The Weird Girls Page 11

My family reeled behind it, bashing it with the might of their combined power, dressed in the clothes they’d slept in. Shayna hacked through the clear barrier like wood, screaming at the witches holding it in place. Taran’s entire body glowed in blue and white flame, melting through the shield. Her swears and threats were muffled, but as beautiful as a dove’s song to my ears. Even Emme, my sweet little Emme, was enraged. Her force peeled away the sections Shayna chopped. They’d smash through in seconds. But the seconds were too long to wait. I bolted toward them, pushing past the pain and the witches blocking my path.

“Release the barricade,” Genevieve ordered.

The witches collapsed as I reached for my sisters. Three sets of arms gathered me to them, wrapping me tightly in their strength and love.

I sobbed. With all that I had, for all that I had, I sobbed.

Chapter Twelve

Emme leaned across the table, wrinkling the crisp white linen. “D-do you think Genevieve killed Larissa?”

She had waited for our server to leave with our food order before asking. Around us, the patrons of the posh bistro engaged in quiet, polite conversations about the events of the day, not life-harrowing events involving real-life wicked witches and newts the size of Subarus.

I thought about how Genevieve slipped back into the house and darkened the doorway and windows with her own veil. Just before Larissa’s screams began. My finger traced down the stem of my water glass. “Maybe. But it’s none of our business, and I really don’t care.”

“Neither do I,” Taran muttered. “And neither should you, Emme.”

Four days had passed since the last challenge. I’d told my sisters Larissa had feigned their deaths, but I wouldn’t discuss the details. Emme’s healing touch had mended my physical wounds and soothed my emotional ones enough to allow me to sleep. But the velum had been powerful. It would take time for the images to completely fade, especially since they’d manifested from my deepest fears.

“So what happened?” I asked. My emotional breakdown at Meek’s Bay had made them tiptoe around me. They’d told me very little, waiting, I guessed, until I was ready to discuss things. “When I was at the house?”

Shayna and Emme looked to Taran. She shrugged and adjusted the wristwatch I’d bought her for her birthday. It was a gesture she often did when she didn’t want to deal with the intensity of her emotions. “I woke up to you tearing my closet apart. I asked what you were doing, but you didn’t seem to be able to hear me.” She shook her head slowly. “But your face— Shit, Ceel, you looked whiter than death. You kept, I don’t know, acting things out. When I tried to grab you, my hands went right through you, like you weren’t really there . . . or no longer real.” She pursed her lips. “I called to Emme and Shayna, but they couldn’t figure out what was wrong, either.”

My glance shot across the table to Shayna. “You weren’t in the kitchen making breakfast?”

Shayna raised her brows. “No. I’d gone to bed late keeping watch. I was still sleeping when Taran started yelling. You kept saying things, but we couldn’t hear you. And like Taran said, you couldn’t hear us. We followed you into the kitchen then up to Emme’s room. We tried to grab you, slap you—Emme even tried to hold you with her force. Nothing worked. We thought for sure you were, like, gone.”

The waiter dropped off our drinks. “Your meals will be ready shortly.” He jumped when he caught my expression. Shayna smiled reassuringly at him until he inched away to the next table.

Emme’s hand covered mine. “You were so upset. It broke our hearts to see you hurting. And we knew it was bad, but we didn’t understand the extent of your pain.” Her eyes reddened. “I’m so sorry, Celia.”

I turned over my hand and gave her small fingers a squeeze. “What else happened?”

Taran tapped her French-tipped nails against the table. “After playing with the phone you started cleaning. At first we thought you found a way out of the spell you’d been placed in and were coming back to us. But then you found the scroll. And Ceel, that’s when a whole new kind of scary beast unleashed. We jumped in the car with you. Shayna barely managed to drag Emme in before you sped off.” She huffed. “We didn’t have coats or anything. You drove us to the bay and we spent the next two hours screaming and trying to get your attention. You didn’t even blink when I zapped you with lightning.”

Shayna gulped her water. “It wasn’t until you jumped out of the car and we spotted the Jettas that we knew what was happening. But then we lost you in the woods when Taran twisted her ankle. Once Emme healed her, it took us a while to find you through the storm. The snow clouded everything. Taran couldn’t pick up on the witch mojo and your steps were barely traceable.”

Emme smiled softly. “When we finally found you the shield was up. But it doesn’t look like you needed us after all.”

I rubbed my eyes, trying to stay calm and not think about how I almost lost them. “Trust me. I need you. All of you.”

Shayna grinned. “We need you, too, dude. You saved our butts and kicked Larissa’s in the process.” She raised her glass. “To Celia.”

“To our beautiful home,” Emme added.

“To staying out of trouble,” Taran muttered.

I would have believed her. I wanted to believe her. If only she hadn’t winked at the vampire seated across from us. . . .

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