The Raven Boys(139)

By: Maggie Stiefvater

When they ran back to the BMW, giddy and breathless with their crime, Ronan told Gansey, “This will all come out and bite you in the ass, you know, when you’re running for Congress.”

“Shut up and drive, Lynch.”

They reburied his bones at the old ruined church, which was Blue’s idea.

“No one will bother them here,” she said, “And we know it’s on the ley line. And it’s holy ground.”

“Well,” said Ronan, “I hope he likes it. I’ve pulled a muscle.”

Gansey scoffed, “Doing what? You were standing watch.”

“Opening my hood.”

After they’d finished covering the last of the bones, they stood quietly inside the ruined walls. Blue stared at Gansey, in particular, his hands in his pockets, his head tilted down toward where they had just interred Noah. It felt like no time and all the time in the world since she’d seen his spirit walk this very path.

Gansey. That’s all there is.

She wouldn’t, she vowed, be the one to kill him.

“Can we go home? This place is so creepy.”

Euphoric, they all spun. Noah, rumpled and familiar, was framed in the arched doorway of the church, more solid than Blue remembered ever seeing him. Solid in form, anyway. He peered around the crumbled walls with a timorous expression.

“Noah!” Gansey cried gladly.

Blue hurled her arms around his neck. He looked alarmed, and then pleased, and then he pet the tufts of her hair.

“Czerny,” Ronan said, trying out the word.

“No,” Noah protested, around Blue’s arm. “I’m serious. This place creeps me the hell out. Can we go?”

Gansey’s face broke into a relieved, easy grin. “Yes, we can go home.”

“I’m still not eating pizza,” Noah said, backing out of the church with Blue.

Ronan, still in the ruins, looked over his shoulder at them. In the dim light of the flashlights, the tattooed hook that edged out above his collar looked like either a claw or a finger or part of a fleur-de-lis. It was nearly as sharp as his smile.

“I guess now would be a good time to tell you,” he said. “I took Chainsaw out of my dreams.”

At this point, I feel like I’m always thanking the usual suspects, but they must be thanked nonetheless. Everyone at Scholastic, and particularly: my editor, David Levithan, for his patience during this novel’s prolonged gestation. Dick and Ellie for their continued belief in me. Rachel C., Tracy, and Stacy for their boundless enthusiasm, no matter how bizarre an idea I toss their direction. Becky, for booze I didn’t drink but Gansey did. Cacao.

A special shout-out to my Scholastic UK people, Alyx, Alex, Hannah, and Catherine, for working very hard to get me on ley lines.

Thanks to my agent, Laura Rennert, who lets me run with scissors, and to my tireless critique partners, Tessa “Dead in a Ditch” Gratton and Brenna “This is Interesting” Yovanoff.

I’m also grateful to everyone else who read for me: Jackson Pearce, who is so very shiny; Carrie, who really does make good guacamole; Kate, first and last reader; Dad, for dangerous handguns; and Mom, for cycloliths. Thanks to Natalie, as well, who did not read but did give me really awful music that helped an incredible amount.

And, as always, I am grateful to my husband, Ed, who always makes the magic seem obvious.

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