CHAPTER FIFTEEN: BLOODLINE

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I woke up with a sharp breath

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I woke up with a sharp breath. It took me a while to get my eyes adjusted and realize where I was. The room was settled under an orange glow, the sun starting to set behind the buzzing buildings on the far side of the window. There were silky, hot sheets tangled around my legs and a throbbing pain spreading on my cheek and in the back of my head.

Images of what had happened started rounding my mind. I could see flashes of Danielle morphing into a werewolf, Viper's bony hands reaching to get me, Amantis' confident words on how Roy would get what he wanted, Sally laying on that bed, her voice scared as she'd asked me to help her. But none of those were burning into my chest like the thought of Jared's body sprawled against the bar.

I stared down at my fingers. There were still some dots of shining powder left—like I'd touched glitter and it stuck there. What had she given him? And where was he now? I remembered Dominic getting him out, but where had they taken him?

I pressed my forehead into my palms, trying to think clearly. Nothing was adding up. How could Danielle possibly guess Jared was close enough with Patricia to follow her into an abandoned building to mingle? Had she seen them at some point? Was she watching him? And it wasn't only that. Glamour would explain how he didn't find the place weird, but why would Jared ditch school to go make out or do whatever with her? I doubted puberty's reckless stage had hit him just now.

Something was up with him, and I was sure Danielle had nothing to do with it.

I flung myself out the bed and headed toward the door, but someone on the other side threw it open before I could. I threw my hands up by instinct. He caught them smoothly, eyes wide as he stared at me with a thoughtful gaze.

"You're up," he said. For a moment, I could've sworn he had a hard time swallowing. "You scared the crap out of me back there."

"I'm all right." That was partly a lie, but how could you feel completely fine in this sort of situations anyway? Movies and books are deceiving, nobody wants to know their life is a train wreck all of a sudden. "We should've left when you said. It's just...there was something about that blade, you know. Like I was drawn to it." I held back on the part where I saw Sally. For some reason, I couldn't bring myself to say it out loud.

"Reaver Blades," he said, pushing us both inside and letting the door close silently behind him. "Keepers were said to fight with them a long time ago. Before they started going into hiding and disappeared completely, they were considered their weapons, able to capture any supernatural being's soul so that they could be sent to the Veil afterwards."

I sat back on the bed where the tangled up sheets were. "I thought Patricia—Danielle said their souls were used to power up the blade."

"Now they are. Keepers were designed to protect humans, but they abided the law. It made no sense to protect something by killing the other side instead. There was balance, so they captured their soul and sent it to the Veil, where they couldn't hurt anyone. It was part of the treaty to avoid the problems I told you about. To keep everyone safe, this part of the world had to be kept a secret."

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