Sisters of Blood and Spirit Page 60

Josiah Bent had possessed Kevin. It didn’t matter that Kevin hadn’t been marked. He was a medium—fair game.

“What gave me away?” he asked.

Lark glared at him. “Kevin’s an idiot, but he’d never blame Wren, or suggest she join you.” She glanced over her shoulder at me. “I said now.”

I leaped into her, settling my limbs into hers, letting my energy fill her, letting her envelop me. I wished I’d been as certain that Kevin wouldn’t be mean to me as she had been.

Bent straightened. It was so unsettling to see Kevin’s face wearing Bent’s hateful expression. It made me angry.

“Get out of him, Bent,” we said. My voice echoed inside Lark’s. “Get out of him, and leave Gage alone.”

He smiled. “But I like this body. It’s very young and fit. He practically invited me in.”

Oh, no. Kevin, why would you do that? He knew about these things, he wouldn’t just let Bent in—not without a reason.

“I don’t care. Get out or I’ll beat you out.”

He laughed. “Do you really think two little girls can defeat me? This boy is stronger than you, breather.”

My sister’s response was to punch him again. He staggered backward, lip split. I winced. I didn’t want her to hurt Kevin, but Bent couldn’t be allowed to maintain control of him.

“Six years of kickboxing, a year in a mental hospital, a lifetime of having to defend myself and ghostly possession,” Lark said. “I think I’m strong enough.”

This time Bent didn’t mock her. He lifted the back of Kevin’s hand to his mouth, wiping at the blood there. “You’ve meddled in my plans long enough, witch. The children are mine.”

Lark threw another punch, but he moved out of the way. This time he punched back. Oh, that hurt! Lark’s pain tore through me. Still, she came back with a kick to his ribs. She was tougher than she looked, my sister. Bent hit her hard, sending us flying backward into a table. It smashed into our side as our head hit the wall.

“Anytime you want to get pissed off, feel free,” Lark growled.

Oh, I was pissed off, and an invitation to let that out was just what I needed. We spun around and cracked our foot against the side of Kevin’s head, then delivered a punch to his chest. Bent was older than me—stronger in many ways, just as Kevin was stronger than Lark. What Bent didn’t have was the connection my sister and I shared. Her body might be heavy, but it was familiar, and I’d worn it so many times it felt natural. We were attuned to one another. He struck out and we dodged to the side, coming up to punch him in the kidneys. We swept our leg behind him and knocked his feet out from underneath him. We pinned his arms with our knees and straddled him. We reached into Lark’s bag and found the iron bar Ben had given her. We shoved this under Bent’s chin.

“Get out or I’ll beat your ass and salt you like a freaking ham,” we snarled—both of our voices coming out of one mouth.

Bent didn’t need to be told twice. He pulled free of Kevin—a scab peeled from a wound—and stood over us. We lunged to our feet, iron in hand.

Josiah Bent’s gaunt face twisted into a sneer. “I’ll leave for now, but I’ll be back. There’s only one way to stop this, Dead Born. Join me and I’ll leave these children alone. Deny me and I’ll drain them all. And I’ll save this one—” his foot passed through Kevin “—for last.”

And Lark said, “What, not me? I thought I was your favorite, princess.”

Bent roared at her, and then spun himself into a black whirlwind that tore past us and through the wall. A print of a barn in a field fell to the floor.

On the floor, Kevin stirred. I slipped out of Lark just as she offered her hand to help him up.

“Why did you beat me up if you had the bar all along?” he asked.

My sister smiled at him as she wrapped one arm around her front. She had to be sore after that. “I think you know why.”

I loved her so much at that moment.

He looked in my direction, but I concentrated very hard on not letting him see me. “Is she here?”

“You can’t see her?”

He shook his head.

Lark let out a breath. “You must have been a real douche, Sixth Sense.”

Kevin’s expression turned sullen. It would have been cute if he wasn’t all battered and bloody. “You know, deciding we shouldn’t see each other hurt me, too.”

“Yeah,” Lark said. She glanced at me before patting his shoulder. “I know. Come on, we need to check on Gage before they kick us out.”

She opened the door and left the room. Kevin followed after her, but he paused at the threshold and looked over his shoulder. He might not see me, but he still felt me. “You have no idea how much it hurt me, too.”

His words hit me harder than Bent ever could have. I stayed there a moment after he left, taking a moment of quiet just for myself.

When I left the room a man with bloody legs was in the hall. He’d been a ghost for maybe a year or so. He looked at me. “Thank you for getting rid of that awful man. He made us all uncomfortable.”

“I’m afraid it was my fault he came here in the first place. We’ll try to make sure he doesn’t come back.”

He nodded and turned away. He really should have been wearing something underneath that open-back gown.

I joined the others. They were gathered at the door of Gage’s room. Lark was inside talking to his father, so I drifted closer so I could hear them talk. Mr. Moreno had a lovely Colombian accent.

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