Sisters of Blood and Spirit Page 16

My fingers tightened around the can of salt. Mace and the others had put their faith in me, were depending on me. Stupid of them, really. Even though I knew most of them wouldn’t have anything to do with me in any other circumstance, I felt like I had to at least try. Besides, it wasn’t as though I was scared of dying. Been there, done that.

Fairfield Cemetery edged up against the grounds of Haven Crest—the asylum had a huge amount of land that the town was apparently thinking of reclaiming. Yeah, good luck with that. They’d better burn, salt and bless every square foot.

“Want to get the gate?” Mace asked when we pulled into the graveyard lane. I unfastened my seat belt and climbed out. There wasn’t any traffic on the quiet side road, although it was after eleven. The only light was the Jag’s headlights casting long, eerie shadows through the wrought-iron bars. There was a chain draped around the rungs, but it was just for show—not locked. I removed it and pulled open the gate so that Mace could drive in. He stopped and waited for me to replace the chain. Then we continued into the graveyard.

“There are other people here,” I remarked after we drove by two cars parked some distance apart.

“They won’t bother us,” Mace said, looking straight ahead.

“How do you know?”

He shot me a disbelieving glance, as though it should be obvious. “They’re busy.”

Suddenly, I understood. Embarrassment heated my face. How could I have not figured that out on my own? “How romantic,” I muttered.

Mace shrugged. “It’s private. Personally, I think it’s disrespectful.” He laughed drily. “You probably think that’s stupid, huh?”

Now I was the one looking at him like he should know better. “The person I love most in the world is a ghost. I think I have a unique perspective on respecting the dead.”

He tilted his head. “I guess you do.”

I stared at him. “Do I agitate you?”

“Yeah. Yeah, you do.” He pulled the car under a large maple tree and put it in Park. He turned to look at me. “But I think you like having that effect on people. Keeps them from getting close.”

I scowled. “You sound like a shrink.”

He smiled. Actually, it was more of a smirk. “Guess I agitate you, too.” Then he unfastened his seat belt and got out of the car. I had no choice but to follow him, and for once, I had no smart-ass comeback.

It was dark in the cemetery, but it was a clear night and the moon cast everything in a silvery light. I recognized our surroundings as we walked deeper into the stone garden. “Do you mind if we make a stop first?” I asked. Cemeteries weren’t just calming to ghosts—they were calming to me. There was a sense of peace here, and I needed a minute to center myself.

“Really?” He arched a brow. “Are you serious?”

“It will just take a minute.” Without waiting for his response, I veered right, down a worn path, and kept walking until I reached a familiar stone angel bowed over a matching bassinet. Both were smudged with age and dirt, with patches of moss clinging to them. Someone had left a bouquet of flowers—like the kind you got at the grocery store—on the small, flat headstone that was set into the grass. I couldn’t see the name on the stone, but I didn’t need to. I knew whose grave it was.

“Someone’s been here,” I said—like it wasn’t obvious.

“Kevin,” Mace replied. “He’s been coming every couple of weeks ever since it happened.”

No need to say what “it” was. My opinion of Kevin rose a little. Before I had tried to kill myself I had visited this sad little plot once a week, making sure it looked good, cleaning the stone. This was my first time back since returning to New Devon. I would have to thank him for taking care of Wren’s grave while I was gone.

“Is this the stop you wanted to make?”

I nodded as I picked a bit of moss from the angel’s head.

“Sorry I gave you a hard time about it.”

I shrugged. “They bought room for me, too.”


I crouched down and moved the flowers so that he could see the headstone. “My parents.”

Mace peered over my shoulder. “Shit.”

“Yeah.” I traced the letters of my own name, carved there beside Wren’s. Unlike her, I had no expiration date below mine. I couldn’t even begin to articulate how I felt about having a grave all ready for me to move in whenever I needed it. “You know, I’m okay with not being there yet. I meant what I said earlier—you did the right thing. Thank you.”

He cleared his throat. “Yeah. You’re welcome.”

I stood up. “Okay, let’s go. Take me to the spot where you guys sneaked onto asylum property.” The old hospital campus was locked up at night, but kids from New Devon had been sneaking in for as long as I could remember. I couldn’t remember any stories about people getting hurt, though I’m sure there were some. Maybe Mace and his friends had pissed off a ghost, but the more likely explanation was that recent construction on the site had stirred something up. Ghosts weren’t big on change. My newfound “friends” had simply stumbled in at the wrong freaking time.

Or something there was getting stronger.

We walked back along the path, then took a right on the main trail. It wasn’t long before we reached the stone wall. It had crumbled in spots, but was about eight feet tall, and topped with rusted barbed wire. The grass was tamped down around one particularly large tree. Someone had nailed boards into the trunk a long time ago—we’re talking the ’70s from the look of the wood. The bark there had been chipped and worn away from years of traffic.

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