Chapter Fifteen

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I stomp down the stairs, Henry behind me

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I stomp down the stairs, Henry behind me. The air is dense with candle smoke and incense and something more. The lights are dimmed and the hallway I step into is nearly in darkness. Only the flickering of candles from the front room guide my way.

I walk in. They've pushed the furniture back against the walls, creating a large circle in the centre of the room. Sophie and Kira are kneeling on the edge of the circle. Kira looks pale in the flame light. Sophie is the opposite, her eyes are fever bright as she scatters dirt on the floor to draw the circle. Grave dirt. The thought makes me shiver. The various objects Sophie had requested are in the centre, which is set up like a shrine with even more candles, bones, and grave dirt. I slip a bloodstone out of my pocket and hold it tightly in my palm. Sophie nods when she sees it. Guilt makes my chest tighten as I look at the photo of Jensen in the centre. Henry walks in behind me and hisses through his teeth.

"Mum's going to kill me."

"We'll clean it up, don't worry," Sophie says, no hint of fear or negativity in her voice. The tone that's lingering in the voice of everyone else. She stands up, looking down at the circle, her face full of pride. Kira groans and drags herself up beside her, giving her wife a curious look.

"Everyone ready?" She asks, and my body freezes. I feel sick. Everything is counting on this, for me to fix it, for me to undo what I did. And I don't know if I can do it. A warm hand is placed on my shoulder and hot breath beside my ear.

"You can do this." I glance at Henry, his eyes are wide and shiny. His face is nervous, but there's a certainty to his voice.

"Will you stay?" My voice is slight. It barely sounds like me. His face changes to surprise and I can't ignore the eyes of Kira and Sophie and how they burn into us, but I don't care.

"Of course, I will." He glances at his sister, and she nods. Her face soft.

Swallowing hard, I walk deeper into the room as Sophie leads Kira and Henry into position. We're sitting in corners to the other. The heavy scent is making my head throb, but that feeling, the one that grew in the museum, was building once more. My instinct is to fight it, but the whole point is to let it fly. I can feel the bloodstone, feel the power in the grave soil, in all the objects, but it's a confusing sensation. Like listening to a choir out of tune, everything is calling to the power under my skin, but there's no harmony.

"As we discussed, we'll summon them here. Undo the magic and this will all be over." Sophie whispers. I nod quickly. The magic growing and fizzing under my skin was making me feel queasy again. "Willow, are you OK?"

"I'm OK. Can we do this? I need to do this now" I stutter out.

"OK, sweetheart. Let's go." My eyes remain shut, and I feel Sophie settle down. She inhales deeply before speaking. "Everyone repeat after me. Willow, when you speak, I need you to think about Jensen, thinking about anyone he's affected. And focus all that attention onto the bloodstone. That might sound strange, but your connection with the dead is..."

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