Sisters of Blood and Spirit Page 72

We raced to the paddy wagon and tore out of there like the hounds of hell were snapping at our heels. We were a mile away before I realized I was all alone on one side of the van. I looked up to find the others watching me.

And I knew they were afraid. Of me.


I was sitting on Bent’s chest, the fingers of my right hand buried in his right eye socket when he burst into flames. I barely managed to jump off him and avoid being engulfed.

“Do you smell something?” Roxi asked Gage. She wrinkled her nose. “Smells like burned hamburger.”

He frowned. “Yeah, I do.” Then he looked down at his arms. He ran his hands over his bandaged forearms. “I feel better.”

She put her hand to her neck. “Me, too. Do you think this means they did it?”

He didn’t say anything. He just took her face in his hands and kissed her. That was my cue to leave.

I went to the Shadow Lands before going to Lark, to the little space I’d made for myself and called my home in that realm. There I found the ornate box in which I kept my treasures and opened it. I put Bent’s eyeball on the red velvet—right next to the other trophies I’d collected. Then I closed the lid and cleaned myself up before going to look for my sister.

I found her sitting on Nan’s front step. I supposed it was our front step, too. She was bloody and wild-looking. Fierce. There was something different about her...

“So, you did it.” I sat down beside her.

She nodded. “We did.”

“Where is everyone?”

She laughed, but there wasn’t any humor in it. “As far away from me as they can get, I imagine.”

“What happened?”

“I’m not sure.” She turned her face toward me. Despite all the blood, she looked fine. “I had the crap pounded out of me tonight, and then that white-haired chick showed up and told me it wasn’t my time. I believed her. I’ve never fought like that before, Wren.”

“You think they’re afraid of you because of how you fought?”

“I guess so,” she said with a shrug. “They didn’t really say much about it. No one spoke to me at all, really. Not even Ben.” Her voice cracked.

I put my arm around her shoulders and pulled her close. Her arm went around my waist. Tonight had been terrifying. A test of my will. I’d both failed and triumphed. We both had. We’d defeated Bent, but there was a price to be paid.

I was beginning to think there was always a price. And then I thought about my trophy. I smiled.

“You look creepy,” Lark murmured.

I adjusted my expression. “Who is this white-haired woman?” I wondered out loud. “And why is she helping us?”

“I don’t know, but we should find out.”

We sat in quiet for a few minutes. Then I asked. “When you burned Bent, did the wounds he inflicted heal?”

“They started to, yeah. By the time Mace dropped me off, Sarah’s wounds looked like old scars.”

“It’s really over then.”

“Yeah,” she said softly. “I think it is.”

I wasn’t the smartest when it came to understanding the living, but even I understood what my sister didn’t say. For a few days she’d had friends, a boy who liked her. Now she was certain it was all gone. Lark liked to talk tough, and pretend she didn’t care, but she cared too much. It was her one big flaw, and I loved her for it.

Her obvious hurt made me want to hunt down everyone responsible and turn them inside out. “Bent tried to control me tonight,” I confessed. “He tried to make me do dark things.”


I smiled, remembering the shock on his face when I went for his eye. “I kicked his ass.”

Lark laughed. “I bet that felt good.”

“Oh, it did. Come on, let’s go inside. You look exhausted, and you have a test tomorrow.”

We stood up. Lark unlocked the door and went inside. I followed after her rather than phase through the wall. Nan was in bed, of course, but she’d left a note on the kitchen table saying that our father had called. Lark crumpled it in her fist and tossed it in the garbage.

“You have to talk to them sometime,” I said to her.

“No,” she replied tightly. “I really don’t.”

I didn’t push it. Our parents were a touchy subject.

Upstairs, Lark washed the blood off her face and hands. As I suspected she looked perfectly fine underneath. Something very strange had happened to her tonight, because she didn’t have a mark on her, and she felt different to me. She was still my Lark, but she had changed. She was...more. That was the only way I could explain it. I wondered if I felt changed to her.

There was a box on the desk in our room, with a note on top. As Lark picked up the paper, I recognized Nan’s handwriting.

“‘Dear, girls, I finally found the box of my grandmother’s belongings in the attic. Hopefully something in here will be of use to you. Love, Nan.’”

Lark opened the box. Inside it smelled of powder and age. There were journals, photo albums, a pair of gloves, a powder box, a small jewelry box and a few other personal items, along with a birth certificate for Emily and a death certificate for her twin, Alys.

“Twins,” I whispered. Nan had mentioned it before, but seeing stillborn on that piece of paper really drove it home. Dead Born, like me.

“Like us,” Lark added.

At the bottom of the box was a spirit-board—an old one. It looked to have been carved and painted by hand. It was beautiful and a little scary at the same time, because it also had twins on it—one on either side of the board. One had red hair and one had white.

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