When Shay woke the next day—or whenever it was since she wasn’t exactly being kept up to date on the times—she was alone and a plate of food sat in front of her.
She hadn’t realized how hungry she was until the smell of it reached her.
It was a stuffed orange pepper with the face of a jack-o-lantern cut into it and pigs in a blanket that had been shaped like fingers. A witch hat made from a chocolate covered cookie with a Hershey kiss in the center sat on a napkin beside it. Very funny, Kendall.
Shay figured that if she was going to be killed, it wasn’t going to be through poisoning, and she really was hungry, so she picked up the fork and dug in. She crammed the food in her mouth and had to remind herself to take smaller bites as she took a swig from the glass of water to help her swallow.
The chains bit into her wrists every time she moved her arms too fast.
Between Cleo’s blood and the food, Shay felt bloated when she finished and leaned back against the wall behind her.
She looked over to where Cleo had broken the bottles and found that the glass had been cleaned up and not a trace of the incident remained. For a moment, Shay wondered if maybe she’d imagined the whole thing, but then she saw the stain of dried blood from Cleo’s hand on the corner wall.
She figured she wouldn’t be seeing anymore of Cleo for a while.
If she couldn’t count on Cleo for help, she couldn’t count on anyone for help. She’d have to find a way to get free on her own.
She couldn’t break the chains, and the pipe was bolted too many times into the wall to consider trying to break it. If she had a chunk of obsidian she might be able to draw the black magic out of the chains, but she had no way of getting hold of any . . .
Shay heard the door close and didn’t bother to look up. If it was Anna or Elijah, she didn’t want to see them.
Heels clacked along the cement floor.
“Shay,” a girlish voice said. “You’re not even going to say hello?”
Shay’s bent head shot up, brown curls flying. The chains jerked her back as she lunged forward and the metal dug into her wrists. The skin there had already been rubbed raw, and Shay could feel a wetness spreading there.
Kendall’s sapphire blue eyes were outlined with kohl and a ruthless smile darned her face. The faint lighting threw shadows across her face, making her sharp features more prominent and cruel-looking.
She leaned against the wall farthest from Shay and crossed her arms over her chest. “That was a very interesting show you put on with Anna. I have to say, I liked the reference to the Burning Times. It was what inspired your lunch for the day.”
“Where’s Aubree?” Shay demanded.
Kendall frowned. She seemed angry that Shay didn’t find her Halloween-themed lunch idea clever. “She’s fine.”
“I swear, if you hurt her—”
Kendall tossed back her head and laughed, dirty blonde hair tumbling down her slim figure. “Do you honestly think that you’re in any position to be threatening me? You’re just as worthless as you were when I stole your powers. Pathetic, naïve little Shay . . .”
“What’s wrong?” Kendall asked innocently. “Oh, that’s right. I do remember something about you being defensive. I mean, I would be, too, if I were the size of a garden gnome.”
The tension in Shay broke like a rubber band stretched too far and a wave of energy tore out of her. It headed straight for Kendall, but the girl just smirked and raised a hand. She swatted it away as if it were a piece of crumpled paper. It hit the side wall with a crash and an explosion of dust and debris.
“Like I said. Pathetic.”
Shay sat back. She couldn’t lose control like that again. She needed to conserve all of her power for her escape. She drew in a shaky breath and concentrated on pouring all her negative energy into her amulet of celestite.
Agate . . . Alexandrite . . . Amazonite . . . Amber . . . Amethyst . . .
“Although, I did sense something dark there,” Kendall murmured musingly.
Shay ignored her, sorting through the crystal names in her mind to help cleanse and clear her mind. Beryl . . . Black tourmaline . . . Black opal . . .
The peaceful state shattered when Kendall suddenly swooped in and closed her hand over the celestite. The chain broke easily with a harsh tug, and Kendall smirked again as it dangled from her fingertips.
“Celestite. How quaint,” Kendall said. “I guess you do have potential, underneath that sugar-coated exterior. And now that I have this, maybe we can uncover it.”
She tossed the celestite into a far corner of the room.
“No!” Shay struggled against the chains. “Give it back! You don’t understand!”
“Oh, I understand perfectly well.” She kept her eyes on Shay as she called over to the door, “Anna, bring in the girl!”
Anna opened the door, pushing a small staggering Aubree before her. Her eyes were ringed with red, and when she stumbled and fell to the floor, she struggled to push herself up to a sitting position with her bound hands.
Anna looped her hands under Aubree’s arm and lifted her back to her feet. When Kendall approached her, Aubree ducked her head and Shay could make out a soft whimper through the gag in her mouth.
Kendall placed a finger under Aubree’s chin and tilted her head up. “My dear little Aubree, you don’t need to be afraid of me. I’m not going to hurt you.”
“Let her go!” Shay yelled. “She had nothing to do with this!”
“Untie her hands,” Kendall told Anna.
As Anna leaned over to do that, Kendall plucked the gag from Aubree’s mouth. She held it pinched between her fingers with a disgusted expression, and then let it fall to the floor.
She turned back to Aubree. “What spells do you know?”
“N—None,” Aubree stammered. “Casting is forbidden in my coven.”
“I hope you have a good right hook then,” Kendall replied. She turned to Anna, who’d finished with the ropes around Aubree’s wrists. “I want you to influence her.”
Aubree shrunk back, and Kendall grabbed her arm. She spun Aubree around to face Anna. The heavy lashes around Anna’s blue eyes blinked and Aubree stopped squirming under Kendall’s grip. Her expression became numb and stupid.
“What do you want me to tell her?” Anna asked without breaking her gaze with Aubree. The corner of her lip curled into a nasty smile.
“I want her to hit Shay,” Kendall said, “until she snaps.”
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