Sisters of Blood and Spirit Page 58

He agreed and we hung up. Wren was still watching me as I stuck my damp hair up into a messy bun and rushed to my closet. “Who was that?”


“Ben? Not Mace?”

I stuck my head out of the closet. “Mace has a girlfriend, and I think I already told you that he doesn’t like me like that.”

She looked genuinely confused—and put out. “I could have sworn he did. Still, Ben’s cute.”

“He is.” I hid my smile by searching for a shirt. “He’s nice, too.”

I could have sworn I heard her mutter, “And on the right side of death.”

I pulled on jeans and a light shirt. September was still a warm month in Connecticut, and today was bright and sunny. “We haven’t really talked about it, and this might not be the best time, but are you okay with the fact that Ben seems to like me?”

Wren shot me an annoyed look. “Of course I am. I saw how he looked at you at ’Nother Cup the night we met them. It was obvious he thought you were awesome.”

“It was?” I slipped my feet into a pair of flats. “Why didn’t you say anything?”

She shrugged. “You wouldn’t have believed me anyway.”

There was that. I put on mascara and lip gloss—the two things I would never be seen without—grabbed my bag and ran downstairs. Wren was already in the kitchen when I walked in. Cheater. Nan was at the table sipping what was probably her third coffee and reading a book on her tablet.

“I hope you’re going to eat something before you run out,” she said.

“Yes, ma’am.” I grabbed a mug for coffee, a banana and a bagel—which I shoved in the toaster. I ate the banana while I waited. Then I sat down at the table with a coffee and a hot bagel with melting peanut butter dripping off it. I was starving.

“I heard a bunch of kids broke into Haven Crest last night,” my grandmother remarked without looking up. “You wouldn’t know anything about that, would you?”

I chewed and swallowed. The peanut butter caught at my throat. “Should I?”

“I would think not.” She took a sip of her coffee. “I’m sure if you ever got caught doing something like that you’d call your grandmother to come get you rather than take on that jerk Olgilvie on your own.” Now she looked at me. Pointedly, I might add.

“Of course,” I agreed, a little stunned. She knew, right? I mean, she wasn’t dumb, and from the way she looked at me...

“Good.” She went back to her reading. That was it. She didn’t yell or tell me how disappointed she was, but I knew where I stood. I reached over and squeezed her hand. She squeezed back.

Ben actually came to the door when he arrived. Of course Nan knew him. I think she knew everyone in town. She gave me twenty bucks in case I needed anything and told me to be careful.

As soon as we got into the car, Ben turned toward me as though he was going to kiss me. “Wren’s with us,” I blurted.

He froze halfway to me, startled. “Are you just saying that so I won’t kiss you?”


“Good. Hi, Wren.”

“I can leave,” she offered. Poor thing looked really uncomfortable. Fucking Kevin.

“She offered to leave,” I repeated.

Ben shook his head with a grin. “Don’t be foolish. A little anticipation’s good for the soul.”

I grinned, too. All that anticipation went right to my stomach and fluttered away. In the backseat I think my sister actually swore. She really wasn’t herself. I didn’t like it.

We didn’t talk about anything serious during the drive. Mostly we listened to the radio and I felt that stupid rush of happiness every time we liked the same song. I think Ben might have been as nervous as I was, and it was hard to be flirty when you had company. I had to give him props for not being weirded out by the fact that my sister was invisible to him.

At the hospital we found out that Gage had been moved out of emergency into the IC unit. Was that a good thing or bad? It sounded bad. We took the elevator up to that floor and ran into Kevin at the nurses’ station. He looked scared. Behind him a handful of people were in a small, glass-front room, fussing over the person in the bed. Gage’s father was in that room with his arm around Roxi’s shoulders.

“What’s going on?” Ben asked. “What happened to Gage?”

Kevin looked at me—normally he would have looked at Wren, the jerk. “He’s gotten worse.”


Had I done this? Had I hurt Gage when I touched him? Was Mace worse now, too? Sarah?

I looked at the girl standing beside Mace. The marks on her face looked better, or no worse than they had after I’d touched her. Mace had told me he was fine, and he didn’t look sick. Obviously I couldn’t haul up his shirt in the middle of the hospital, so I had to believe him.

So what had happened to Gage?

I caught a nurse looking at me. “Are you all right, dear? You look a little pale.”

“I’m fine thanks.” Just a little warm. Just a little dizzy. Something tugged at my hair. I turned my head and almost screamed. I caught myself just in time, so it came out like a hiccup.

Freaking hell.

There was a girl playing with my hair. Her face was completely caved in—a bloody hole of flesh and bone. Only one eye remained perfect. It blinked at me.

“Go away,” I whispered.

She did—thank God.

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