Sisters of Blood and Spirit Page 65

Nan was making dinner when I entered the house. She actually lifted her head when I came into the kitchen. “Hello, Wren, dear.”

I smiled and breezed out into the hall. As I moved toward the stairs to our room, something flashed in my peripheral—a shadow flitting across the wall. I turned my head—there was nothing there.

But there had been.

Frowning, I moved in the direction the shadow had gone. It wasn’t the first time I’d thought I’d seen something in the house, though I hadn’t picked up on any other ghosts here. That didn’t mean anything, though. We could hide from each other just as well as humans could.

I ended up in the sunporch, where Nan did most of her crafty things. There were lots of plants out here, and comfy old furniture that was a little too shabby to be in the main part of the house.

“Hello?” I said. Stupid, really. Humans did it all the time, as though they actually expected a ghost to jump out and say, “Hey ya!”

No answer, but I felt like I was being watched. It wasn’t Bent—this was my sanctuary. I’d never felt another ghost in that house, and it would be difficult for any ghost who wasn’t bound to the house or family to come in. Private homes were even harder to enter than public places—almost impossible for most ghosts. So, was I simply paranoid, or was there someone actually there?

Was I being haunted?


School on Monday was different for me than it had been before. Ben picked me up and drove me—even though I could have walked the short distance. We attracted a bit of attention arriving together. It was a small high school and I was still big news. I hoped being seen with me didn’t cause trouble for Ben, but beyond that I didn’t care what anyone thought.

Roxi was waiting for me at my locker. Ben had gone on to his, so it was just me and her. She had circles under her eyes and she looked tired.

“Hi,” she said.

“Hi. What’s up?” I frowned a little. “Are you okay? You’re not starting to feel sick, are you?”

She hugged her books to her chest and shook her dark head. “No more than I was. I just wanted to say thank you.”

“For what?” As far as I could tell I hadn’t done much more than piss Bent off.

“For helping Gage. I saw him before school this morning. He’s doing better.”

That was a relief. “The agate worked?”

“Yes.” She sounded so relieved. She looked as though she might cry. “Mr. Moreno said he slept all night, and he was hungry this morning.”

“That’s the best news I’ve heard since I moved back here,” I told her, opening my locker. She still looked a little shaky. “Bent can’t have him, Rox. He can’t have any of you.”

She grabbed me and hugged me so hard I couldn’t breathe. I patted her back, and hoped she’d let me go before I passed out. Thankfully, she did. And then she left me alone.

And I really was alone. Wren wasn’t with me. She would be later, but she decided that she really didn’t want to sit through my first-period history class—the teacher was boring, she said—and that maybe she’d take that time to poke about the Shadow Lands.

I wished I could just not come to school. God, that would be so freaking awesome.

Being at school without Wren left me feeling vulnerable, open to attack. I kept waiting for someone to accost me, or call me names. It didn’t happen, but that didn’t mean that it wouldn’t someday. Wren always said how brave she thought I was, but she was the one who made me that way. Hard not to be brave when you had a paranormal force at your back.

I gathered the books I needed and closed my locker. As I walked down the corridor, I spied Andrew walking toward me. Oh, great. I squared my shoulders, bracing myself for whatever he might say or do.

He took one look at me, gasped and immediately turned into the nearest classroom. He almost knocked a girl over doing it.

Huh. Whatever Wren had said to him had obviously done the job. Although, that thought didn’t make me feel as smug as it would have before that vision of her smacking her lips while holding our friends’ eyeballs.

I knew Wren could be dangerous, but she was my sister. I just couldn’t think of her as a monster—as something like Bent. If she ever turned into something like that, would I be able to do what needed to be done?

At least I knew where her remains were.

The thought made my chest tight. Blinking back tears—I was not going to cry over something that might happen—I made my way to class and tried to focus on the here and now, and not some future I couldn’t control. It worked—for the most part.

At lunch I met up with the others. Wren came by to check in, as well. I wouldn’t admit to anyone but myself how much more relaxed I was once I saw my twin. I didn’t want her to see how dependent I was. I didn’t want her to feel like she had to stick to me, especially now that I knew how much she needed a life of her own.

Sarah didn’t look so great. The wound on her jaw was raw, but that wasn’t it. She was exhausted.

“Nightmares,” she said. “I didn’t sleep at all last night. I dreamed that Bent came and tried to possess me again. He kept telling me that if I cared about you all that I’d help you ascend, whatever that means.”

The others closed in to comfort her, as well. I didn’t hug her. I just looked at her and said, “It will all be over tonight.”

Her wide gaze locked with mine. “Promise?”

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