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His eyes seemed to pierce through me. "You've always known you weren't one of them. You put a blanketing spell over yourself to stop from seeing it and dealing with it. What are you doing?"

"Who are you?" I wasn't a demon? I'd known this whole time? I heard what he said, but I couldn't think of that then. Who was this guy and why didn't I feel like he was dangerous? How did I know he'd painted those of Kellan?

"You're not ready. You can't handle this yet."

He sounded as if he was saddened because of that. Then when I felt like he was going to leave, I jerked forward. "Wait! Tell me who you are. I have to know."

"You know who I am, but I can see you're not ready to let yourself know. If you really want to know, ask Kellan."

Kellan knew? Before I could ask anything more, he vanished and I was left feeling cheated of something. And then I hadn't turned the other way before Kellan spoke behind me, "I thought he might show tonight."

"What?" My voice was wrangled. What the hell was going on?

Kellan stepped forward in the darkness, but I saw him clearly as if it were daylight. His eyes were overcast and his shoulders slightly slumped. "Because of the spell you did tonight. You turned a human into a zombie. Do you know what kind of power that takes? He thought you were ready."

"You turned him back." And he'd done it so easily.

"I know who I am. I know what I can do. I know what I'm supposed to do. I know what I can't do—not you. You don't know any of that."

"That guy told me that I'm not ready to know."

"What does my opinion matter? I'm not your brother, remember?" Kellan stepped closer and asked softly, "Isn't that what he said?"

I swallowed tightly. Painfully. "He said that I'm not a demon."

"You're not."

"How can you—how can you be casual about this? He told me that I'm not one of you and you're acting like you don't care. It's like we're talking about if we should walk the dog or something." My chest was starting to hurt. My heart started to pound faster. And I knew something was coming, something I wasn't ready for.

Kellan felt it too. I saw how his nostrils flared and felt his excitement. He was the prey in that moment, ready to pounce on whatever burst through the gate. I felt him whisper against my skin, "I am anything but casual, Shay. You can feel it from me. I can feel you too. I know that you're holding back. You always hold back."

"You get mad at me when I don't." I felt him behind me, beside me, in front of me. He hadn't moved one step, but I sensed him circling me, measuring me. "What are you doing?"

"It's the demon. He's reacting to you." His voice was curt.

My body started to tremble, shaking back and forth. My heart picked up its pace and my chest hurt. Opening my mouth, I tried to let out a cry in pain, but nothing came out. My voice had been choked off.

Kellan watched a few inches away with cold eyes. His watched mine.

"What's happening to me?" My throat felt like I'd swallowed thorns that slowly were going down, dragging from within, tearing into my skin.

He shook his head and moved back.

I felt his withdrawal and lurched forward. I needed him close. I needed him. When my feet remained in place, everything ricocheted inside of me. It was like I was slamming against an invisible cage, one that was inside of me and Kellan didn't care at all. He almost seemed to enjoy my suffering.

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