Sisters of Blood and Spirit Page 64

“We were at Haven Crest. Everyone was dead—you helped kill them.”

I shook my head. “I’d never do that.” Would I? Could I? “It had to be Bent.”

She lifted her chin and finally met my gaze. “Their eyes were gone.”

Oh. Now it made sense, why she was so afraid. I remembered that night at Bell Hill when I’d gone into Lark’s room. She had been there awhile, and I’d finally managed to get past the drugs and her defenses to visit her. It was one of the first times I’d seen her since she’d shut me out, and I was so worried about her. So anxious.

I was surprised to find someone else in her room—a young nurse. He was in his twenties, maybe. One of those kinds of people who base their career choices on how many people they’ll be able to bully and abuse.

Lark was groggy, wearing only her pajamas. The nurse kissed her, pressed her back on the bed, his hand underneath her shirt.

“Stop,” she said. “Please. Stop.”

He laughed. Laughed. “You just be quiet, sweet-meat. I’ll make you like it.”

“No!” She couldn’t even scream—the lethargy kept her voice a hoarse whisper. She struggled, but he held her arms above her head with one hand as the other crept toward her waist.

“You know you want it,” he snarled.

I’d been shocked into stillness, but not anymore. At that moment I felt a rage that I’d never—ever—felt before. I manifested with little warning. One second I was nothing and the next I was a full-on screaming banshee. The nurse had cried out and sat down hard on the tile floor. He’d looked at me. All of the color had drained from his face. His eyes were so wide I could see the whites around his irises.

“Jesus Christ!”

“No,” I whispered, my voice a growling, terrible vortex. “Not quite.”

I didn’t remember much after that. No, that was a lie. I remembered all of it, but I didn’t like to, and most of the time I refused to remember at all. I’d leaped on him, and when Lark had reached out and touched me, tried to stop me, she’d given me form—for just a second.

It was all I’d needed. I popped my thumb through his eyeball.

Sometimes I still heard his screams. What Lark didn’t know was that I smiled every time I thought of it. That was why I didn’t like to remember.

The doctors thought it was some kind of bizarre accident. The nurse never blamed Lark. How could he? There was no way she could have hurt him like that in the condition she’d been in, and he’d left marks on her. If anyone had examined her they would have seen that she’d been assaulted.

But they didn’t look. The people at Bell Hill didn’t see half of what they ought to have. The nurse had left on medical leave and had never come back—at least not to Lark’s floor.

“You’re afraid I’ll hurt them,” I said, then felt foolish. Of course that was what she was afraid of.

“I’m more afraid for you.” She picked at a twig—snapped it. “I don’t want to lose you.”

That was not the moment to reassure her that she wouldn’t lose me, because if I went bad I’d probably take her with me. “Why don’t you ask me what you really want to know?”

Her head lifted. She looked at me finally. “What?”

Did she think she was that good of a liar? Did she really think she could hide from me? “If I ever want to devour the living, and if I’ve ever thought about killing you.”

Lark swallowed, but she didn’t look away. That made me extremely happy given the circumstances. “Do you?”

“No. Not when I’m just me.”

“You’ve lost your temper a lot lately.”

I smiled. “Well, we’ve been dealing with people who make that very easy.”

She laughed—thankfully. “That’s true. I’ve lost mine a lot, too.”

“That’s what you do.”

She didn’t argue. “I guess what I’m trying to say is that you don’t have to do this if you don’t want to. I want you with me, but it’s okay for you to bail if you feel threatened.”

“All right.” Silence fell between us. “Ben’s really cute,” I said, because I didn’t know what else to say.

Lark actually turned pink. “Yeah. He was...unexpected.” She brushed her hands against her thighs. “I’m sorry about Kevin.”

It was like a knife to the heart, but I could take it. “At least I know he liked me. That’s something.”

She patted my leg. “We just have to find you a nice dead boy.”

“Maybe Bent can set me up.”

“Don’t even joke,” Lark warned, rising to her feet. “Although, you know, if Kevin means that much to you I could always toss him in front of a train. The thought has occurred to me.”

“Don’t you joke,” I shot back, because honestly, it was tempting. Wrong, but tempting.

We walked to the parking lot and found Ben waiting inside his car. He was reading a book with his feet out the window. His face lit up when he saw Lark. It made me both like and hate him at the same time. Jealousy was not a pleasant emotion, and not one I wanted to feel toward my sister.

“I’ll see you at home,” I told her. I might have been dead, but that didn’t mean I wanted to be a third wheel.

She squeezed my hand and then I drifted away, slipping into the Shadow Lands as I made the distance between the park and Nan’s disappear. How would I go about meeting a “nice dead boy,” as Lark had put it? Surely there had to be at least a handful of boys I’d find interesting lurking about. I mean, the definition of unfinished business had to be teenager. Right?

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