“Who’s the pretty boy?” she stage whispers and a startled laugh escapes me as I look up at him.
“This is Mason, he is a Master Reaper,” I explain as I help her sit up.
“Oh, fancy.” She throws him a playful grin.
“I fell asleep waiting for Thea to wake up and I ended up in the void again. Apparently when I go there I’m like a beacon, which explains one of my rune markings. We couldn’t get out right away, which is why you came back to find us like this,” I explain in a rush.
“I’ve been trying to wake you up for over thirty minutes. I would have panicked if it didn’t seem like you were just dreaming. You shouldn’t be able to access the void like that,” he argues.
“She’s different, boss man,” Thea says in a matter-of-fact tone.
“Please let Sam hear you say that,” he begs with a smirk. Knowing Sam and his harsh personality, I have a feeling it wouldn’t be pretty.
“Thea explained to me that she’s always been able to speak to souls, even as a human. She isn’t a reaper though, right? So whatisshe?” I ask Mason. He looks thoughtful as he studies her. Thea, to her credit, doesn’t shy away from his gaze.
“She isn’t a reaper, you’re right about that. I think she’s something different entirely, but I’m not sure what that is. I need to speak to the council.” He mutters the last part to himself and walks out of the room without any further words.
“Well, that was odd,” Thea states, before trying to stand, the sheet fluttering down in the process to reveal her all black outfit. “Woah! Why am I wearing this?”
“Your clothes burnt off when your body changed. I put those on you so you weren’t naked for everyone to see like I was,” I explain and she nods.
“Thanks for that,” she mumbles, assessing the clothing. “So I guess we’re stuck here until we get answers? Do we get room service at least?”
“No, but I can run and get us something,” I offer. The fact I just ate is apparently irrelevant because the moment she mentions room service I’m hungry again. Before I can explain the diner situation a sharp knock echoes in the room.
Arianna is waiting on the other side when I open it and she narrows her eyes at me when she realizes Thea isn’t alone.
“Why areyouhere?” she asks sharply and I wince at the attitude.What the hell is wrong with this lady?
“First of all, I want her here. Second of all, you shouldn’t greet people that way, it’s rude,” Thea scolds Arianna and I stifle a giggle at her boldness.
“Good to see you are awake, Thea. I’m Arianna, and I was sent to collect you for a council meeting,” she explains, pretending she didn’t hear the scolding she was given just moments ago.
“She goes where I go. We’re a team,” Thea demands, arms crossed. I step closer and she reaches for me, clasping my hand in her smaller one. I never had sisters, but for some reason Thea makes me feel like her big sister. There’s a connection here I don't understand but at the same time I’m not going to question it.
“Fine.” Arianna bites out her words. “I was sent to collect her as well so it doesn’t actually matter.”
“Well, by all means, lead the way then,” Thea says with a dramatic sweep of her hand. She gives me a secret smirk and I bite back a laugh at someone else challenging this wench.
Arianna turns and leads us quickly through the hallway and down the elevator. We finally stop in front of a conference room near the one she took me to on my first day. Though from the plaque outside it’s the High Council Hall.
She raps her knuckles twice on the door to announce herself before pushing the large doors open and ushering us inside.
The hall is huge and just as bright as the rest of the building. A large glass conference table sits in the middle, surrounded by over twenty white and silver chairs. Chairs also line one of the walls for extra seating. The room is blank outside of a giant floor to ceiling window showing the city glowing below.
A group of older men in long black robes surround the table. I notice Sam, Mason, and Liam are all among the group of elders. I assume it’s because of their status, however even having familiar faces doesn’t ease the anxiety swiftly building in me at every set of eyes settling on us.
“Welcome, my dears.” A middle aged man with brown hair and kind eyes stands up. “We were told you are quite the unique case and I’ll admit, you both have our attention.”
“When Luz came to us, we noticed her runes were much different than any we have ever seen. I have a drawing of it, here,” Liam informs everyone and they pass it around. My jaw drops at the news and I’m more than a little annoyed that this is the moment I’m hearing about it. Not to mention I’m a bit uncomfortable with the fact they turned me over, naked, to see the marks in the first place.
But I can’t be too mad if this finally results in some fucking answers.
“I was present when Thea was killed and brought here. Her soul is almost a mix between a regular soul and a reaper. She’s a completely new and different reaper altogether, if that’s what she is,” Mason adds quickly.
“Shehas a voice and can use it,” Thea says in a loud, but polite tone. “I won’t be spoken about like some commodity. And Mason is right. I already knew of Luz before I met her. I’ve been meeting spirits in my dreams for years. Some guide me and some tell me things. I was told I would be meeting her soon, that we would be a team. Once I met her I knew the spirit was right. Luz and I are connected, I can feel it,” she informs them and they all listen intently.
“Luz also has the ability to travel between the veils. She met Thea in the void and helped her find her way out,” Mason throws in and I glare at him for speaking for me. He gives me a sheepish smile, but doesn’t really look sorry. These aren’t the friends I spent time with, but the Master Reapers of this realm.