Sisters of Blood and Spirit Page 59

I turned around, the corridor spinning a little around me. I braced my hand against the wall for support. Standing a few feet away was a man in a hospital gown , his blood-splattered legs white and bare. He even had blood on his toes. I didn’t know where the blood was coming from, but he was clean from the waist up. He tilted his head to look at me, his milky eyes blank.

“Why?” he asked.

I whirled around once more, only to find a toddler sitting on the floor a few feet away from me. My stomach rolled at the blood on its overalls. And when it turned toward me and spoke in gibberish, I looked at its face...

I turned to the wall and pressed my forehead against it. I wouldn’t scream. I would not scream.

Warm hands came down on my shoulders. I jumped—made some sort of pathetic noise. It was just Ben.

“Come on,” he said. He put his arm around me and guided me down the hall. “Guys.”

The next thing I knew, I was sitting in a chair in the family room, and someone was pressing a paper cup of water into my hands. I took a sip, washing the sick taste out of my mouth. Ben crouched in front of me. Mace stood behind him, a concerned look on his face.

“What happened?” Ben asked.

I took another drink. “There are a lot of ghosts here.”

“You didn’t have this sort of reaction last night.”

I looked into his dark eyes and felt the world shift back into place. “Something’s not right. They sought me out.”

Suddenly, Wren was there beside me. Where had she been while I’d been bombarded with images I was never, ever going to unsee? That kid... I swallowed. That poor little kid.

“Bent’s here,” she whispered.

My head snapped up and turned toward her. “What?”

“It still freaks me out when she does that,” Sarah said. “I know someone’s there, but it doesn’t look like it.”

Wren looked worried—scared even. “Bent’s here. I don’t know how, but he’s here, and he’s been draining Gage.”

“What’s going on?” Mace demanded.

I glanced at him. “Bent’s here.” Someone gasped.

So I had seen Bent last night. God, why hadn’t I said something? Done something? Just because I hadn’t known it was possible for him to travel like that didn’t mean I shouldn’t have doubted my own eyes.

But then, he’d been gone when I looked again. And Wren hadn’t seen or felt him, either. We’d been too distracted. Too confident that we were safe.

“What do we do?” Ben asked.

I shook my head. “I don’t know.”

“What do you mean you don’t know?” Sarah cried. “You have to know! Can he follow all of us?”

I opened my mouth—

“No,” Kevin said as he entered the room. I hadn’t noticed he wasn’t with us before. “He can’t follow us. Ghosts can’t attach themselves to the living like that—not to do harm anyway. They can possess and influence those they’ve infected, but they’re bound by their surroundings unless something or someone strong enough for them to hitch a ride with shows up.”

I closed my eyes. “Me. He followed me. This is my fault.” I had taken the razor. I was strongly connected to the spirit world through Wren and my own time there. Of course it had been me he grabbed on to. I was ashamed that I hadn’t even noticed, but then it wasn’t as though he would have to shadow me the entire night—just when he sensed that I was around the others. My being with them gave him the extra juice to leave the asylum and come for Gage. He wouldn’t have been able to stay for long, but then he hadn’t needed to.

“Yes,” Kevin said. “It is.”

I lifted my chin and looked him in the eyes. He wasn’t wearing his glasses, which made it easier. “Asshole.”

“None of this would have happened if we hadn’t gone to Haven Crest in the first place,” Ben reminded him. “None of this is Lark’s fault.”

“How do we get rid of him?” Roxi asked.

“We don’t,” Kevin replied. He was Mr. Know-It-All. “He will leave when he’s ready.” He looked at Wren. “Or when you agree to join him. Actually, come to think of it, this is all your fault.”

“Dude,” Mace said, “What the hell is wrong with you?”

I looked up. “He’s just saying the truth. We don’t know how to get rid of Bent.” But we knew how to make things difficult for the bastard. I finished off the cup of water. “Hey, Ben, could you get me another drink?”

He gave me a questioning glance. I nodded my head very slowly at him, hoping he got my meaning. Ben stood up. “Sure. Be right back.” When he reached the corridor, he stuck his head back in. “Hey, Gage’s father is outside his room.”

Everyone started to file out to check on our friend. I stood up, too. Ben watched me from outside the room as one by one, everyone else filed out. Kevin was behind me, so when I stopped and shut the door, it was just me and him left inside.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

I turned around.

And punched him in the face.


“Lark, what are you doing?” I cried.

My sister shook her fist. It had to hurt—she’d hit Kevin very hard. “Wren, inside me. Now.”

Kevin started laughing. He pressed a hand to his jaw as he turned his head toward Lark. That was when I saw what my sister had already realized.

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