Sisters of Blood and Spirit Page 28

“Emily.” She said it like it ought to make sense to me, but it didn’t.

“Nice to meet you, Emily.” It seemed the right thing to say. “Thank you for your help.”

I thought she might leave then, but she didn’t. “What did you want to know about Haven Crest?”

“History,” I replied. Lark must have rubbed off on me, because I thought twice about telling her everything. “Interesting stories. That sort of thing.”

She smiled. “Let me guess, some children from the town have gotten themselves into trouble with a ghost from there.”

I kept my eye on her. “How did you know?”

Emily shrugged. “Because they were doing that in my day, as well.”

“You’re from New Devon?” This was good! Wasn’t it? If she was here, then she wasn’t tied to the asylum. This place was like a halfway house for the dead, but those who haunted a place usually put so much of their energy into the haunt they couldn’t come here—or they wouldn’t. Haunting was a big commitment, meaning the spirit was very attached to that person, place or thing and didn’t like to leave.

She tilted her head. “You really don’t know who I am, do you?”

“Should I?”

“I suppose not. You haven’t seen me since you were very young. Yes, I am from New Devon. What would you like to know about the unfortunate place known as Haven Crest?”

“Inmate information. We’re looking for a ghost that might have used a straight razor as a weapon when it was human.”

“A cutter?” She arched her eyebrow. She really did remind me of Lark. “That’s something like the needle in the haystack, is it not?”

I shrugged. “It’s a place to start.”

“I suppose so. And these are things you and your sister must figure out for yourselves if you’re going to traffic in both worlds.” She walked over to the podium and picked up one of the volumes the library had brought forth. Then she offered the book to me.

“I shouldn’t interfere, but take this.”

It was huge. As far as places to start went it was one big shiny haystack. “What about the other volumes?”

“You don’t need those.”

“But there might be information—”

“Wren.” She put her hand on my arm, squeezing hard with her fingers. She glanced over her shoulder, as though worried someone might be watching. “This is the book you need.”

I stared at her. She was so familiar and yet a complete stranger.

“Who are you?” I demanded. “Why are you helping me? Why now?”

“I’m a friend,” she insisted. “And I’m helping you now because I am able. I’ll explain everything when I can. Promise me you’ll be careful.”

She didn’t even wait for me to promise before she simply disappeared. One moment she was there and the next she was gone, leaving me holding the book she’d given me with a stupefied expression on my face.

“Helpful,” I muttered. “Helpful and weird.” My sister was definitely rubbing off on me. Holding the book to my chest, I closed my eyes and let this world slip away. It was like peeling back layers of spiderwebs—only not so sticky. For a moment, I existed in between dimensions. It was always tempting to just stay in that void where there was nothing but peace. I didn’t stay, though. I didn’t even linger. I opened my eyes to the familiar sight of my sister’s bedroom—our bedroom.

I was alone. Where was Lark? And more important, what had we gotten ourselves into?


“Melanie’s cousin bought the house. She said they had to rip up the carpet in that bedroom. Her blood soaked right through to the floorboards.”

I froze a couple of feet away from the table where my new “friends” Sarah, Ben and Gage sat. Was Sarah talking about my old house? About me?

“You shouldn’t repeat that kind of shit,” Ben said.

“You’re just saying that because you’ve got a thing for her,” Sarah goaded.

Ben leaned forward on the forearm he rested on the table. “No, I’m saying it because I’m not a gossipy bitch.”

I could kiss that boy.

I had two choices. I could be ashamed of what I’d done and walk away, or I could say fuck it. I pulled out a chair and sat down. They seemed really surprised to see me. “Actually, my parents had the carpet changed before they even sold the house. I don’t know if there’s a stain or not—I was locked up in Bell Hill at that point.”

Sarah flushed. Now who was ashamed, bitch?

“You don’t owe us an explanation,” Ben reminded me. I looked at his mouth. Definitely kissable.

Sarah played with the plastic lid of her cup. “I didn’t mean to be a bitch. You’re just...” She met my gaze. “You’re the only person I know who ever had the balls to actually, you know, do it.”

“You mean try to kill myself?”

She nodded. I doubted her sincerity, but at least she’d apologized.

“If the idea of slicing your wrists open isn’t appealing, you’re probably not too keen on dying. Balls has nothing to do with it. I just really wanted to die.”

Gage perked up, dark eyes brightening. “But Mace saved you.”

I opened my mouth to congratulate him on his ability to tell me what I already knew, but never got to say a word because Sarah’s head had snapped up and she was looking at me like I was contagious. “Mace saved you?”

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