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"And what?" she asked, her voice shaking a little. "None of your kind has ever killed? None of you witches or shapeshifters or fae? Vampires are the only ones who've ever taken a life?"

All eyes were on Elodie, and I think we expected her to lunge for Jenna's throat or something.

But she had the power and she knew it. Her green eyes were positively glittering as she sneered, "What do you know about anything?

You're not even a real Prodigium."

The breath that everyone had been holding seemed to rush out all at once. She'd said it. The one thing they all thought but never acknowledged out loud.

"Our families' powers are ancient," Elodie continued, her face pale, except for two red spots on her cheeks. "We are the descendents of angels.

And what are you? A pathetic little human who was fed on by a parasite; a monster."

Jenna was shaking now. "So I'm the monster? What about you, Elodie? Holly told me what you and your little friends were trying to do."

I waited for Elodie to fire back with something, but instead she turned very pale. Anna had stopped crying and was clutching Elodie's shoulder.

"Let's go," she implored in a high voice.

"I don't know what you're talking about," Elodie said, but she looked scared.

"The hell you don't. Your little coven was trying to raise a demon."

You'd think the crowd would have gasped. I think I gasped. But the rest of the hall was quiet.

Elodie just stared at Jenna, but I thought I heard Anna whimper.

In the face of that stare, Jenna started to babble. "She said you wanted more power, and that you wanted to do a summoning ritual, and you needed a sacrifice to do that. Y-you have to let the demon feed . . . feed on someone, so . . ."

Elodie had regained her composure. "A demon? You think we could raise a demon here and not have Mrs. Casnoff and the Vandy and the Council jump all over us? Please."

Someone in the crowd snickered, and the tension broke. One person laughing gives everyone permission to laugh, so that's what they did.

Jenna stood there listening to that mocking laughter a lot longer than I could have. Then she pushed past me and went down the hall and into our room. She slammed the door behind her.

Once she was gone, the murmuring began.

Nausicaa was talking to Siobhan. "Which one of us is next?"

Siobhan's blue wings shuddered as she replied, "All I did was fly to catch the bus! I don't deserve to be locked up here with killers."

"Jenna isn't a killer," I said, but I realized I didn't know that for sure.

She was a vampire. Vampires feed off humans.

And maybe witches.

No. I shoved that thought away even as I remembered Jenna trying so hard not to look at my blood that first day.

To my surprise, it was Taylor who piped up next, saying, "Sophie's right. There's no proof Jenna killed anybody."

I have no idea if she said it because she actually believed it, or if she just wanted to irritate Nausicaa, but I was grateful anyway.

"Thanks," I said, but Beth stepped in between me and Taylor.

"I wouldn't listen to anything Sophie Mercer has to say, Taylor."

I stared at Beth. What happened to our whole hairsniffing moment of bonding?

"I was talking to one of the other weres, and she said Sophie's dad is the head of the Council."

I heard a few murmurs at that, and some of the older girls glared at me. The younger ones just looked confused.


"Her dad is the one who let vampires into Hex," Beth said. She looked back at me, and I saw the gleam of her fangs as they slid out of her gums.

"Of course she's gonna say Jenna's innocent. Otherwise her daddy's job would be on the line."

I did not have time for this. "I've never even met my dad, and I'm certainly not here to further his political agenda or anything. I broke the rules and got sentenced to Hex. Just like everyone else."

Taylor narrowed her eyes. "Your dad is head of the Council?"

Before I could answer, Mrs. Casnoff appeared at the top of the stairs.

She was still in her wet robe, and she looked majorly stressed, but she wasn't nearly as pale, so I took that as a good sign.

"Attention, ladies," she said in a voice that managed to be powerful without actually yelling. "Thanks to Cal's efforts, Miss Burnett has regained consciousness and appears to be on the mend."

The collective sigh of relief and following murmurs covered my leaning against Anna and whispering, "What does she mean about this Call guy?"

I'd expected a snotty response about how stupid I was, but Anna was apparently too relieved about Chaston to be bitchy. "He's a white warlock,"

she replied. "A super-powerful one. He can heal wounds other witches and warlocks can't."

"Why didn't he heal Holly, then?" I asked, and that got me a snotty look. Good to know Anna was back to normal. "Holly was already dead when they found her, thanks to your little friend. Call can only heal the living; he can't raise the dead. No one can."

"Oh," I said lamely, but she was already talking to Elodie.

"Her parents will come for her tomorrow," Mrs. Casnoff continued, "and I hope she will be able to rejoin us after winter break."

"Has she said anything?" Elodie asked. "Did she say who did it?"

Mrs. Casnoff frowned slightly. "Not at this time. And I encourage all of you to use your best judgment before you go around spreading rumors about this incident. We're obviously taking this very seriously, and the last thing we need is panic."

Elodie opened her mouth, but a look from Mrs. Casnoff stopped whatever nasty thing she was about to say.

"All right," Mrs. Casnoff said with a clap of her hands. "Everyone off to bed now. We can discuss this further in the morning."


When I returned to my room, Jenna was inside, sitting on the dresser next to the window. Her forehead was resting on her knees.


She didn't look at me. "It's happening again," she said in a thick voice.

"Just like Holly."

She took a deep shuddery breath and said, "When I saw them carrying Chaston out . . . it was exactly the same. The holes in her neck, the slashes on her wrists. The only difference is that Chaston was white. Holly w-was nearly . . . nearly gray when they p-pulled her out. . . ." Her voice broke.

I sat on my bed and laid a hand on her knee. "Hey," I said softly, "that wasn't your fault."

She looked up, her eyes red with anger. "Yeah, but that's not what everyone else thinks, is it? They all think I'm what, a 'bloodsucking freak'?"

She hopped off the dresser. "Like I asked for this," she muttered in a low voice, pulling clothes out of her closet and tossing them on her bed.

"Like I wanted to come to this damn school anyway."

"Jen," I started to say, but she whirled around on me.

"I hate it here!" she cried. "I . . . I hate taking stupidass classes like A History of Nineteenth Century Witches. God, I j-just wanna take algebra or something stupid like that. I wanna eat lunch-- real lunch--in a cafeteria, and have an after-school job, and go to the prom."

With a sob, she sat down on her bed, like all the anger in her had evaporated. "I don't want to be a vampire," she whispered, and then she broke down crying, burying her face in the black T-shirt she was holding.

I looked around the room, and for the first time, all the pink didn't seem cheerful; it just seemed sad, like Jenna was trying to hold on to whatever life she'd had before. There are times when saying nothing is definitely the best course of action, and I felt like this was one of those times. So I just crossed the room and sat on her bed, stroking her hair like my mom did for me the night I'd found out I was going to Hecate.

And after a while, Jenna leaned back against her pillows and started talking.

"She was so nice to me," she said softly. "Amanda."

I didn't have to ask who Amanda was. I knew she was finally telling me the story of how she'd come to be a vampire.

"That was the biggest part. Not that she was cute, or smart, or funny.

She was those things too, but it was the nice that got me. No one had ever paid so much attention to me before. When she told me what she was, that she wanted me to be with her forever, I didn't really believe it. I didn't believe it until I felt her teeth in my neck."

She paused, and there was no sound in the room except the soft rustling of the breeze in the oaks outside.

"When the Change happened, it was . . . amazing. I felt stronger and just better, you know? Like the rest of my life had been a dream. Those first two nights with her were the best nights of my whole life. And then they killed her."


Her eyes met mine. My tiny reflection in her eyes looked very pale.

"The Eye," she replied, and an involuntary shiver ran through me.

"There were two of them. They broke into the motel where we were hiding, and they staked her while she was sleeping. But she woke up and she started . . . she started screaming, and it took both of them to hold her down.

So I got up ran out the door and I just kept running. For three days I hid in somebody's garden shed. I only left there because I was starving. So I stole some food from a convenience store.

"As soon as I put the first Twinkie in my mouth, I felt like was I going to die. I chewed it maybe twice before I had to spit it out. The--" She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. "The manager of the store came out and found me on my knees in the parking lot. He saw the wrapper and started yelling about calling the cops, and I--"

She broke off and wouldn't meet my eyes. I put my hand on her shoulder, trying to console her or let her know I didn't care that she'd drunk someone's blood, but I couldn't look at her face.

"After . . . after that, I felt better. I got a bus back into the city and found Amanda's parents. They were vamps too. Amanda's dad had been bitten years ago and had changed all of them. So they contacted the Council and I got sent here."

She looked at me again. "It wasn't supposed to be like this," she said plaintively. "I don't want to be like this without Amanda. I only wanted to be a vampire if we could be together forever. She promised." Tears were glistening in her eyes.

"Wow," I said. "Who knew girls sucked just as bad as boys?"

She sighed and tilted her head back against the headboard, eyes closed. "They're going to kick me out."


She looked incredulous. "Um . . . hello? They're totally going to pin Chaston on me. Holly was one thing, but two girls in a six-month period?"

She shook her head. "Somebody's gonna go down for that, and you can bet it's gonna be me."

"Why?" I repeated. Jenna was the only person at Hecate I considered a friend. Well, maybe Archer and I were friends now, but there was still that whole possiblybeing-in-love-with-him-maybe-a-little thing, and that pushed him out of the friend zone. If Jenna left, I'd be at the mercy of Elodie and Anna.

No way.

"You don't know that they're gonna kick you out. Chaston may remember what happened to her. Just wait and talk to Mrs. Casnoff, okay?

Maybe by tomorrow everyone will have calmed down some."