Dream Dark Page 6

The color drained from Ridley's face. She looked completely panic-stricken, as if she was suddenly imagining Link standing over her bed, reading her thoughts.

Macon laughed. He seemed to be enjoying the chance to show someone else the ropes.

“Something like that. We can discuss the particulars when you come back tomorrow.” It wasn't a request.

“Do I have to feed?” Link asked.

Macon considered for a moment. “I'm not entirely sure how often you wil need to feed, considering John Breed's hybrid nature. I wil ask Olivia to do some research on the subject.”

Liv had been lying low since we had come back from the Great Barrier, but from what we'd heard, she was never far from Macon's side. Which basical y guaranteed a lifetime spent out of sight, since the folks in Gatlin thought Macon Ravenwood was in a pine box six feet under at His Garden of Perpetual Peace.

Macon seemed to like it that way, considering the smal fortune he spent grooming his gravesite. In that respect, he was no different from the rest of the folks in Gatlin. Not that Macon would have seen it that way. Except his flowers weren't plastic, and his headstone was surrounded by potted gardenias and hydrangeas, rather than glow-in-the-dark crosses.

“Thanks,” Link said grateful y. “I wouldn't wanna starve or anything. I definitely can't eat any a my mom's cookin' anymore.”

“That is unfortunate.” Macon took a long sip of his sweet tea. “Mortal food is certainly an unexpected perk of my transformation.”

“You know, it's not the sweet tea I miss as much as Amma's pie.”

“Ah, yes.” Macon smiled. “She brought me a beautiful lemon pie just this week.”

“Cream or meringue?”

“Cream.” Lemon meringue was strictly for Uncle Abner and the Greats. They both smiled—Link at the memory of al the pie in his past, Macon at the thought of al the pie in his future.

“Enough about pie. Get back to the part about powers,” Ridley said, annoyed. “Speaking of powers, you haven't mentioned yours, Uncle M. What kind of Caster are you, anyway? Not that we Mortals have a reason to care.”

“I think we should focus on Wesley today.” Macon drained his glass, refil ing it immediately. “There are some perks to being an Incubus, you know.”

“Like the superstrength?” Link was getting stronger every day. Just that morning, he had lifted his broken old bed off the ground with one hand while he was trying to pul out some contraband CDs.

“Among other things,” Macon answered. “You're a

“Among other things,” Macon answered. “You're a Supernatural now, Wesley. Your days as a Mortal are over. And you have powers that far exceed superior strength.”

Ridley stood up and walked over to the fireplace, unwrapping a stick of gum. It wasn't the Charmed gum that could Bind a lock to hold off Hunting and his Blood Pack. It was just regular Mortal bubble gum.

Link leaned forward in his chair, propping his elbows on the table. This was the part he was real y interested in. “What kinda powers? Can I bend metal?” Anyone could've told you that would be his first question. In Link's book, it was worth being part Incubus if it turned him into Magneto.

“I'm afraid not,” Macon answered. “But if it's any consolation, you can bend space, in a manner of speaking.”


“Hel o? He's talking about Traveling.” Ridley's voice sounded far away.

“Precisely. You can dematerialize now,” Macon explained. “It can come in quite handy at times.”

Link was skeptical. “Yeah. That sounds sorta advanced, Mr. Ravenwood. Maybe we should save that one for later.”

They were stil talking when Ridley slipped out the door. Neither of them noticed. And this time, they weren't even talking about pie.


Mortal Wounds

Link climbed the stairs that led from the Tunnels to Ravenwood Manor.

Where the hell did Rid go?

One second she was smacking her gum by the fireplace, and the next she was gone.

He reached up and pushed on the trapdoor that conveniently opened into Ridley's room. The fuzzy pink carpet was heavy, but Link popped the door open with one hand. The second he cracked the door, the Tunnel flooded with bright light.

Link covered his eyes with his free hand. “Jeez, whatcha doin' in there, Rid?”

“Don't sneak up on me like that!” A door slammed, and the light dimmed suddenly, as if she had flipped a switch. “You just about gave me a heart attack.”

Link was only halfway out of the Tunnel when he saw Ridley sitting on the floor, her back against the closet door. She looked about as innocent as a cat with a mouthful of feathers, but when he looked around the room, there was nothing going on.

Stil . This was Rid, so he took another look.


“Why'd you take off?” Link pul ed himself out of the Tunnel, letting the trapdoor slam shut behind him. He sat down in front of her.

“Do you real y think I want to sit around and listen to you and my uncle talk about al your stupid magical powers?” She kicked off her shoes and began rubbing her pink and purple toes.

Link was confused. Then again, Ridley was about as confusing as a girl could get. “You're the one who said you wanted to come with me.”

She flipped her hair, an old Siren habit she would probably never be able to break. There was something sad about it, like watching her unwrap those lol ipops. “I'm a Mortal now, Shrinky Dink. You don't need me.”

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