Chapter 24

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"We'll have to leave the car and go on foot."

I groaned. "But it was like a ten-minute drive from the antique store. That'll take ages."

Ryan ruffled his hair and glanced at me in irritation. "They've seen the car now and probably ran the plates already. Luckily, that car is registered to a little old lady who lives in Dorset."

"You stole that car?" I gasped.

Note to self: add theft to the long list of Ryan's 'good guy' habits.

"Don't be ridiculous. They'll go to her address and find a random middle-aged couple. Dorothy isn't real."

"Oh."

Ryan jumped to his feet and observed me for a moment before he reluctantly offered me his hand. I took it and let him pull me to my feet.

"What do we do now?" I asked. "Listen, shouldn't we just go and hand me in? I'll be out in no time now that Daniella's awake."

After I had calmed my rapid heartbeat, I stopped to consider the easy way out. Sure, a night in jail wouldn't be ideal. But running from the police didn't seem like a great idea either.

He shook his head. "I don't know. Something about the whole thing seems a bit off."

"What do you mean?" I dusted dirt from my jeans. "I know Daniella's a bitch. But she won't let me rot in prison for something I didn't do. No one is that awful."

I wasn't sure I believed the words I was saying, but I had to hope for the best.

"That was strangely optimistic of you," Ryan noted. "But think about it rationally. Who would have a vendetta against Daniella? And why would they choose to assault her in the way they did?"

I paused. "Well, despite the amount of flowers in that room of hers, I doubt she is well-liked. It's not just me she's horrible to. She's kinda the school bitch."

"You're missing the point." Ryan rubbed his hand over his face and slowed his speech as if he was speaking to a toddler. "They tried to burn her. Why would someone choose fire as the murder weapon? Unless, perhaps, they were trying to send a message?"

"But who would be trying to send a message to..."

I stopped mid-sentence and let his words waft over me. Once I had truly considered their meaning, my mouth hung open mid-thought.

"You think one of, y'know, your people did this?"

Ryan snorted and shook his head. "Don't be ridiculous. An honoured would never stoop so low. No, you have other enemies."

It was my turn to laugh. "You think someone tried to frame me for Daniella's murder because they don't like my aunt? That's stupid."

"Well, yes." Ryan's reply was clipped and rife with irritation. He was probably still sore about my implication that one of his precious honoured would dare to do something bad. "I've only been in town for a few days, and even I know your family isn't favoured around here."

"It's one thing to dislike my aunt and what she did. It's another thing entirely to try and frame me for murder."

Ryan's suggestion was ridiculous. Why would someone try and lock me up for what my aunt did? And why would they be willing to murder Daniella to accomplish it? Sure, Ryan wanted to punish me or whatever. But, at least he wanted to do it for something I did. If I had tried to hurt Daniella, I would deserve it. Regardless of the supernatural reasons that were beyond my control.

"Let's just go back to the antique store, talk it out, and take me to the police station."

"It's your funeral," Ryan muttered. Rolling his eyes, he began to walk toward the car. "But we need to change first. My powers only work to a certain extent, and I can only disguise you, not me. If we change, it will throw the scent off a bit and hopefully, we will make it there without being seen."

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