“Hey, kidlet,” Jet broke into his thoughts. “I hate to bring this up again, but we’ve sort of run out of time and we need to make a call—do we or don’t we say anything to the Storm elders about what we encountered during that hurricane last year?”

“I don’t know.” Reggie shrugged. “We could just play it by ear and see if it comes up.”

“Don’t you think they should know?” Moira brought up the recurring point. “Maybe it’d help them deal with the storms better.”

“Yeah, but—” Reggie started to argue again, but was distracted. Hammie came across the parking lot toward them from the high school. As usual, the boy looked down at his feet instead of at what was ahead of him. And, as usual, this meant that he would be likely to run into something in his path. This time it was a girl. Not just any girl, either, but Callie Janus and the two shadows that always trailed behind her.

Books went flying and Callie shoved back against Hammie, knocking him to the ground. Jet followed Reggie’s line of sight and saw what was happening.

“Uh oh,” he whistled under his breath. “Trouble.”

“Yeah,” nodded Reggie in agreement and the trio moved as one toward their friend.

“You stupid little idiot!” Callie screeched at Hammie while the boy sat dazed. “Look at what you’ve done. Watch where you’re going, moron!”

The boy snapped out of his confusion and looked around at the books and papers scattered on the ground. A look of mortification crossed his face, turning bright red under the onslaught of Callie’s verbal attack. He scrambled to his hands and knees to pick up the books while a couple of kids passing by chuckled. He reached for a book near Callie’s feet and she kicked it, catching his hand in the process, while the book skittered to rest several feet away. Hammie jerked his hand back, the injured look on his face reflecting the pain he felt in his hand.

Callie seemed to take pleasure in his pain, gaining encouragement from the laughter coming from several kids who had stopped to watch. She brought her foot back again to kick Hammie just as Reggie and the phooka twins reached them. Reggie reached out and grabbed Callie’s arm to distract her. It worked. The girl jerked away from Reggie and turned her vicious attack in his direction.

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