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With cross charm, p.19
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       With Cross & Charm, p.19

           D.L. Miles

  Chapter 18

  Beth is a hunter, but she isn’t acting like one now. She’s acting like the seventeen year old girl she is, and cries over the death of her boyfriend. I feel bad for her, knowing that it is most likely my fault. Joe must have been the person to pull over after I stabbed Cain. The words to explain to Beth what happened aren’t coming to me.

  Delilah is hugging Beth and shedding a few tears herself. It’s a sad day in Hollow’s Point; I can’t remember a time when someone was actually murdered here.

  I’m standing in front of both of them, biting down on my fingernail. My Dad is downstairs talking with Beth’s parents about the tragedy. He’s talking about how scared he is for the rest of us, because if someone was willing to kill someone like Joe then anyone could be next. I wish I could comfort them and tell them the truth. Although the truth is not comforting at all.

  Anyway, who would believe me?

  “I just saw him today,” Beth sobs, “I-I don’t understand.”

  “Come on,” Delilah says, “you believe in Heaven. You know he’s in a better place.”

  I’m not sure how being killed by a demon affects the soul, but I hope she’s right. She looks up at me and nods her head towards the bed, signaling for me to sit down. I can’t and shake my head.

  “Why would someone want to kill him?” Beth asks. “What did he do?”

  He tried to do a good deed, I think bitterly. He probably thought someone’s car had broken down in the rain, and he wanted to help.

  Delilah says, “Don’t think like that. Think of where he is now.”

  Beth sobs again. “Away from me!”

  I can’t take the crying anymore, guilt weighing down on my shoulders. “I know who killed him,” I whisper.

  Both Beth and Delilah stop breathing. They’re looking at me with wide eyes, waiting for me to tell them everything. My mouth is dry, and I can’t stop biting my nails. It is a new habit, or maybe an old one Ithinara had been inhibiting.

  I look over my shoulder at Beth’s door, hoping nobody is listening. Dad’s voice drifts from downstairs, saying something about letting us skip school for a few days if we want. Beth’s mother agrees.

  “Willa?” Delilah asks, her voice soft.

  “I just—something happened when I was going home today,” I say. “Cain was driving me home, then…then Ithinara took over and—”

  “She killed him?” Beth accuses. Her eyes are puffy and bloodshot, her blouse dotted with her tears. She stands, almost ready to strangle me it seems. But she doesn’t raise her hands, only stares.

  “It wasn’t Ithinara,” I tell her. “It was another demon.”

  I explain what happened, with very little detail. I keep my voice low, telling them how I attacked Cain, how I ran off when someone pulled over, and I later awoke to find Cain in my house. I tell them of Vetis.

  Delilah is shocked. “Another one? Why is he here? How?”

  I shake my head. “I don’t know.” I’m sitting beside them now, and we’re all staring at the floor. My breathing is slow and controlled, though I think it should be the opposite. I’m so tired, I’m not even sure how my eyelids have stayed open.

  “It knew your mother?” Beth asks. I barely hear her.

  “He called me a Walcott.”

  “Not ‘he’,” Beth corrects. “‘It’. I know you had Ithinara in you for a long time, but you can’t think they’re anything but demons.” She bites down on her bottom lip. “They’re all monsters.”

  Delilah rests Beth’s head on her shoulder. “Why would it call her a Walcott?”

  Beth’s eyes close. “There’s a couple possibilities,” she admits. She doesn’t give us any other information.

  “What are they?” I finally ask.

  Beth is quiet.

  “Beth?” Delilah questions, giving her a light push.

  My hunter friend sits up and puts her head in her hands. “Willa we’re going to need help with this; I need to tell my parents.”

  I swallow. “Why?”

  “Most demons want to corrupt,” she explains, “so they take over a person and cause as much chaos as they can before the hunters find them.” She licks her lips, rubbing the palms of her hands on her jeans. “If I were to take a guess, I think Ithinara possessed you to do the opposite.”

  I flinch. “She wanted me to kill Cain—or Vetis. Whoever was there.”

  Beth nods. “Because Vetis wants something much worse.”

  Sweat begins to trickle down my temple, my heart picking up it’s pace. What could be worse than killing someone? I’m not sure.

  “He wants you, Willa. He wants to bring your soul to Hell.”

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