Shay gritted her teeth. She wouldn’t cry. Not in front of Kendall, she wouldn’t.
Anna left, and they sat in silence.
Finally, Shay spoke.
“Why are you doing this?”
Kendall just looked at her. “What?”
Shay’s voice had come out a croak, and she thought maybe Kendall hadn’t understood so she attempted to clear her throat and repeat herself. “Why are you doing this?”
“No. I heard you the first time,” Kendall said. “It’s just—Are you stupid?”
Shay was startled and offended. “No. At least, I don’t think so.”
Kendall snorted. “You don’t think so. Wow. That’s great.”
“Are you going to tell me, or not?”
“So, what? You want me to monologue? Well, alright. Where to begin . . .” She tapped a long red nail against her chin. “Oh, I remember. You showed up one day at Mother Lilura’s like some sort of lost puppy and tried to take my spot as her apprentice. Does that sound familiar?”
“I never meant—”
“No, of course not. You’re innocent. You’re the victim. Nothing is ever your fault.”
“That’s not true—”
“Well, let me tell you what is your fault,” Kendall continued. Her face became bitter and miserable. “Because of you, I wasn’t taken to the Samhain Gathering. Because of you, Mother Lilura reported me to the Council of Elders. Because of you, my own family has cut off all contact with me. They said Hecate doesn’t condone black magic and that she wouldn’t forgive my sins. They disowned me.”
“That’s not true. If you let Aubree go, if you don’t let anyone else get hurt, Hecate will forgive you.”
A scornful smile touched Kendall’s lips. “I don’t need that silly old witch’s forgiveness. I’ve found a new way to practice, without rules or limits or the approval of a goddess. I’m more powerful than ever.”
“But I still don’t see what that has to do with me,” Shay said.
“It’s all your fault!” The shadows leapt.
Kendall closed her eyes and took a deep, waving a hand across her face as if to pull away the anger that had broken through the surface. When she regained her composure, she opened her eyes once more.
In a voice that was making a great effort to stay calm and level, she told Shay, “I suppose I should thank you, but I won’t. Instead, I’m going to make you regret your very existence.”
“Kendall, let Aubree go. You can do whatever you want to me. I won’t try to escape. Just let her go.”
Kendall shook her head. “You just don’t get it, do you? You took everything from me. Now I’m just returning the favor.”
Anna came back with Elijah and three other girls that they dragged along behind them. They struggled against the bonds that held them and protested through the gags in their mouths, but no one seemed to care.
Two had very pale blonde hair—almost white—and pointed ivory ears that stuck out from the sides of their heads. The third had dark hair and spiteful gray eyes, one of which was almost completely swollen shut and surrounded by purpling bruises.
The violet eyes that lifted to meet her glistened with tears.
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