Sin & Spirit Page 1



I woke up gasping for air.

The dreams had started after Valens’s death.

The details varied from dream to dream, but a few particulars remained the same. Each time, my soul was torn out of my body, dragged across the Line, and made to walk beside a shadowy creature into the bowels of the spirit world. Into a weightless place without substance, where time didn’t exist, my body wasn’t welcome, and my mind felt like it was swimming.

Even though I wasn’t corporeal in the dreams, it always felt like I was holding hands with my companion. Their touch lent me a comfort I couldn’t describe. It hinted at an intimacy I didn’t share with anyone, save Kieran. That strange, unwanted sense of connection was what made me fight to the surface of wakefulness, trying to get back to the guy who held my heart. The guy whose soul I was connected to in an unbreakable bond.

I would somersault, end over end, until I slammed back into my body.

When it first started, I used to wake Kieran with my thrashing. Sometimes I’d need to hold him afterward. To reassure myself that he was real, not the shadow being.

Although I was afraid to even think it, much less tell anyone, half of me wondered if they weren’t dreams at all. They felt strangely like the few times I’d been helped within the spirit world, tearing down Valens or learning about securing a soul in its spirit box. Similar…but not the same. The differences were enough to make me question if my subconscious was creating the dreams in remembrance.

Kieran didn’t budge this time, though, and I didn’t want to wake him. I trudged down to the kitchen puffy-eyed and half-asleep, trying to shake myself out of it.

As the cold tiles shocked into my bare feet, I registered Zorn’s soul in the house, intense and bright. He was nearly at the doorway leading to the formal dining room and the sitting room beyond it.

I frowned in the dim moonlight filtering in from the windows. What was Zorn doing back here? He’d left after dinner.

I nearly stopped to wait for him, feeling him moving in my direction. But I continued on to the refrigerator instead, desperately needing something to quench my cotton mouth. I had no idea why he’d returned, and frankly, I didn’t really care. My house had become the hub of the Six and Bria, Kieran’s close-knit staff. The family atmosphere appealed to them, and I enjoyed having them around. Not in the middle of the night, per se, but whatever. Zorn was strange. You had to take the good with the bad.

I grabbed hold of the fridge handle as Daisy’s soul caught my awareness. It wasn’t where it belonged—in her bedroom upstairs. Instead, she was skulking quickly through the sitting room, maybe sneaking up on Zorn, or possibly laying some sort of trap for Mordecai to unknowingly stumble into tomorrow morning. She’d really taken to Zorn’s training, and she, unfortunately, practiced her budding craft on us. A bucket of water splashing down over me as I left my bedroom was not awesome. A knife flung at my head from some sort of spring as I flicked on the coffee pot was downright terrible. I’d had to threaten her life to get her to stop. Since I was her kind-of parent who owned the roof over her head, she had to listen to me. But poor Mordecai hadn’t been so lucky. At least his shifter magic allowed him to one-up her in their combat training. That helped even the score.

Bright light from the fridge made me squint as I grabbed out a bottle of water. A flash of movement caught my eye. A tiny scuff announced Zorn rolling across the open area and ducking behind the island. Fridge door still open, I turned to see what he was doing when he popped up. His right hand was pulled back, ready to throw.

A knife!

Before I could shout no, a blur of movement came from the side. A projectile sped at Zorn as he was letting go of the knife. A book followed almost immediately, but the trajectory was different—it cut at a diagonal, through the empty air between Zorn and me.

I jolted, ready to duck, when the book knocked the knife out of the air!

“Holy—” My eyes widened in surprise at the excellent throw—and the fact that Zorn had hurled a knife at me—as Daisy exploded into the kitchen, dressed in black and holding a long dagger.

Zorn pushed toward Daisy, black paint on his face. Apparently he had a stash of daggers on him, because he already had another one in hand. Whatever Daisy had thrown hadn’t stuck in his body anywhere. She was clearly trying to remedy that as she moved forward with her dagger and struck. But it was a shallow, weak attempt. He blocked easily and quickly countered.

“Okay, come on, you guys. I’m tired. Can’t you do this somewhere else?” I whined, shutting the fridge door.

But Daisy was already slashing at him with her other hand, having pulled a knife from the heavens knew where. She’d set him up.

He smacked his forearm against hers at the last moment to block the thrust. She slid her arm off, knife pointed down, slicing his skin.

Zorn didn’t even suck in a pained or startled breath.

I leaned heavily against the island, tired, annoyed, and, honestly, a little fascinated. I never got to see them train anymore. These days I was always busy at the cursed government building, trying to find my place in this new life with Kieran. I wanted to contribute in some way, and the only alternative was wasting my days away as a socialite. No thanks. I didn’t really even know what that was.