Girl of Nightmares

Page 98


"Did you at least see her?" Thomas asks, and I smile. Finally.

"Yeah. I saw her."

"What … what happened? Was it the Obeahman?" He asks so hesitantly. Carmel's eyes are bugged out, watching me for signs of stress, ready to jump on Thomas and stop the questions. It's sort of silly, but I appreciate their worry.

"It was the Obeahman," I say. "You were right, Gideon. They were trapped there together." He nods, and his eyes go dark. He didn't really want to be right, I suppose. "But he's finished now. I finished him. And I freed the others. All of the others he took into himself over the years. All those ghosts. And Will and Chase." I nod at Carmel. "And my dad." Gideon closes his eyes. "Don't tell Mom yet," I say to him. "I will tell her. But-I didn't see him or anything. I didn't talk to him. It's hard to explain."

"Don't worry," he says. "Tell her in your own time."

"What about Anna?" Thomas asks. "Was she all right? Did you free her too?"

I smile. "I hope I did," I reply. "I think I did. I think she'll be all right now. I think she'll be happy."

"I'm glad," Carmel says. "But are you going to be okay?" She puts her hand on my knee and squeezes it through the sheets. I nod. I'll be fine.

"What about the Order?" I ask Gideon. "Jestine brought metal back with her, to forge another athame. Did they tell you that?"

"They alluded to it." Gideon nods. "She always was a clever girl ."

"Another athame?" says Thomas. "Can they do that?"

"I'm not sure. They seem to think so."

"So what," Carmel groans, sounding exhausted. "Does that mean we're going to have to take out the entire Order? Not that I'd mind, but seriously?"

"If they wanted me dead, they had a prime opportunity to do it," I say. "I was basically dead on that floor. They could have just left me. Denied me care." I look at Gideon, and he nods agreement. "I don't think I have anything to worry about from them. They'll have their athame. And their instrument," I add bitterly. "They'll stay off my back."

"They got what they wanted," Gideon agrees. "And they appear to have gone. We're the only ones left here. The Order departed the moment Jestine was well enough to be moved." I notice that Gideon refers to the Order as if he wasn't a member. Good. He reclines in the chair and folds his hands on his chest. "It would seem, Theseus, that your way is clear."

I smile, and remember my last moments with Anna. I remember the way she kissed me, and that I could feel her smile, barely restrained in her cheeks. I remember that her lips were so unbelievably warm.

Thomas and Carmel stand by my bed, looking down on me with bruises and scarred necks. Maybe somewhere my dad is looking on too. Maybe while being batted at by a hair-pulling black cat. My smile stretches wider.

My way is clear.


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