Sisters of Blood and Spirit Page 53

“I don’t know,” I said honestly. “I hope so.”

“Lark’s going to try to help him,” Mace said, practically shoving me forward. Then to Ben he said, “Keep a look out for doctors.”

“What are you going to do?” Sarah asked.

“Same thing I did for you,” I told her. It was probably better if I didn’t mention that I’d done it for Mace, too.

Her eyes brightened. “You think you can?”

“I can try.” My hands were not terribly clean. “I need some sanitizer.”

Of course there was some nearby. I cleaned my hands and then peeled back the edge of the bandages on Gage’s left arm. Oh, hell.

“I know,” Wren said at my side. “It’s awful.”

Awful wasn’t a strong enough word. I did not want to touch those things. They were terrible—as bad or worse than what Bent had done to Mace. How had this happened? Poor Gage. I’d never seen anything like this—not on someone alive. And then there were the cuts he’d made himself with Bent’s razor. They were red and raw—and way too close to what I’d done to myself for me to look at them for long.

I took a deep breath and set my hands over the worst part of the wounds. Oh, God. They were sticky. And wet. And warm. I had no idea how it worked, but I closed my eyes and tried to focus whatever mojo I had into my hands, into getting rid of the infection. Slowly, my fingers began to tingle and itch. I felt a strange sensation down my arms—like goose bumps on the wrong side of my skin. I stayed like this until my wrists began to feel numb and my knees trembled.

I opened my eyes and staggered backward. Wren steadied me.

“Are you okay?” Ben asked with a frown. He reached for me as well, but my sister kept me upright.

I nodded. I wasn’t okay. I felt like I’d been hit with a sledge hammer. “I need sugar.”

Roxi—one hundred pounds soaking wet—pulled a candy bar from her purse. “Here.”

Heath. My favorite. My fingers shook as I tried to unwrap it. Finally, Ben took it and peeled back the paper. “Thanks,” I said. I used more sanitizer and wiped my hands on my thighs before taking it. God only knew what kind of ghost spooge I had on me.

He made me sit down on the side of Gage’s bed and hovered a little while I ate. I kind of liked it. I mean, I was no damsel in distress or any of that crap, but most of the time people treated me like I didn’t need anything. Sometimes I felt like I needed a lot, and there was no one there to give it.

“Did it work?” Kevin asked.

I glanced at Gage’s arms. They were still pretty bad, but... “Yeah. I think so. Definitely.” I could see now that the spectral gouges had closed up some and weren’t so wet and black—which was good.

“Has his mother been here yet?” Mace asked.

Roxi made a face. “No. We called her, but she’s in New York with her boyfriend. Didn’t know when she could get back. His dad should be here soon, though.”

“Seriously?” I asked. “His mother wasn’t worried?”

Roxi shook her head. None of them looked terribly surprised. I felt a strange kinship for Gage at that moment. It seemed like so much more of a betrayal when it was your mother who didn’t care. Your mother was supposed to be the one person you could always count on. The one person that would love you forever no matter what you did.

Your mother wasn’t supposed to toss you over.

We all stayed for a little while longer—until Mr. Moreno, Gage’s father, arrived. Then we decided to make ourselves scarce fast.

Ben offered me a ride home and I said yes. To be honest, I’d rather go with him than anyone else. Wren gave me a sheepish glance. “Do you mind if I hang out with Kevin for a bit?”

I shook my head. I was too tired to mind. That didn’t stop me from shooting Kevin a dark look. If tonight had taught me anything it was that the living and the dead didn’t mix. He caught my arm when I walked by him in the hall. Wren had gone ahead with the others and didn’t seem to notice—which was weird.

“Problem?” he asked.

I looked at his hand on my sleeve, then up into his bright blue eyes. “You’re going to hurt her. We both know it’s going to happen. That’s when you and I will have a problem.” I pulled my arm free and glanced back into the ward. I stopped. Was that...? No, it couldn’t be. There was no way Bent could be here.

Was there?

I walked away from Kevin, back toward where Gage was. There was no one there but him and his father. No ghosts at all, especially not Bent.

I needed to get some sleep. I could barely stand up, and now I was hallucinating.

“Do you mind if we take Roxi home?” Ben asked when I’d caught up with him outside.

I shook my head. “Of course not.”

We all said good-night in the parking lot. We were a somber little bunch, everyone worried about Gage—and worried about what his condition might mean for them. I wished I knew enough to tell them if they ought to be worried or not. My instinct said they should be very worried. Then again, my instincts weren’t always reliable.

Roxi sat in the backseat. We were pretty quiet during the drive, but when we pulled up to her house, she leaned between the seats and hugged me. “Thank you for helping him. For helping us.”

I nodded. I would have spoken but my throat felt like there was something stuck in it. She hugged Ben, too, before getting out of the car. He promised to call her in the morning.

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