Reaching Retribution (The Prophesized #4)(5)By: Kaitlyn Hoyt
“Who the heck are you?” she asks when she catches up to me. I look at her out of the corner of my eye, but continue walking.
“You don’t want to know.”
“Yes I do. That’s why I asked.”
“Well, I asked how you died, but you didn’t tell me. You have your secrets. I have mine.”
We walk a few more steps in silence before she speaks. “My step-dad,” she whispers.
“What?” I stop walking and face her, making sure I heard what I think I heard.
“My step-dad killed me,” she repeats.
“He got drunk and beat me.” I may not be Lily’s biggest fan, but she didn’t deserve that. “I instigated it. He hit my mom, so I yelled at him. He didn’t mean to kill me. He doesn’t know how he acts when he drinks.”
“What did your mom do?”
“She tried to stop him, but he knocked her out. I don’t think she’s dead.” Technically, her mom could be dead, but I don’t tell her that. Lily’s here because it wasn’t her time to die. She’s getting another chance.
“I’m sorry,” I tell her.
“What about you? How’d you die?” she asks me. I turn away and continue walking. We’re heading somewhere, but I’m not quite sure. I bite my tongue to keep from talking, but for some reason, I want to tell her. She just shared her death experience with me, and right now there’s really no point in keeping it in. I don’t see what it could change.
“I walked in front of a flying dagger,” I mumble while staring down at the ground.
“A flying dagger?”
“A man targeted someone near me and I tried to push her out of the way. He threw a dagger, and I got hit. End of story.” There’s actually much more to the story, but I don’t know how much I can tell Lily. She doesn’t know about mages, and even if we both get out of this alive, I’m not sure what we’ll remember.
“What happened to the guy who threw the dagger?”
“I bet someone beat the crap out of him. I hope someone did,” I say even though I’m not sure if I actually mean that. We’re heading toward Pearl Village, the neighborhood of all the old rich homes in our town. Of course Lily lives there. I try to stop walking, but can’t. My feet are moving without my permission.
“Are we heading to my house?”
“I think so,” I tell her. “I don’t really know how all this stuff works. Last time I died, I didn’t have to do this.”
“You’ve died before?”
“You don’t want to know,” I tell her as we stop in front of an older home. She doesn’t live in one of the larger, ritzy houses. The house in front of me is a one story home. Deep red bricks are offset with beige shutters surrounding the windows. It looks like we’re now in present time. There’s a man walking his dog across the street, but he doesn’t look in our direction.
“Can anyone see us?” Lily asks while looking around; her eyes landing on the man and his dog.
“Umm, I don’t really think so.” Before I finish, we start walking. It’s weird not being in control of your body. We’re obviously supposed to see something inside of the house, but we don’t have to open the door. We literally walk right through it. “That’s so weird.”
I stop inside the door. A small living room with a box television and stained couch is directly to my right. Small pictures of a young Lily clutter every available surface. “Lily, why did you torment me in high school?” I’ve wanted to know the answer to that question for a long time now, and I don’t know if I’ll get another chance to ask it.
She turns toward me and grabs onto the ends of her dark hair. “I don’t know, Ryanne. I didn’t want to, but Adam threatened to break-up with me if I didn’t. I didn’t believe his story about you. You always seemed like this really sweet, shy girl. I knew it was him. I was afraid that if he broke up with me, I wouldn’t be popular anymore. I was afraid that if I didn’t go along with everything he said, everyone would find out that I come from this. I’m not the stuck-up rich girl everyone thinks I am, but I worked so hard to build this reputation that I just couldn’t turn back. I had a role to fill, so I went along with everything.”