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The question hung in the air between us. I wanted answers and I could see Kellan didn't want to give them. Then his eyes snapped past my shoulder and he murmured, "They're coming. They can't know."

As soon as he stopped, the door opened behind me and Gus asked, "Are you guys coming in or not?"

"Why?" I turned around. "You think we're going to sit down for a family game of checkers?" I tried to hold back the bitter sarcasm, but I couldn't.

Her eyes widened in surprise.

Vespar stepped around her, his shoulders tense. "What's your problem? You were high and mighty before. What brought you down?"

The question felt like a challenge. He was still angry with me, but I didn't care. There was blood on their hands and I could smell it. The stench churned my stomach. It sickened me. And I said as much, "You disgust me."

The air swelled around us in tension.

Vespar's eyes sparked in eagerness. A malicious smile flashed for a second. "I disgust you? What did I do this time? Let's remember that I'm not the one giving out our secret to the world."

Gus touched his hand, but he flicked her away.

Something started to stir inside of me. Maybe it was revulsion or just plain anger, but Kellan moved ahead of me before it started boiling. He murmured, "Let's go to bed for the rest of the night. We can calm down and talk tomorrow."

"You're going to let her talk to me like that?"

Kellan bristled. "Shay can say whatever she likes."


"As do you." Kellan moved another step forward. He was almost directly in front of Vespar now, staring at him steadfastly.

Vespar narrowed his eyes. The anger shimmered just underneath the surface, ready to burst out, but it never did. He fought a battle inside of him and jerked around with his hands clenched in fists. "Come on, Gus."

A sly smile flickered over Gus' face, but her eyes caught mine. Her face went blank immediately and then Vespar jerked her behind him. As he dragged her into the house, her eyes held mine. Something akin to fear and amazement flared briefly. Then the door slammed shut behind her and it was only Kellan and myself outside. We heard doors slam shut and then there was silence. It echoed around us. Eerily.

Kellan sighed, "Why did you have to bait him?"

"Same reason I'm not happy with you. You let them kill someone."

His eyes found mine, searching. "Are you kidding me? I know you might feel like you're holy now because you found out that you're not a demon, but you've known your whole life how we operate. This isn't the first time they've killed. And Leah's stepfather needed to be ridded of this world. Trust me. She wasn't the only girl he's hurt."

Shivers went down my back. "What are you talking about?"

"He raped three of her friends. They all wanted me to do something about him. He'd hurt more. He'd hurt you, if he could." Then he added, softer, "Besides, Vespar needed to hurt somebody."

"He wanted to hurt me."

"I wouldn't allow that."

My eyes clung to his. "Why not?"

His eyes closed and I felt a wall slam between us. As he turned away, I already knew he'd retreated from me. "We should go to bed. I am a little tired."

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