Sisters of Blood and Spirit Page 38

“Are you okay?” Ben asked. He was frowning—like he was really worried about me. Sweet, but I wasn’t the one any of them should be worried about.

“Yeah, thanks.” I glanced at Sarah. She had this goofy look on her face—like she was a little stoned. “Are you?”

“I feel good. You must be magic or something.”

Not magic, but definitely something.

I just wish I knew whether it was good or bad.

“Okay, everyone sit down,” I instructed. As they did I handed each of them a can of the salt mixture. “Pour this in a circle around your chairs. Make sure the line isn’t broken at any point.” Then I jerked my head toward the door so my sister would follow me, and not have to be present while the salt was out.

“What’s wrong?” she asked as we stood just outside the door.

“I want you to promise you won’t try to be the hero tonight.”

Wren looked affronted. “That’s rich, coming from you.”

I sighed and folded my arms over my chest. “If things get bad, you jump into me, okay?”

“You mean if I feel like I’m going to lose control.”

Touchy much? That meant she was worried about it, too, but the last thing I wanted to do was get her agitated. “I mean if things start to go south for either of us. We’re stronger together, and we don’t know what we’re up against.” But we both knew it was nasty.

She turned her head and peered into the dining room. I followed her gaze. Kevin.

“So, you and Kevin can communicate pretty well, huh? I mean, he can see you now.”

“I guess.”

She didn’t want to talk about it, and I realized something at that moment. I realized that it wasn’t my business. If she wanted to tell me, she’d tell me. Maybe she thought I’d be angry, or maybe she simply didn’t feel the need to share this one thing with me. She was entitled to one thing of her own, wasn’t she? Yes, she could get hurt. In fact, I was entirely certain she was going to get hurt big-time, but she deserved her privacy—just like everyone else.

“Look after him,” I said. “He volunteered for this, and he has no idea what he’s getting into. He might need your help.”

“I know.”

“No, you don’t. I’m telling you to protect him before me.”

She turned back to me, a frown on her face. It was funny that I found her face pretty, but mine not so much. “No one comes before you.”

“Tonight they all do.”

Her hand settled on my shoulder—I hadn’t even seen her move. “Helping them is one thing, Lark, but putting yourself at risk is another. They’re not your responsibility.”

“No? Then whose are they?”

“Their own.”

That was easy for the dead girl to say. The one who had been so hot to help them in the first place. I didn’t say that out loud, of course—it was mean. And she was only saying these things because she remembered things from Bell Hill. When people asked how I knew things about ghosts, I let them think I was just brilliant or whatever, but the truth was that everything I knew, I’d learned the hard way.

“I’ll be fine,” I assured her. Right, because I’d never said that before. But I was fairly confident I would be all right. I’d put salt around my chair, too, and I’d wear the iron ring in my pocket if I had to. “Just promise me you’ll watch out for the others.”

She nodded. “I will.”

We returned to the dining room where the group was gathered around the table. There was a chair left for me at the head of it—opposite Kevin and between Ben and Mace.

I sat down in the chair—someone had already poured salt around it for me.

“Should we turn off the lights?” Gage asked.

“Not if you want to see,” I replied.

He looked disappointed. “Do we hold hands?”

“Place them on the top of the table so that your pinkies touch the person’s next to you.” Guys sometimes got weird about having to hold another guy’s hand, but not just that, I wanted the iron of their rings to be visible and easily accessible if needed.

“Ready?” I asked.

Murmurs of “yes” sounded around the table as they placed their hands pinkie to pinkie. They looked terrified, and I didn’t blame them. I was a little nervous myself. I’d be an idiot not to be.

“I need you all to think about that night at Haven Crest when you were attacked,” I told them. “Think about how it felt, the energy you encountered. Sarah, it’s already tried to manipulate you, so I want you to think about how that presence felt in your head, okay?”

She nodded, face white. There were dark half circles beneath her eyes, and the scratch on her cheek looked like makeup, it was so bright against her pale skin. “Okay.”

“Go ahead,” I said to Kevin. He was the one with the ability to summon ghosts. I attracted them, but I couldn’t single out a particular one unless I knew exactly who I was looking for, and even then, I couldn’t focus like he could. He could channel the energy of the people around him into finding their spirit and call it to them. That was how mediums managed to contact people’s dead loved ones.

He closed his eyes. He wasn’t wearing his glasses. Wren stood behind him—outside the salt line. He wasn’t wearing the iron ring because it might interfere with his abilities, so she was there to give him a little extra protection just in case our ghost decided to break with tradition and tried to hurt him.

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