Sisters of Blood and Spirit Page 31

Ben obviously noticed a change in me. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing. Wren’s here.”

“Hi, Wren,” he said, with a little wave in her general direction.

My sister looked thrilled at the attention. It hurt to look at her, because that foolish grin told me just how lonely she was. I wasn’t enough for her. I wanted to be, but I wasn’t. She was in this world because of me, but she couldn’t interact with it like I could. If I weren’t already halfway crazy, being in that situation would send me all the way over the edge.

The others greeted her, as well. I didn’t know if it was to suck up to me, or because they were actually happy she was there, and I didn’t care. It made Wren feel good, and that was all that mattered.

“I found a book on Haven Crest in the Shadow Lands,” my sister informed me. “I think it’ll help us.”

I repeated that to the table.

Kevin scowled. “How can you bring something like that into this dimension? You shouldn’t be able to do that.”

Wren looked surprised by his tone. Hurt. My eyes narrowed. “Might want to adjust your attitude, Sixth Sense.”

He shook his head, but he didn’t look at me—he looked at Wren. “Sorry. I mean, how is it possible that you’re able to do that?”

Wren shrugged. Kevin smiled a little. He really could see her. Or at least, he could sense her.

For the benefit of the others who weren’t so ghost-abled, I said, “Sometimes Wren and I can do things we shouldn’t be able to do. We don’t know why. Neither of us came with an instruction manual.”

“No one expects you to know everything,” Sarah said. Gotta admit, that was a surprise. “But thanks for sharing what you do.”

“You’re, uh, welcome.” I had a great career in public speaking in my future.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw Mace reach down and entwine his fingers with hers. For a second she was stiff and cool, but then her hand closed over his. Obviously she forgave him for not telling her about finding me. And obviously he forgave her for being awful about it. I envied that. And I hated them a little bit for it, too.

“Did she bring the books with her?” Mace asked.

I shook my head. “No. She can bring them into this world, but she can’t transport them once they’re here.”

He nodded. “So, what do you want us to do?”

The bunch of them stared at me. They thought I had the answers. They expected me to have the answers. They trusted me to have answers. Damn, that was...unnerving.

“Can you do a search on Haven Crest ghosts or hauntings? I’ve got to think some of the stories have gotten out over the years. Look for anything that has to do with razors in particular.” Then to Sarah and Gage, “Maybe you guys can look up incidents or attacks at Haven Crest over the years? Each take a couple of decades to make it go faster.”

Their thumbs started flying over the screens of their phones.

“What can I do?” Ben asked.

“You and I are going to go shopping for supplies.”

“Want some help?” Kevin asked.

I shook my head. “Go through your books for ways to protect ourselves. Anything that stands out make a note or send Wren to me. Or call.” Yeah, calling was probably more convenient.

Everyone seemed on board. I took my chai with me, and as we walked out of the shop, Ben gave me a hesitant smile. “We’re like the Scooby gang or something.”

“Or something,” I replied drily. But my heart gave a stupid little flip. Other than group therapy at Bell Hill, I’d never been part of anything before. Ever.

I really hoped I didn’t get any of them killed.

* * *

Self-checkouts prevented so much embarrassment.

Ben and I went through the twelve-items-or-less line with ten cans of salt, a bottle of iron supplements, a bottle of fennel and a jar of cloves.

“You have thirteen items,” the woman at the next checkout commented, looking pointedly at the salt as I scanned it through.

I grabbed a pack of gum, dragged it over the scanner and tossed it on the belt. She didn’t say another word.

“You’re such a rebel,” Ben remarked, his eyes twinkling. He bagged our purchases. “Do we really need all this?”

“We will. You should salt the windows and doorways in your house.”

“Yeah, because that’s not hard to explain.”

He had a point. “At least the windows and the threshold of your bedroom. It will keep the ghost from getting you in your sleep if it decides to come visit.”

He shook his head, a lock of dark hair falling over his forehead. “I don’t need it.”

“Because you’re such a badass?” It was snarky of me, but why was he here if he didn’t want my help?

He stopped bagging and turned to me with the bottle of cloves in his hand. “You know, if you knocked that chip off your shoulder you’d be able to see beyond yourself and realize that we’re not the assholes you seem to think we are. Sarah’s not a bitch, she’s just scared and guilty because it was her idea to go to Haven Crest. And your buddy Mace? He got really pissed at her for it. Made her cry. And no, I’m not a badass, but I have a grandmother who likes to put pujok all over the house to protect us from evil spirits, so I feel relatively secure. Oh, and it wasn’t Kevin’s or Roxi’s idea to ask for your help, it was mine, so you can be shitty with me over it. But I probably didn’t have to tell you any of that, did I? Because you know everything.”

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