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“Goddamnit,” I shouted out in frustration as I threw back the covers, causing Eliza to wake from a sound sleep to sit upright with a jerk, a knife in hand.

“What is it?” she said, looking around for the nonexistent intruder. I didn’t answer her as I lit the candles around the room with magick and started looking for clothes to dress. “What is it?” she repeated.

“Siofra fucking pissed off Taeynd and now she’s probably gonna kill Joel. We have to get to the castle now,” I told her, pulling my dress on over my head.

Eliza reached over to wake up Mac, but he didn’t move. “Can you explain that a little more rationally?” she asked as she shook him again.

I stopped to look at her and I knew my voice sounded harsh, but I was terrified for Joel. “I don’t know what happened. All I know is that she came into my dream and pulled me out and said we have to go, she pissed her off in some way.”

“I didn’t piss her off,” came Siofra’s voice from the other room.

I hoped that she didn’t come into the room just then because I was sure that I couldn’t be held responsible for what I would do when I saw her. I was scared to death. I couldn’t believe that Siofra had done something as stupid as to piss off the woman who was holding Joel and not expect there to be consequences. We didn’t know enough about her yet to be so irrational. I had to clasp my hands together to keep them from shaking as I looked for my boots.

Eliza rose from the bed and walked to the door that separated the two rooms and opened it a little to talk to Siofra while I continued to dress. “Rational thought processes? What did you do?”

“What did I do?” I heard Siofra repeat the question. “That’s a really good question. I kind of did, um, the opposite of an exorcism, I put the bad ghost into her. It wasn’t a ghost, now that I think about it.”

“What was it?” Eliza asked.

Siofra giggled a little and said, “Remember the big cat with wings? Bigger.” I watched as Eliza shuddered then turned back to the bed to try to wake Mac again. I was sure that he would agree with me that getting to the castle as soon as possible was what we had to do.

“Mac, you have to wake up,” she said and he stirred slightly as he turned his head toward her and smiled.

“Hello, luv.”

“Your sister’s freaking out Taeynd with big kitty demon spirit things,” she told him, the knife now dangling slightly in her fingers.

“Glenn helped,” she called out from the other room.

“And you’re smiling about it,” Eliza called back in frustration as she looked down at him. “Good dream?”

Mac stretched and looked around the room for the first time. “What are the lights doing on?” Eliza looked at me in answer, prompting him to look my way to where I was now standing fully dressed. “Where is she going?”

“I don’t know,” Eliza answered, looking at me as well over her shoulder.

The lights started to extinguish then and I assumed it was Mac’s doing. “What is going on?” he asked sleepily.

Eliza sat down next to him on the bed. “She woke up cursing, I have no idea.”

It really pissed me off how they always talked about me like I wasn’t even in the room. “We have to get to the castle,” I insisted, preparing to light the candles once more as I took a few steps toward their bed. “She’s probably going to kill Joel.”

To my utter frustration Mac replied with a yawn, “We’re going there tomorrow.”

I blinked in disbelief. “No, we have to go now,” I insisted, narrowly stopping myself from stomping my foot.

Mac looked at me with one of his expressions that he normally reserved for someone who pissed him off and when he spoke it was deliberate and harsh. “No we don’t. We’re not going to flee off in the middle of the night on some half-assed adventure. We stick to the plan. Go back to sleep, you need your strength.”

His tone did nothing to calm me down, in fact if anything, he stoked my temper. Joel was in danger, that much I knew for sure and frankly that was all I was thinking about at the moment. I didn’t know what Siofra had done to Taeynd, but I knew that if she was concerned enough to come find me that it had to be bad. I crossed my arms stubbornly as I looked at Mac and Eliza as she laid down next to him again, slipping the knife under her pillow once more. “So why do you suddenly think she’s going to harm Jolesic?” Mac asked as he turned to his side to better see me.

“Siofra busted into my dream and she said that she had just been with Taeynd and she was able to fight her off or something.” Why was he asking all these questions instead of getting ready to go stop her?

Mac spoke in what I was sure was supposed to be a reassuring voice, but I was too upset to really let it effect me. “I was just with Taeynd and I fought her off, too.”

“She said that she knows now that we’re here to rescue Joel, and she’s going to kill him,” I insisted.

He lifted a head off the pillow and looked at Eliza. “And no one smells trap on that one?”

“She told Siofra that she was going to kill Joel,” I said, racking my brain to remember everything my aunt had said before dragging me off. “That’s what Siofra said to me anyhow.”

“If she said she was the queen of England would you believe her?”

“I don’t know anything about this woman,” I replied.

He lowered his head to the pillow again. “She’s arrogant.”

“Joel’s in danger,” I cried, my voice sounding desperate.

Mac hesitated a moment and took a deep breath. “Joel’s not in danger. She’s arrogant, that is her weakness.”

“She’s holding him here against his will.”

“And that is why we are here, and we will stick to the plan we have formulated to get him free of her bond.”

I was ready to say the hell with it and go on my own. “I can’t believe you’re just going to lay here and not do anything about it.”

Mac lifted his head again. “I am going to do something about it; I’m going to get some sleep. We need all of our strength and our wits about us when we go. Tomorrow.”

Eliza stood then and came to stand in front of me. “Corrine?”

I looked at her. “Yes?”

“Go to bed.”

And for some reason I wanted to do what she said. I felt my temper calm slightly and even though I was still really mad that they weren’t being gung ho about getting to Joel, I found myself climbing back into bed, still fully dressed.

“Next time calm her down first,” Mac said as I heard Eliza slip under the covers again.

“At least she’s in bed,” she retorted.

“She’s laying there fuming.”

“She’ll get over it.”

“Don’t talk about me like I’m not here,” I told them through clenched teeth, wondering why I had done what Eliza had wanted so easily.

“What did Joel say before you were rudely interrupted?” Mac asked.

I hesitated a moment, still angry that he appeared so indifferent toward Joel and his safety one minute, then ply me for information about him the next. “We won’t be able to use magick in the castle because she’ll know that it’s being used,” I told him finally. “Like she doesn’t know who we are now anyway.”

“She’ll know your magick. She won’t know ours.”

“She’ll know magick,” I said again.

“She won’t know our magick, she does not recognize it. She’ll recognize it as magick, but she cannot place ours. She’s never seen mine, nor Eliza’s. She’ll recognize yours as it is true magick, but not ours.”

I hated the fact that I could never be right to either of them. I doused the remaining candles and pulled the covers over my head, wondering how long I would have to wait until they were asleep again so I could sneak out of the room. It was becoming obvious that Eliza had done something with her vampire related abilities to cause me to calm down and I didn’t appreciate that knowledge at all. I was very conscious of abusing my powers and had never used them on anyone in the family without having their best interest at heart.

“Worse than a damn clapper,” I heard Eliza comment as I heard her adjust the covers over her.

“What else did he say?” Mac asked in the darkened room.

Because I felt like they were once again treating me like a child, I decided to act like one and said, “He ran from his destiny too, and look where it got him.”

“Would you like first watch or second?” he asked Eliza after a slight hesitation, crushing my hopes of getting out of the room without them stopping me again. It was obvious that they could read me like a book and would resort to imprisonment to ‘protect’ me.

“I’m awake now,” Eliza told him.

“Wake me in a few hours. Make sure she doesn’t leave the room.”

“Not a problem.”

Sleep wasn’t as quick in coming the second time around, but I finally did as I listened to Mac’s breath even out in the darkened room. Part of me wanted to seek out Joel in my dreams again, but I was afraid of what I might find. Actually, I was afraid that I wouldn’t find him and that was what actually stopped me.






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