Sisters of Blood and Spirit Page 6

She forgot to add “lying in a pool of your own blood with your wrists sliced open.”


Roxi nodded as she lifted her head. “Okay, so I’ll see you at eight.”


She grinned. “Great. See you then.” She turned to walk away, then stopped. She glanced over her shoulder with a lingering smile and looked somewhere over my right shoulder. “’Bye, Wren.”

My sister stood at my left, but the effect was the same. Wren’s eyes widened, and I wondered if Roxi would ever know how much those two words meant to her. How much the thought meant. Wren lifted her hand and waved, even though Roxi had already set off down the street.

We walked up the lane, finally alone.

“What did you do to Andrew?” I asked.

Wren shrugged. Her blouse slid down on her shoulder. “Scared him a little, that’s all. I told you, nothing permanent.”

“Then why wasn’t he in class?”

“He had to go home.”

“Why? And please don’t say he was bleeding from the eyes.”

She shot me an indignant glance. “He peed his pants.” Yes, the scariest person I knew said “peed.”

“That’s it?”

“Isn’t that enough?” she shot back.

I held up my hands. “Just making sure.”

My sleeves had fallen down my arms when I raised them, and Wren grabbed my left forearm before I could lower both. Her thumb was like velvet against the satin of the scar that ran down the throat of my wrist. Tears filled her bright blue eyes.

“It’s all right,” I told her.

“Did it hurt?” she asked. Wren didn’t have much of a concept of physical pain, having never experienced it. She had no scars and she never would—not unless there was something in the afterlife that neither of us knew about. She’d never asked me about them before.

“Not as much as I thought they would.”

“I’d take them if I could.”

“But you can’t.” I gently pulled my arm away. “They’re mine.” And the only thing other than our hair that set us apart as two separate people instead of two halves of one.


Sometimes I watched Lark sleep, just to make certain nothing happened to her. She didn’t know that I did it or she wouldn’t have closed her eyes. She said I “creeped” her out when I did things like that. What else was I supposed to do? I didn’t sleep—I didn’t need to. I had tried to once, but I got bored. As a child I’d figured out—with Lark’s help—how to pass through books so that I could actually read them. Thankfully our grandmother had a fabulous library—not as good as the one in the Shadow Lands, but it was more than adequate.

When we were little, Lark asked me if I lived in Heaven. I told her I didn’t know. I still didn’t. It was an untruth that the dead had all the answers. We just had different questions.

The truth of where I “lived” was that it was big and peaceful and muted. No bright colors—except for my hair—no loud noises, no strong smells. Certainly nothing like the wave of deliciousness that greeted me when I phased through the door of our grandmother’s kitchen. My sense of smell wasn’t that developed, but spending time in this world had helped strengthen it, and what I smelled was good.

“Oh,” I said. “What is that?”

“Peanut butter cookies,” Lark told me. “Best smell in the world.”

“Can I have one?” I sounded so pathetic, and I was. We both knew the only way I’d ever taste that delicious scent was if Lark let me in, and I’d already violated her space once today.

My sister smiled, indulging me like she always did. She had such a big heart, especially where I was concerned. “Sure.” I forgave her for asking what I’d done to that boy in her class. It wasn’t as though she didn’t have reason to ask, especially after what I’d done to that orderly in the hospital our parents had put Lark in. I scared him so bad they took him away sobbing. He never came back, but I visited him from time to time.

“I didn’t hurt him,” I insisted, needing her to know the truth. I didn’t have to tell her who or what I was talking about. She knew. Lark just nodded. She didn’t like to talk to me in front of other people anymore. I understood why, but it still hurt sometimes. Other times it made me angry. People got hurt when I got angry, so I tried to stay calm.

“Hello, girls,” Nan greeted us. “Hug.”

She was five feet tall and slim with a head of thick hair dyed a color almost as bright as mine. According to Lark she didn’t look like a grandmother, but Charlotte Noble felt like one.

Lark hesitated—she always did. It was my fault, this distrust she had of people, even those who should have her complete faith. Just by being, I’d made her life so much harder than it should have been. She didn’t like to hug, and I wished I could hug everyone I met. When we first came here, Lark let me in so I could feel our grandmother’s arms around me. Today, I simply moved through the tiny woman, letting her sweet warmth sift through me.

To my delight, Nan smiled. “Wren, you’re like walking through a patch of sunshine, dear. Lark, just come hug me and get it over with, girl. I won’t bite you.”

I watched, anxious as the two most important women in my existence embraced. Was it my imagination, or did Lark relax a little? True to her word, Nan didn’t bite. I’d been nervous for a moment.

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