Now we had to be ready for whatever hell Luciana was going to throw at us. When this was over—when Luciana’s threats weren’t hanging overhead like an anvil about to crush us—I’d give myself more time to grieve for my closest friend. For now, I had to ignore the ache in my heart.
I miss you so much, Daniel.
“Ready to go?” Raphael said as he stuck his head through the doorway.
I’d showered over an hour ago, and it was past time for my morning cup of coffee. “I’m ready whenever everyone else is.” I flattened my hands against my short jean skirt.
“Everyone’s good to go. We’re just waiting on Cosette.”
I grinned. How fey of her to take the longest.
“I’m ready,” Cosette’s voice rang out from the hall. “I’ve been ready.” She appeared in my doorway, her aura a glittering rainbow. The first time I’d seen it, I’d stared, dumbfounded. I’d like to be able to say that I didn’t feel that way every time, but that’d be a lie. I was used to seeing different colored auras on witches, depending on what kinds of magic they specialized in, but her aura was breathtaking. Like holographic glitter. A bright shining silver, but then all colors of the rainbow all at once. It was unlike anything I’d ever seen.
“Oh… Well…” Raphael said as he practically drooled.
I raised a brow at him. He knew she was majorly off limits. Cosette was always vague about her background, but I’d spent enough time with her to read between the lines. She’d never revealed what kind of fey she was or where her abilities lay, but I could sense the undercurrent of her power. It was a lot of power. She had to be much deeper into the fey courts than she let on.
Cosette flounced ahead of us, all tall and willowy in a mini skirt and tank top. Raphael tilted his head to stare at her butt.
Gross. I shoved past him, shooting him a look. “No,” I mouthed over my shoulder.
Lord help me. Raphael getting tangled in fey intrigues was the last thing I needed to worry about. Cosette was on our side, but Raphael wouldn’t last a minute in the fey courts. Because of his straightforward nature, he’d never learned how to be diplomatic about things. And, if what I knew about the fey was right, they were all about politics.
As we followed Cosette outside, the group of us was quiet. I scanned my friends’ faces as we moved across the well-manicured quad. Yvonne looked tired, but that could just be because she was older. Her hair had turned gray before I was born. This was a stressful situation for us, but that was possibly more true for her. She’d betrayed something that she’d spent her long life supporting.
Elsa was quiet, but then again, she was always quiet. Now the way her shoulders hunched and her feet dragged along the freshly mowed grass told me this quiet was different than her normal demeanor.
Dark shadows hung under Tiffany and Beth’s eyes. Only Shane had managed to break his oath, and I was beginning to wonder if he’d even made an oath to begin with. The rest of us were lagging light-years behind him.
It was worse than I’d thought. I’d assumed Raphael looked tired because he kept saving me from my bad dreams in the middle of night, but what if that wasn’t it? Was he hiding the effects of his own oath from me?
I barely held in a frustrated sigh. No wonder he wanted me to go to Peru. He knew that I’d saved our parents from Luciana. It pissed him off. He hated them for leaving, but he’d push me away if he thought he could save me from sacrificing anything else. And I would. I’d go back to her if that meant saving him.
There was no way I was going to Peru now. Not when my brother was in danger and trying to hide it from me.
“It’s Samhain today,” Elsa said.
I stumbled for a step before catching myself. How did I miss that it was Samhain? It was an important holiday. The coven always celebrated it with a feast and a nighttime ritual. It was a time when the veil between our world and the next was thinnest.
“Do you think we should do something for it?” Beth asked, turning to me.
I hated to let anyone down, but I doubted that the wolves would let us outside in the middle of the night to do any magic. “Not this year, but next year—we’ll make it good.”
No one questioned it, but the silence from the others spoke volumes. I ignored it. There wasn’t anything I could do. Not right now. We had so many other things to worry about right now.
As I stepped into the cafeteria, my anxiety rose to a record-breaking high. The way everything stopped as we entered made me beyond uncomfortable. The students paused with their forks halfway to their mouths, staring so hard that their auras washed over me in a wave of golden yellow energy. Even the man flipping pancakes at the grill station stilled to study us.