Blue Lily, Lily Blue Page 20

Malory looked relieved. “I would love a cup of tea.”

“Do you prefer, er, fruity or footy?” she asked. “If you were to have one or another in tea form?”

He considered. “Footy.”

“Bold choice,” Blue said. “Anyone else?”

Several heads shook. Adam and Gansey had both been victimized by the beverages of 300 Fox Way. The teas here were harvested from the yard or collected from the farmers’ market, chopped and mixed by hand, and then placed in bags labeled with either the predominant ingredient or the intended effect. Some of them were easier to drink recreationally than others.

Calla said, “I went straight to bourbon.”

She and Persephone toasted.

As Blue prepared tea and brought water to the Dog, Gansey said, “All right, here’s the deal. We’ve found another cave, and anecdotally, someone is sleeping in it. It’s time to decide what to do.”

“There’s no decision,” Ronan said. “We go in.”

“You say that because you didn’t see Noah today,” Blue told him as she set a mug down in front of Malory. “That one doesn’t have any hallucinogenic effects, but you might experience some euphoria.”

Gansey said, “Nothing I have ever drank here has ever made me experience anything close to euphoria.”

“You’ve never had that one,” she said. “Anyway, Noah was a pretty scary thing. Jesse, the man who owns the cave, says there’s a curse.” She outlined the curse.

“Why doesn’t he just move?” Adam asked.

“Out of his family home?” Ronan asked, sounding both shitty and earnest.

“Home is putting it strongly,” Gansey said. “I saw this place.”

“You.” Blue pointed at him. “Shut up before you say something offensive. There’s something else you should know. One of the women here foretold Jesse’s death earlier this year. She didn’t know him, but she knew his name.”

Adam’s head jerked up. Not because this was shocking information, but because Blue’s voice had changed just a little bit, and Persephone and Calla were busily knocking back their drinks and not looking at each other all of a sudden. Adam, a secretive animal, was acutely tuned to other people’s secrets. So he wasn’t sure why there would be anything clandestine about the foretold death of a stranger, but he knew that Blue Sargent was telling a partial truth.

“Wait, wait,” Gansey said. “So you’re telling me that not only does this Jesse Dittley believe there’s a curse on this place, but actually, he is right, and he’s going to die.”

“Or he’s going to die because of something we do,” Blue insisted. “That’s why I brought it up. I feel we should make decisions responsibly.”

“You guys have a death list?” Ronan broke in. “That is f**king dark. Am I on it?”

“Some days, I wish,” Blue said.

“Can I see it?” Adam asked.


“Can I see the list?”

Blue turned away to make herself a cup of tea. “I don’t have it. Mom took it with her. I just remembered his name. I mean, I thought it was a girl, with an ie at the end, but the Dittley part was memorable.”

Calla raised one sharp eyebrow, but said nothing.

Ah, Adam thought with grim and sudden certainty. Here it is. So one of us is on it.

“Never mind that,” Gansey said. “Time’s wasting and Adam has to go soon. The point is, are we going into this cave tomorrow?”

Which one of us?

Malory perked up. “Now would be a good time to point out that I will not be going into any caverns. I am happy to lend support from a location the sun is able to reach.”

“Of course we’re going in,” Ronan said. “Why wouldn’t we?”

“Risk,” Gansey replied. “I can’t stress how strongly unwilling I am to put anyone in this room in danger.”

“Also, rabbits, remember there’s more than one sleeper,” Calla pointed out. “Three of them. One is for you to wake, and one is for you to not wake.”

“And the one in the middle?” Ronan asked.

In her small voice, Persephone said, “These things just really always sound better in threes.”

“Jesse also said that some things shouldn’t be woken,” Blue added, discreetly not allowing Adam to catch her eye. “So, yes, risk.”

More than one of us?

“We went into the cave in Cabeswater,” Ronan said. “The risk was the same. Maybe worse because we were clueless going in.”

Maybe, Adam thought, it was Blue herself on the list. Maybe that was why she hid it from them all.

“Well, I agree with Ronan,” Blue said, “but I’m also biased, because I want to find Mom and that’s worth the risk for me.”

Adam thought about his sessions with Persephone. Would she have bothered to teach him if she knew he was going to die? She was looking at him now, black-eyes solid, as if challenging him to call out the secrets.

“There’s something else we should talk about,” Gansey began, hesitant. “And that’s what we’ll do if this is Glendower. If there’s a favor when we wake him. I don’t know for sure if there’s only one, or multiple, and we should know what we’re going to say in either scenario. You guys don’t have to answer now, but think about it.”

There had been a time when all Adam had thought about was the promise of that favor. But now he had only a year of school ahead of him and he was no longer under his father’s roof and he could see a way out without Glendower’s help. All that was left was to be asked to be free of Cabeswater.

And he wasn’t sure he wanted that.

Gansey and Ronan were muttering about something else, Malory pitching in, but Adam couldn’t focus on it anymore. He knew he wasn’t wrong about Blue’s caginess. He knew it in the same way that he knew when it was Cabeswater who woke him from his sleep and when he knew where he needed to go to repair the ley line. He knew it like truth.

He looked at his watch. “If we’ve decided, I have to go.”

He did not. He had a little bit of time. But this couldn’t wait. The supposition was growing inside him.

“Already?” Gansey asked, but not disbelievingly. “How rotten. Oh well.”

“Yeah,” Adam said. “But I’ve got this weekend and a bunch of days off after. Blue, could you help me get this thing out of the car?”

“What thing?”

He lied swiftly and proficiently. “The stuff you wanted. I can’t believe you don’t remember. The, the — fabric.”

Persephone was still looking at him.

Blue shook her head, but at herself, not at him; rueful at her own lack of memory. She pushed off the counter as he fist-bumped Gansey and nodded to Malory and Ronan. He did his best throughout the parting to hold himself casually, though he felt charged with the unspoken secret. Together they headed back out the front door and down the dark walk to where his car was parked on the curb behind the glorious Camaro.

Out here, it was quiet and cool, the dry leaves rattling together like someone shushing a crowd.

“I don’t remembe—” began Blue, and then broke off when Adam grabbed her arm and pulled her close.

“Which one of us, Blue?”

“Hey, don’t —!” She wrenched her arm free, but she didn’t step back.

“Which of us is on that list?”

She gazed studiously off into the distance, her eyes on a car on a far-off cross street. She didn’t answer, but she didn’t insult him by saying he was wrong, either.


She didn’t look at him.

He stepped around her so that she couldn’t not look at him. “Blue, which one of us?”

Her face was unfamiliar, all mirth scrubbed from it. She wasn’t crying. Her eyes were worse than crying, though. He wondered how long she had been carrying this. His heart was thudding. He’d gotten it right. One of them was supposed to die.

I don’t want to die, not now —


She said, “You won’t be able to unknow it.”

“I have to know,” Adam said. “Don’t you get it? That will be the favor. That’s what I’ll ask for. I need to know so we can make that what we ask, if there’s only one.”

She merely held his gaze.

“Gansey,” Adam said.

She closed her eyes.

Of course. Of course he would be taken from them.

His mind supplied the image: Gansey convulsing on the ground, covered in blood, Ronan crumpled beside him in grief. It had been months since Cabeswater showed him the vision, but he had not forgotten it. Nor had he forgotten how, in the vision, it had been Adam’s fault.

His heart was a grave.

If it’s your fault, Adam thought, you can stop it.


Blue woke up angry.

She didn’t remember what she dreamt, only that it was about her mother, and when she woke up, she could have hit something. She remembered when she had visited Adam one afternoon that summer and he’d kicked a box — that was how angry she was. Only it didn’t seem to be worth kicking anything when there wasn’t anyone around to see her do it.

She lay there and told herself to go back to sleep, but instead, she got angrier. She was tired of Persephone and Calla and her mother withholding information because Blue wasn’t psychic. Of not being able to daydream of fancy colleges because she wasn’t rich. Of not being able to hold Gansey’s hand because they couldn’t hurt Adam’s feelings and not being able to kiss Gansey’s mouth because she didn’t want to kill him. She was tired of knowing that he was going to die and being afraid that her mother would, too.

Over and over, she heard Adam guess the truth: Gansey.

She threw off her blankets and angrily got dressed and angrily stormed into the phone room.

Orla sat there, painting her nails at one o’clock in the morning.

Blue froze in the doorway, intention written on her face.

“What?” Orla said. “Go ahead.”

Blue didn’t move.

“Oh, please. I’m not going to stop you. I was just trying to keep you from breaking your heart, but whatever, go do it,” Orla said.

Blue stepped across the room and picked up the phone, glancing at Orla again suspiciously. Her cousin had returned to painting tiny mandalas on her nails. She didn’t pretend not to be listening, but looked otherwise untroubled.

Blue called Gansey.

He picked up at once. “I wasn’t sleeping.”

“I know,” she replied. “Come get me.”

There was something unfamiliar about him when he arrived in the Pig. Something ferocious about his eyes, some sort of bite in his faint smile. Something altogether hectic and unsettled. She stood on the ledge of his smile and looked over the edge.

This wasn’t the Gansey she’d seen in the kitchen earlier; this was the Gansey she secretly called at night.

He didn’t ask where she wanted to go. They were not allowed to speak of this, so they said nothing at all.

The Camaro idled on the silent late-night street. She climbed in and slammed the door.

Gansey — heedless, wild Gansey — tore into another gear as soon as they were out of the neighborhood. He sent the car hurtling from stoplight to stoplight and then, when he got to the empty highway, he let the car frantically climb in speed, his hand a fist over the gearshift.

They were driving east, toward the mountains.

Blue turned on the radio and messed with Gansey’s music until she found something worth playing loudly. Then she wrestled down her window so that the air screamed over her. It was too cold for that, really, but Gansey reached in the backseat without taking his eyes off the road and dragged his overcoat to the front. She put it on, shivering when the silk lining chilled her bare legs. The collar smelled of him.

They didn’t speak.

The radio tripped and waltzed. The car roared. The wind buffeted inside the cab. Blue put her hand on top of Gansey’s and held it, white-knuckled. There wasn’t another soul on the road but them.

They drove to the mountains — up, up, and through the pass.

The peaks were black and forbidding in the half-light of the headlights, and when they reached the very highest point in the pass, Gansey’s fingers tightened beneath hers as he downshifted and hurtled the car around a U-turn back the way they had come.

They sped back to Henrietta, past eerily vacant parking lots of shops, past silent townhomes, past Aglionby, past downtown, past Henrietta. At the other side of town, he slid around a corner to the new, unused bypass: four pristine lanes of streetlight-lined road from nowhere to nowhere.

He pulled over here, and he took his coat from her, and they switched places. She slid the seat up as close to the wheel as it would go and stalled the car, and stalled it again. He put his hand on her knee, fingers on skin, lifeline touching bone, and kept her from letting the clutch out too quickly. The engine revved, strong and sure, and the car surged forward.

They didn’t speak.

The streetlights striped through the windshield as she made a pass up one side of the road, then turned and went the other way, again and again. The car was fearsome and willing — too much, too fast, everything all at once. The gearshift knocked under her fist when they were still and the gas pedal stuck and then surged when they were moving. Cool air from an under-dash vent whispered night air over her bare legs; heat from the thrumming engine burned the tops of her feet.

The sound: The sound alone was a monster, amplified when she could feel it vibrating in the gearshift, tugging at the steering wheel, roaring through her feet.

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