Jack started for her, but Sienna stepped into his path and put a hand out to stop him. She stared incredulously at him as if she couldn’t believe what he was doing.
“What are you doing?” she asked, and it would have been demanding if her voice hadn’t been so soft.
“I need to talk to her.”
He tried to go around her and she moved again to block him.
“You can’t talk to her now, ” she said, and her voice said that it should have been obvious. “She’s meditating.”
“Well, wake her up then.”
“We just started. If I try and talk to her while her subconscious has taken over, I might be able to figure out what’s wrong. She can talk about anything she’s been repressing without having to be afraid.”
“Like hypnosis?” Jack asked.
“Yes, kind of like hypnosis,” Sienna agreed. “You can stay, but if I tell you to, you have to leave.”
Sienna eyed him warily, and then walked over to Shay. Floating, Shay’s head almost came to Sienna’s slim shoulders. Sienna lifted her hands, poised with her middle finger of each hand over Shay’s forehead. With a look of determination, she brought them to meet Shay’s temple.
There were no fireworks or bursts of wind, but Sienna’s pupils dilated greatly and it was as if she were staring through Shay. Her sky blue eyes blinked, startled, and then her eyes returned to normal.
“Shush,” Sienna instructed. Her expression still seemed faraway and she didn’t look when she spoke to Jack. Her next words were soft and careful, and she spoke as if she were coaxing a child out of a deep sleep. “Shay? Shay, can you hear me?”
Shay’s eyelids fluttered. “Sienna?”
“Yes, it’s me.”
“Are you seeing this?” Shay’s voice had a very daydream-like quality about it. “All the colors? They’re so pretty . . .”
“Yes, they are. Shay . . . How are you feeling?”
The peaceful lips turned to a troubled frown. She wobbled in the air. “Feeling? I’m fine. Why wouldn’t I be?”
“Relax. Everything is alright. We’re just talking, see?” Sienna told her soothingly. “Relax, and open your mind.”
Shay steadied in the air and her lips parted, breathing calmly.
“You asked for my help, remember?” Shay’s headed bobbed lightly, and Sienna continued, “You were upset, but now you’re relaxed, and the colors are warm and nice. I need you to think back to what upset you. It’s just a memory and it can’t hurt you. I’ll help you remember and—”
She broke off suddenly, her eyes darting around as if looking for something that had just been there a moment ago but was now gone. Her brows furrowed.
“What was that?”
“What happened?” Jack demanded.
Sienna ignored him and spoke to Shay again. “Shay, what was that picture you just showed me?”
Shay shook her head.
“It was a boy, wasn’t it? Who was he?”
Jack straightened and his eyes narrowed. Shay was thinking of a boy, and had shown a picture of him to Sienna. Was it him?
“Please. Please, don’t make me remember.”
“I’m going to help you, Shay. There’s nothing to be afraid of.”
“No,” Shay said. “No. No. No.”
She wobbled again, and Jack could see green eyes flitting around beneath her pale eyelids. Her dark lashes began to quiver.
“Shay, you’re not going to hurt anyone,” Sienna said, but it sounded like she was replying to something Shay had thought. “You control your powers, not the other way around.”
Shay let out a moan and her head rolled on her neck. “Abomination. Curse. It’s all my fault.”
Sienna grabbed Shay’s head with the rest of her fingers and forced her to be still. “No. It was an accident. It’s not your fault, Shay.”
Jack moved towards Shay, defensive. “What does she mean, it’s all her fault? What’s going on, Sienna?”
Shay tossed her head back. “ They’re dead. They’re dead, and it’s all my fault. I killed them. The girls at the orphanage, Rowan, Matt, the vampires. They’re all dead because of me.”
“I didn’t mean it!”
Her voice was strangled. Distorted. She sounded possessed.
“I didn’t mean it!” She dissolved into tears, and Sienna lost her grip when she began to swing her head wildly back and forth. “It’s all my fault. All my fault, all my fault, all my fault.”
“Shay, calm down,” Sienna shouted over Shay’s moaning. “Chant with me. Agate, alexandrite, amazonite . . . What comes next? Come on, you know this.”
“Am—Amber,” Shay got out between hiccups and sobs.
“Good, Shay. Good. You don’t have to remember anymore now, do you hear me? You can come back.”
“I can . . . come back?”
“Yes. You can come back, Shay,” Sienna repeated. “You can wake up.”
Shay’s face became a mask of calm all at once. The last tear slithered down her cheek and caught on the edge of her jaw. It dropped onto her leg, and she just bobbed there in the air for a moment.
Then her eyes flashed open and she fell to the floor.
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Author’s Note: The girls at the orphanage that Shay mentions she’s killed are added into the edited version of Duskville: The Hunt and instead of the girls in the alley, they’re the ones who gave her the scars. Just thought I’d clear that up.