THIRTEEN

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"WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?" Ravenna asked, staring intently at the small girl

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"WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?" Ravenna asked, staring intently at the small girl. Her feet were rooted to the ground as shards of fear devoured the last remnants of happiness that she'd felt earlier.

The ghost looked around the room and her smile faded. Her eyes were cold, a winter storm captured within her coal-colored pupils. "This room," she murmured.

Ravenna's hands clenched into tight fists. A wave of anger sizzled through her veins, uncontrolled and unwanted. "Answer my question."

Those eyes found Ravenna's. The ghost girl took a step forward, her head tilting heavily to the side. "You will die here," she said. The words slipped past her thin lips, a mere whisper in the air. "He will kill you. This room is cursed."

"What are you doing here?" Ravenna shouted. "Answer me."

The world around Ravenna pulsed. A torrent of ice swirled through the air and a sheet of snow ghosted over the bedroom, covering every surface. The ghost girl cried out, her hands lifting to shield her face, and a heavy weight slammed against Ravenna's back. Her knees cracked against the floorboards and pain splintered through her thighs. Gritting her teeth, Ravenna blinked hard, tears freezing against her skin. Her gaze shifted upward, toward the ghost girl, only to find that she'd vanished.

Immediately, the snow melted away. Its shadow crawled across the floor, dissolving into Ravenna's palms.

"Well, I do own the place. So I technically have the right to be here," a voice said from behind her.

Ravenna whirled around, crawling backwards away from the door. Her tears had warmed and streamed freely down her cheeks, glistening against her icy skin.

Vyses stood, frozen in the doorway. His hand remained curled around its handle, knuckles turning a boney white. As he took in her expression, he blinked, wine-colored eyes growing wider than she'd ever seen them.

"Ravenna?" he asked, uncertainly looking around the room. "What happened? Are you alright?"

Her gaze dropped to the ground in front of her. Her tears came heavier now, bringing with them a sharp ache within her chest. She'd almost destroyed the room, and revealed her magic. All because of some creepy little ghost, who really shouldn't have angered her. She wiped at her cheeks furiously, squeezing her eyes shut. "I am fine," she insisted, frustrated with herself for overreacting. "There is nothing to worry about."

Footsteps filled her ears. Ravenna's hands dropped to her lap and her gaze slid upwards, just as Vyses sank down in front of her. Messy strands of his bright hair was pushed back, long strands curling behind his ears and trailing freely down his back. His eyes pierced through her.

"You are upset," he stated. His hand hesitantly reached out.

She flinched as his fingers brushed against her skin. His index finger trailed across her cheek, wiping at her tears. Her jaw clenched and her gaze locked with his. "What are you doing?"

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