Vivienne had never seen Grandmother Clarissa so angry, not even the time when Lacey had brought home a box of puppies that she’d found of the side of the road and they’d spent the rest of the day elbow-deep in flea shampoo and the smell of wet cheetah.
They’d had to call in favors from nearly everyone they knew––including that wretched vampire-hating Mother Ophelia––in order to treat everyone’s wounds and make sure the house didn’t crumble to the ground after everything it had been through. Shay’s nose had been broken––twice, she pointed out, when anyone mentioned it––and there wasn’t a spot on her face that wasn’t black and blue. She also had a mild concussion and several cuts that needed stitches. After one glance at Shay, Grandmother Clarissa was sure they’d have to re-stock their entire herb collection, not to mention, their insurance would go through the roof.
And then there was the matter of the elephant in the room.
Or rather, the other vampire, the one with the brown hair and wild eyes who’d had so much black magic worked into her brain that it was no wonder she’d gone crazy. Vivienne was sure she would have, too.
Grandmother Clarissa said it could be months, years even, before they could undo the damage Kendall had done. She’d had so many of her memories twisted and stained that every witch who examined her was surprised she could even remember her own name.
She was now being confined to one of the guest bedrooms, and the doors and windows were laced with so many wards and binding spells that Vivienne was afraid to come without fifteen feet of it.
On the other hand, Grandmother Clarissa had taken it fairly well considering they’d almost gotten themselves killed.
Except . . . some had been killed.
The day after, though Shay was bound in so many bandages that she’d begun to look like a mummy, she insisted that they go back out and search for Theo’s body. Sienna had given her something to help her sleep, and then Vivienne and Lacey and the Elf without the broken leg went out and retrieved the girl’s body from the tangled vines and branches that had grown like a cocoon around her.
They’d given her a proper funeral, burying her beneath the willow tree in their backyard. Grandmother Clarissa had asked Shay if she’d like to say a few words, but she’d started to cry and before they knew what had happened, she was lying in a crumpled ball on the grass. That other vampire, the tall boy with the blonde hair, had carried her inside.
He was with her the last time Vivienne had checked; when she’d poked her head into Shay’s room, they’d both been curled up on her bed beneath the covers, holding onto each other so tightly it was as if they were afraid someone might tear them apart.
After everything they’d been through, Vivienne didn’t blame them.
Now, she walked down the hallway, passing by that horrendous splotch of shadows that covered the wall. It had been almost a week since the attack, but the hardwood was still singed and the air still smelled of smoke. There had been so much black magic that Grandmother Clarissa said it would take a while before the area was cleansed. And besides, they were all out of white sage at the moment.
She walked into the living room and flopped down onto the couch beside Lacey and the tiger Shapeshifter.
Vivienne cast him a look to show that she still didn’t approve of him cheating on her friend, and then stretched her long legs out and rested them on the coffee table.
She sniffed at the air, and then turned her head towards the kitchen.
“What’s for dinner?” she asked when she saw Phoenix standing by the oven, peering into a giant pot on the stovetop.
“Nothing you’d be interested in,” Phoenix replied.
Vivienne cast her a dirty look, as well.
“Fine,” Phoenix said. “Lasagna.”
“Yum,” Lacey chirped like a toddler.
Vivienne wrinkled her nose and leaned back against the cushions behind her. One of the cats, a large fluffy Persian with a smushed face, padded along the floor and then launched herself into Vivienne’s lap.
“Hello there,” Vivienne said, scratching her behind the ears.
From somewhere else in the house, someone shrieked, and Vivienne was on her feet in an instant. Lacey’s head snapped towards the hallway, and Phoenix started so bad that she nearly spilled the pot of boiling water on herself. Then Sienna appeared at the top of the stairs, her expression horrified.
“Is anyone aware that there is a dead body in my bathtub?” she exclaimed.
Vivienne heard a soft snickering, and she turned her head to see the Elf with the broken leg sitting at the kitchen table, trying not to laugh as she held a hand over her mouth. Her sister looked out at Sienna and shrugged.
“Sorry?” she offered.