Sisters of Blood and Spirit Page 73

My sister and I exchanged glances. This was getting stranger and stranger.

Lark set the board aside and picked up one of the photo albums. There were only two—the old-fashioned kind that had paper pages that pictures had to be pasted onto. The first one had a red leather cover embossed with the name Emily Murray in gold foil.

“Open it,” I said, anxious for a glimpse of our ancestor. But part of me dreaded it, as well.

Lark opened the book and there she was. We both gasped, even though I think we both had our suspicions. I was surprised, but then...I wasn’t.

Emily Murray had been very pretty. The photograph showed her in an old-fashioned gown, like from that movie about the huge boat that had sunk. And though the picture was black-and-white, there were two things we didn’t need color to know: Emily Murray had white hair just like Lark’s, and she was the woman who had appeared to both of us when we’d needed help.

“It’s her,” Lark said.

“I know.”

We looked at each other, and I saw my own confusion in my sister’s eyes.

“Why are we just seeing her now?” Lark asked, her voice raw. “Why didn’t she come to us before this?”

I knew what she meant—why hadn’t Emily helped us when Lark was in Bell Hill? “I don’t know.” My jaw tightened. “But I’m going to find out.”

My sister closed the book. “I’m too tired for this crap. I’m going to sleep.”

Lark changed into some pajamas and got ready for bed. We talked about what had happened that night as she went through her nightly ritual. She told me about fighting the ghosts and how strong she’d felt. And I didn’t tell her how good it had felt to take Josiah Bent’s eyeball out of his skull. I wanted to, but I knew she wouldn’t understand.

After she finished brushing her teeth, I tucked her in. Ever since we were children I had the ability to put her to sleep simply by whispering to her. I hadn’t done it for a while, but tonight called for it. I wanted her to rest, and she wouldn’t if I didn’t help. She’d lie there all night and think about how she could have done things differently so the people she’d started to care for wouldn’t look at her like she was a freak.

What she failed to realize was that we were all freaks—every last one of us, living or dead. It didn’t matter.

Once I was sure she was asleep, I slipped away. Lark would tell me I was a fool, but I couldn’t help it. I had to go check on Kevin. I’d done well not to ask her about him. But I couldn’t pretend I didn’t care about him.

I found him in his car outside Sarah’s house. Sarah was in the car with him.

“Thanks for the drive,” she said. “The neighbors would freak if they saw the paddy wagon pull up. Not like Mace could have driven me home in it anyway.”

Kevin chuckled. “I can imagine. Anyway, it was no problem.”

She didn’t get out of the car. “That was crazy tonight, huh?”

“Yeah, it was.”

They stared at each other. I knew I should leave, but I couldn’t. I wouldn’t. I needed to see what came next.

They kissed. It was messy and desperate, and it broke my heart. I could sit there and tell myself it was because of what they’d just gone through, that it didn’t mean anything, but that didn’t change the fact that he was kissing someone else.

That she was his best friend’s girlfriend.

I started to leave, but before I left the car I leaned close to his ear so that he’d be sure to hear me and whispered, “Don’t you ever visit my grave again.”

And I knew he heard me because his eyes flew open. He jerked back.

“What?” Sarah asked.

I didn’t wait to hear his reply. I returned to the house to find Lark still asleep and a girl sitting on her bed.

“Who are you?” I demanded.

The girl’s head whipped around. Her hair was an impossible shade of red. She took one startled look at me and disappeared. I stood there like an idiot and stared at the spot where she’d been.


This night just kept getting stranger and stranger, and I for one couldn’t wait for it to be over. If only I slept. I could shut myself down for a bit—just let this world go, drift back to the Shadow Lands where things at least made sense to me. But first, I curled up with my sister and wrapped my arms around her as she slept. She was important. She was what mattered—not the dead, or the living, or whether or not either of us were freaks.

In the end, all we had was each other.


I seriously contemplated pretending to be sick the next morning so I didn’t have to go to school. It was only the fact that I didn’t want anyone calling me a coward that made me get out of bed. I chose a fabulous outfit—and a fantastic pair of secondhand Prada pumps I’d gotten off eBay—to wear as armor. I was putting on eyeliner when Wren appeared behind me.

“You look nice,” she said.


“So, something weird happened last night.”

“Yeah,” I said, moving on to the other eye. “I was there.”

“No, not that.” Suddenly, she appeared in the mirror, taking over my reflection. God, I hated when she did that. It was so freaking creepy. “I went out for a bit. When I came back, I swear there was a girl sitting on your bed. She had hair like me. I think it was Alys, Emily’s twin. She looked just like her.”

I frowned at the mirror. “That’s impossible.”

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