This was ridiculous, and I still got the feeling that Cosette wasn’t revealing everything she knew. “This is a non-issue. Unless anyone has clicked so well with one of the wolves that you really think you’re mates? Because unless you’re basically two halves of a soul, it won’t work.” I couldn’t speak for the rest of them, but I wasn’t binding myself to anyone unless it was my soul mate. Who might not even exist. I’d already made a mistake taking an oath to the wrong kind of person, and I wouldn’t redo that particular mistake just to get out of this.
Elsa shrugged. “They’ve given us such a wide berth, it’s not like any of us would know if one of them were interested in us in any way other than guard duty.”
“You’d know if they were interested,” Cosette said.
I blew out a breath. “Well then, it doesn’t apply to any of us. Thank you for trying, Cosette.”
“You really shouldn’t thank me.” Her jaw clenched and for a moment, I thought her aura flickered, but it steadied into its usual glitter before I could be sure. “But more knowledge is never a bad thing.”
She was right, but as I looked around the room, I noticed the hope dwindling. We’d been at it for three hours, and weren’t any closer. The past two days had been failures, and the way today was shaping up, it would be more of the same. Unless we did something different. “Shane, you broke your oath, right?”
“Yeah, but it wasn’t much of an oath. I’m not sure it even counts.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, I’m the youngest of all of you and I don’t have much power. Luciana didn’t seal it with blood so deciding to leave the coven was enough to shatter it.”
The shock I felt was mirrored on everyone in the room. “She didn’t bind it with her own blood?”
He huffed. “No. At the time, I was insulted. She didn’t want to bleed in order to lock me in. It was like I didn’t matter. But now, I’m kind of glad she didn’t. No offense, but what you all are going through…”
“None taken,” Raphael said. “So, what now?” My twin looked at me like I was supposed to have a plan.
I didn’t know what to do. I’d led them away from Luciana to here, and now they were all suffering. I was the worst leader in the history of leaders. I needed to fix this.
It was time to try something different. “I think we owe Tia Rosa a visit.”
Yvonne gave me a small nod. “I think that’s very wise.”
If I were wise, I would’ve thought of going to her days ago. “Okay. I’ll tell Teresa, and we’ll head out.” Tia Rosa was really my great aunt. She’d left the coven when my grandmother died because she couldn’t abide taking orders from Luciana. I hadn’t heard from her since, but Axel and Teresa had. They’d even been to her house.
If anyone could help us Tia Rosa could.
It didn’t take long to get out to Tia Rosa’s. We caravanned in three cars with plans to meet Axel there. The wolves separated us witches among Donovan, Teresa, and Christopher’s cars. If Meredith hadn’t been so excited to leave campus, I would’ve thought that they didn’t trust us to come back.
Which was silly. Because we had nowhere else to go.
So there we were. Meredith and Donovan. Teresa and Dastien. Christopher and Adrian. And us seven brujos. Cosette had decided to stay at St. Ailbe’s for reasons she didn’t explain, as usual. Whatever she was doing, I liked to think she was helping the only way she could.
In the meantime, I’d promised to stop Luciana, and I planned to stick by that promise. We just needed to break these oaths first.
Tia Rosa’s house was small but cute and cozy. The garden looked natural and full, but not overgrown. An organized chaos brimming with herbs and plants used in spellcrafting. I was drawn straight to the large sage bush. I tore off a leaf as I walked by, and ran it between my fingers, feeling the smooth texture before bringing it to my nose. I inhaled deeply and then slowly let out my breath.
Scent memory was a force to be reckoned with. Sage always made me think of Mom.
“You’re thinking about her again,” Raphael said beside me.
Stupid twindar. “Yeah.”
“I don’t know why you still care about her. If she was any kind of a mother, she never would’ve left.”
That wasn’t fair. “You know I made her go.”
He shook his head. “Even after all these years, you still defend her. She was weak. She gave you up to Luciana, sold you for her own freedom.” He looked away from me, but I could feel his disgust as if it were my own. “She was a horrible mother.”