Sisters of Blood and Spirit Page 20

It could have been worse; we both knew that. My sister had experienced worse. She healed from these sorts of wounds quickly, but they could still hurt her.

“So, did you get rid of it?” Gage asked.

Patting her hands with paper towel, Lark turned to him with a scowl. She was in more pain than she let on. Pain and uncertainty always made her cranky. “What do you think? Do you feel like it’s gone? Or do you still have a little sweat at the base of your spine?”

The boy drew back, hiding a little behind his shoulder-length black hair.

“You don’t have to talk like we’re idiots,” Sarah insisted hotly. “Or like you’re superior because you know something about ghosts. We didn’t ask for this.”

Lark tossed the rust-stained paper towel in the garbage. “No? So you hadn’t heard stories about Haven Crest before you decided to go for a midnight stroll on its grounds? You don’t really expect me to buy that crap, do you? You all went there looking to have a little scare, maybe find a ghost. Well, congratufuckinglations, you found one.”

Ben straightened. “Hey...”

Lark held up her hand. “Look, I get it. I know you didn’t ask for this, but you got it, and you’ve asked me to help fix it. Well, if you want my help, don’t frigging lie to me. Don’t tell me you weren’t hoping for something to happen, and don’t get all defensive when I call you on it.” She walked right up to Sarah and looked down at her. “You want to think I’m a bitch? Fine, but I’m the only thing standing between you and a pretty crap death, so you’ll forgive me if sometimes I get a little superior.”

I think everyone in the room held their breath for a second while the two of them faced off. I got the distinct impression that Sarah was not accustomed to being “talked back to.”

“All right,” Sarah said, holding my sister’s gaze. She smiled. “What next, bitch?”

Lark actually grinned, which seemed to be a surprise to everyone but me. “We need to find out who we’re up against.”

“A lot of people died in that place,” Kevin reminded them. “That’s not going to be easy.”

Lark held up her hands. A myriad of tiny cuts stood out against the pale of her skin. “Yeah, but our guy has a thing for razors.”

The whole bunch of them smiled at each other—as though they’d made some sort of fantastic discovery. As though everything was going to be all right.

But it wasn’t. I could have told them that.


“It’s an old ghost. Strong. Angry. This isn’t the first time it’s hurt people, but it’s been dormant for a while and now it’s hungry.”

It was just Wren and me. We were at home, in my—our—bedroom. I was in bed and she lay beside me on top of the covers. Nan had been asleep when we got home so I didn’t disturb her, but in the morning I planned to be up front with her about what was going on. I loved a good lie as much as the next person, but I didn’t want to lie to the one person who wanted me and had put her reputation on the line to support me.

Plus, Nan had lived here her entire life. She knew about the town and its history. Maybe she knew about its ghosts, too.

“Why didn’t you tell the others this?” There were things Wren really understood about being mortal, and then there were things that still gave her trouble—like the difference between a lie and bending the truth for someone else’s benefit. She was learning, though.

“They didn’t need to be any more afraid than they already were.” Sometimes when people were really scared they did really stupid things. “If I want them to help me—us—stop this thing, I need them smart.”

My sister smiled teasingly. “You want their help? Or Mace’s help?”

I rolled my eyes. “Please. That’s just too uncomfortable to even joke about. There’s got to be stories around about this thing—it’s too powerful for someone not to have pissed off before this. Hopefully we can narrow it down to one or two ghosts, but then we’re going to have to go inside Haven Crest.”

Wren’s expression grew serious. “Can you do that?”

I shrugged. “I have to. I’m the only one who can see the dead and talk to the living.” How poetic that sounded. “Other than Kevin, and I don’t think he’s ready for that.” I wasn’t being snotty, just truthful.

“I’m going with you.”

My first thought was to tell her no, but I realized that was stupid. I nodded. “We’re stronger together.”

Her smile took up most of her face—seriously. It was like the freaking Cheshire cat.

“That’s really disturbing,” I told her—her teeth were almost the size of dominoes. “Stop it.”

She laughed, and let her features go back to normal as she snuggled up against me.

“You didn’t make out with Kevin when you were driving my body, did you?”

She looked put out. “No!”

Now I grinned. “Are you mad because I asked, or because you didn’t think of it at the time?”

“Both.” Yeah, it never occurred to her to lie, either.

I laughed.

“It’s not funny!” Wren declared, soundlessly jumping off the bed. “If you like a boy you can see him whenever you want, and he can see you. I have to borrow you or manifest for him to see me!”

My laughter died. “Manifest? When did you manifest?” She didn’t lie, but she could conveniently not mention things.

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