it did.

“You coming?”

Scott could just make out the dark outline of Dante’s shoulders ahead. “How much longer?”

“Five minutes.” Dante chuckled. “Scared?”

“Stiff.” Scott jogged to catch up. “What happens at the meeting? I’ve never done this before,” he added, hoping he didn’t sound as stupid as he felt.

“Higher-ups want to meet Nora. She’s their leader now.”

“So the Nephilim have accepted that the Black Hand is dead?” Scott didn’t fully believe it himself. The Black Hand was supposed to be immortal. All Nephilim were. So who’d found a way to kill him?

Scott didn’t like the answer he kept going back to. If Nora had done this— If Patch had helped her—

It didn’t matter how carefully they’d covered their tracks. They’d miss something. Everyone always did. It was only a matter of time.

If Nora had murdered the Black Hand, she was in danger.

“They’ve seen my ring,” Dante answered.

Scott had seen it too. Earlier. The enchanted ring had sizzled like it had blue fire trapped under the crown. Even now it glowe mid a cold, dying blue. According to Dante, the Black Hand had prophesied it would be the sign of his death.

“Have they found a body?”

“No.”

“And they’re cool with Nora leading them?” Scott pressed. “She’s nothing like the Black Hand.”

“She swore a blood oath to him last night. It kicked in the moment he died. She’s their leader, even if they don’t like it. They can replace her, but they’ll test her out first and try to figure out why Hank chose her.”

Scott didn’t like the sound of that. “And if they replace her?”

Dante flashed a dark gaze over his shoulder. “She dies. Terms of the oath.”

“We’re not going to let that happen.”

“No.”

“So everything’s cool.” Scott needed confirmation that Nora was safe.

“As long as she plays along.”

Scott recalled Nora’s argument from earlier in the day. I’ll meet the Nephilim. And I’ll make my position clear: Hank may have started this war, but I’m finishing it. And this war is ending in ceasefire. I don’t care if that’s not what they want to hear. He squeezed the bridge of his nose—he had a lot of work to do.

He trudged forward, keeping his eyes out for puddles. They rippled like oily kaleidoscopes, and the last one he’d accidentally stepped in had soaked him up to the ankle. “I told Patch I wouldn’t let her out of my sight.”

Dante grunted. “Scared of him, too?”

“No.” But he was. Dante would be too, if he knew Patch at all. “Why couldn’t she come with us to the meeting?” The decision to separate from Nora made him uneasy. He cursed himself for not arguing against it earlier.

“I don’t know why we do half the things we do. We’re soldiers. We take orders.”

Scott remembered Patch’s parting words to him. She’s on your watch. Don’t screw up. The threat dug under his skin. Patch thought he was the only one who cared about Nora, but he wasn’t. Nora was the closest thing to a sister Scott had. She’d stood by him when no one else would, and had talked him down off the ledge. Literally.

They had a bond, and not that kind of bond. He cared about Nora more than any girl he’d ever known. She was his responsibility. If it mattered, he’d vowed as much to her dead father.

He and Dante pressed deeper into the tunnels, the walls tightening around their shoulders. Scott