Sisters of Blood and Spirit Page 67

They did.

“Fabulous,” I continued. “When we get to the grave, Ben and I will set up the barricade while the rest of you start digging.”

“Why do you get to do that when we have to dig?” Sarah asked.

Yeah, she wasn’t even trying to hide how she felt about me now. “You want to be the first thing Bent and his minions hit when they show up, be my guest.” That shut her down pretty damn quick. Honestly, when this was over, I was going to go out of my way to avoid this chick. If I didn’t, one of us was going to end up sorry.

And it wouldn’t be me.

Before we left for the cemetery, I dabbed clove essential oil I’d picked up at the local health store on each of their wrists.

“Aren’t you wearing any?” Ben asked when I put the bottle away.

I shook my head. “I can’t use any wards.” I held up my hands. “No iron, either.”

That seemed to alarm everyone—especially Ben. “Why not?”

Wasn’t it obvious? “Wren. I can’t do anything that might block her from me. Occupational hazard.” It was a lame joke, but I felt like the mood of the group dropped ten points with my announcement. “Look, guys, I’ll be okay.”

“What if you’re not?” Sarah demanded. “You’re the only one of us who knows how to stop this thing.”

I smirked. At least she was honest. “So you’re not worried about my safety, just what happens to you if I get taken out. That’s sweet, really.”

She looked embarrassed. “I don’t want to see you get hurt, but I really don’t want to die tonight.”

That was fair. “Dig him up, open the box, soak him in salt and then lighter fluid, and light him up. Then get the hell out of here.”

“How will we know if it worked?” Mace asked.

“You’ll know.” I nodded at Kevin. “He’ll know. He’ll hear the screams.”

Kevin might have paled a little—it was hard to tell in the moonlight. “Thanks for the warning.”

I glanced at my watch. It was after eleven and I had a history test in the morning. “Let’s go.”

“There’s a service road the police use,” Mace informed us. “It runs right by the cemetery. We should be able to avoid security altogether, but if they do see us, it won’t look weird.” He held the back door of the van so we could climb inside. At least there were places to sit. He shut us in, and then climbed in the front. Sarah was in the passenger seat. Cow.

Ben held my hand on the drive. No awful vision this time, thankfully. I’d never really held hands with anyone—other than Wren, and sisters didn’t count. It was nice—comforting. And a little distracting when he stroked my thumb with his.

We were all quiet on the drive. Nervous. Afraid.

“Do you think Roxi and Gage will be all right?” Sarah asked. I thought she was talking to all of us, not just me.

“Yeah,” I said, but I wasn’t convinced. Roxi and Gage would be fine, provided Bent didn’t come after them, and provided we could toast his skeleton ass first. I couldn’t guarantee that any of us were going to get out of this alive. Bent was powerful—really powerful. He had enough juice to kill without trying too hard. Most ghosts were minor-league and had to infect and work on a victim over time. Bent’s infection of Gage had worked incredibly fast. Plus, he’d managed to infect the entire group at one time. If we hadn’t already seen how strong he was, that would have been a big hint. He was old and powerful. The spirits in this place made him stronger, as did his own malevolent nature. And then there was the energy he’d syphoned off my friends—and Sarah. If he came after us tonight, I didn’t know if I could fight him without Wren.

And I didn’t know if Wren could fight him without me.

The van turned onto a dirt road. We jostled from side to side over every rut and bump. It was going to be too funny if tomorrow came and the worst bruises I had were on my butt.

“Sorry,” Mace called back through the screen that separated the two sections of the van. “The road’s really bad.”

I clenched my jaw. “No shit.” My head bounced off the wall as the van jerked sideways. If it was ghosts, I could do something about it, but I wasn’t about to jump out and start filling potholes.

Finally, we slowed and stopped. I waited until Mace killed the engine to get up. By the time he opened the door, I already had iron ready for him to take.

“How close are we to the tree?” I asked him as I jumped out.

“Few hundred feet,” he answered.

I swore. “Okay, you guys go ahead. I’ll catch up.”

“Second thoughts?” Sarah asked.

“Hey!” Mace admonished.

I held up my hand. “I’m a ghost magnet. I don’t have any protection to keep me out of their notice, remember? I’m giving you all a chance to get to the grave before company comes calling. Now get moving.”

Her lips tightened, but she didn’t say anything. She walked away.

“I hate girls,” I muttered under my breath as I watched her back.

One by one, hauling gear, they set off across the dark cemetery. The moon provided enough light to see by so we wouldn’t need to use the flashlights until we got to the tree. I stood alone by the van, the breeze lifting my hair. I didn’t feel any buzzing yet—they hadn’t noticed me. Or maybe they were just waiting for the right moment to come out and play.

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