No, sir. They’re in the hospital wing. There was a little blood.
I slid down to the floor, crying now that I knew there was nothing I could do. Aspen might be a lifeless body only feet away from me, and Maxon . . . surely by now he was gone.I curled my legs to my chest and rested my head against the door.
If you live, I whispered, I’ll let you call me your dear. I won’t complain, I promise.And then I was left to wait.Every so often I’d try to guess at the time, though I had no way of knowing if I was right. Each sluggish minute was maddening. I’d never felt so powerless, and the worry was killing me.
After an eternity, I heard the click of the lock. Someone was coming for me. I didn’t know if it was a friend or not, so I pointed the empty gun at the door. It would at least look intimidating. The door creaked open, and the light from the window glared in. Did that mean it was still the same day? Or was it the next? I held my aim though I had to squint to do so.Don’t shoot, Lady America! a guard pleaded. You’re safe!
How do I know that? How do I know you’re not one of them?
The guard looked down the hall, acknowledging an approaching figure. August stepped into the light, followed closely by Gavril. Though his suit was practically destroyed, his pin—which I now realized looked an awful lot like a North Star—still hung proudly on his bloody lapel.I groaned, finishing the trek to the kitchen counter and reaching for the empty coffee pot. Frank had kept checking in all day yesterday, cataloging the many movements of strangers around my house. Jack and the smiley blond guy, who’d introduced himself as Donovan when he’d forced his way in to make pot pie yesterday evening, had been spotted numerous times, but a couple of others had been hanging around too, taking shifts and going so far as to peek in the windows.
That wasn’t all they were doing, though.They were trying to make their lives easier by setting up surveillance around my property. So far, Frank had spied them putting up four cameras, covering both exit points (the front door and a never-used back door) and the sides of the house. I’d left them to it. I wanted my watchers to rest easy, comfortable in the knowledge they could monitor me from afar. Then, when I needed to get out undetected, I’d rip down their electronic eyes and set them to scrambling.
He’s hiding in his favorite bush. I’ve got my eye on him, don’t worry, Frank yelled. I got Genevieve out back. She has eyes like a hawk.Frank was working on a network of nosey spirit neighbors, but so far, the two other spirits he’d brought around were more than pulling their weight.