CHAPTER TWENTY FOUR: UNTOLD SECRETS

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"Hunter will rip your face off when he finds out you nearly killed her

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"Hunter will rip your face off when he finds out you nearly killed her."

"I was trying to help her."

"Help her cross to the other side, maybe."

"The spell got out of control, okay? I'm not feeling great, either."

My senses came back slowly. It was all a haze at first. Darkness stretched for miles around me, and the fogged memories of what happened started to merge with the ripples of pain that exploded inside my head. Trying to think, breathe, or move heightened the cramping sensation in my limbs, and much to my dismay, the two voices overhead rang like a foghorn.

They were clear as day. Both familiar to me.

"What even happened?"

"I have no clue. One moment I was trying to boost her powers so that they would finally surface and the next...the next you came in and threw me against that stupid wall."

"Well if it weren't for that you would have killed her."

I gave myself a moment to steady my breathing before I sat up.

Bad idea.

Flashing, colorful spots blinded me, and it took a full minute for those swirls of colors to settle into carved silhouettes. One of them was dangerously close to my face, as if no one had ever taught him the first thing about personal space. I could see scars near his eyes, carving deep-set paths down his neck here and there, which only made me wonder where and how he'd gotten those.

The one thing that remained constant about his face was the same smoldering anger underneath his stony expression.

Truth be told, he was the last person I expected to see there.

"Caiden?"

"That's my name, yes," he said, straightening his back. "You hit your head pretty bad. I'm surprised you didn't crack the floor."

His eyes were centered at the left side of my head, and only then did I register the pulsing ache. The spot felt tender against the tips of my fingers, which could only mean a hideous bruise was on the way.

I looked around the room in hopes to put two and two together.

My surroundings had changed drastically. The soft pillows of the couch were now stacked against my back, and Caiden sat at the coffee table next to it. I could still see part of the other room, but it was barely recognizable. Like a hurricane swept through it. The pentagram was no longer lit up, its sides smeared and twisted, and the book of spells had crumpled on the ground, near a couple of broken glasses with herbs and glowing liquids that were merging into thick puddles.

The sky was tainted with a dark blue, fading into darker spots.

How long had I been there?

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