Blood Prophecy Page 95

“Hunter,” Kieran said into the phone. She started bombarding him with questions, orders, and threats almost before he’d finished saying her name. “I’m with Lucy,” he cut her off. “We’re fine. Hart’s fine too. He says that under no circumstances are high school students allowed to fight this battle.” He rolled his eyes, looking younger than the blood on his sleeve and the bruises on his face might suggest. “I already told him that. Where are you now?” He checked the GPS on my phone quickly. “We’re not far. See you soon.”

“You know, one day we’ll go on a double date without swords or stakes of any kind,” Lucy said cheerfully, slinging her arm through mine.

“Oh, right, just as soon as my boyfriend and I stop having to save each other’s lives.”

My voice carried farther than I’d planned.

Kieran’s head turned sharply in my direction. Lucy grinned at me sympathetically as I realized just how loudly I’d spoken.

My words hung in the air like giant neon balloons. I swallowed, feeling a flush creep up my cheeks. “I mean . . .” I looked away, mortified. “We should go.”

I ran so fast they had no chance of catching up with me. I stopped and waited for them, once I’d stopped feeling like I might choke on my own stupid embarrassment. Luckily, by the time they did, we had more pressing problems. Nothing like a little war to distract you.

I couldn’t even look at Kieran as we waited for Hunter and the others. When they showed up there was a small group of them, including Quinn. Hunter rattled off her friends’ names: Chloe, Jason, Jenna, Drew, Griffin, Kelly, Regan, and Tyson, among others. They exchanged wary glances, sticking close together. Other than Hunter, only Chloe and Jason didn’t seem particularly fazed.

“Is it true you overthrew the monarchy?” Chloe asked me. She looked disappointed when I nodded.

Despite not being able to look at Kieran, I also couldn’t quite stop myself from sneaking little glances at him. He was standing close enough that his sleeve brushed mine when he shifted.

I forced myself to stop being an idiot.

“Between Chloe and Connor, we intercepted and tracked the call to ambush the camp,” Hunter was explaining. “All landlines to headquarters are down. I managed to get a hold of Spencer and he’s going to mobilize whatever Bower vampires are willing to go in with us.”

“Sebastian, Marcus, and Duncan are still inside the camp with our parents and aunt and uncle,” Quinn added. “Logan’s gone to see if he and Isabeau can rally any of the Hounds to help us, and Connor’s with Christabel trying to get the Na-Foir to fight too. Not convinced on that end, I gotta say.”

“Well, Saga likes a good fight,” Lucy put in. “So that might help.”

“So we have a secret Black Lodge of students, a handful of vampires, and some weapons?” Hunter asked. “I’m not loving the odds yet.”

“And some tranq guns,” Lucy said. “I stole three.”

“And I hid a bunch of them up a tree near the Bower,” I added.

“You did?” Quinn asked. “When? Why?”

“Lucy and I were talking and it gave me some ideas. I got some of Uncle Geoffrey’s sedative and loaded a bunch of dart guns, just in case.”

“Because of London,” Nicholas guessed quietly.


“There’s the Chandramaa too,” Quinn added before the moment stretched from awkward to sad. “They’ve got Mom’s ferocity and Lucy’s aim.”

“Aw, thanks.” Lucy beamed at him.

“But they were decimated earlier tonight,” I broke in. “Their numbers are definitely depleted.” When they stared at me I just waved it away. “Vampire assassin. Long story.”

“So maybe we need a new enemy,” Kieran suggested slowly. “One both sides have to stop fighting each other to defeat.”

“Like who?” Hunter asked.

“Saga’s Hel-Blar.”

Nicholas gaped at him. “Why not just throw a live grenade and blow everyone up instead? Be quicker.”

“Those Hel-Blar aren’t quite as feral as the others,” I pointed out, agreeing with Kieran. “At least not while they’re wearing the collars.” I rubbed my neck. “It suppressed my pheromones. It does the same for them in some weird way.”

“Do we still not know how those work?” Hunter asked.

“Magic,” I said. “At least partly. So basically, no. No idea.”

We spread out between the trees, moving as quietly as we could. The students all had compasses with the coordinates Connor had sent Chloe. My brothers and I just followed the scent of the night, which was already tainted. It was faint but wrong, and very hard to describe, something between burning petals and wet, rusty iron.

I hung back, keeping pace with Kieran. “Can I talk to you?”

He stopped, turning to face me. His eyes were so dark, like a moonlit night. I tried not to stare at the faint scar on his throat. “I was hoping . . .” I trailed off, biting my lower lip. “That is, I know you’re going to the college in Scotland. But I wondered . . .”

“Solange, what are you trying to say?”

I drank in the sight of him, standing so tall and patient with the snow and the bare black trees all around him. “I’m saying I still love you,” I replied, forcing myself to be brave. If I could face the kind of fight we were about to walk into, I could face this. He deserved better than my shy, awkward fear. Especially now. I wanted him to remember me, not Viola. “And I know I hurt you but I’m hoping maybe you could give me a chance to make it up to you.”

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