A Wicked Thing

A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas

Book: A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas Read Free Book Online
Authors: Rhiannon Thomas
upward, until finally, at the very top, Aurora’s own tower stood,so dim that it seemed to melt into the sky. The moon loomed large overhead.
    â€œPretty good, huh?”
    â€œIt’s beautiful.” She slid her legs down the roof until they were hanging over the edge, swinging in the chilly night air. She still clutched Tristan’s hand in her own. His heartbeat brushed against her skin.
    â€œWhen I first moved to Petrichor, I missed everything.” His fingers tightened around hers. “My home. My family. I’d never been to the city before, didn’t even know Trudy, and I was going crazy with how loud and busy and insane it all was. So I started climbing on the roofs. It’s a good place to think. Up here, the city doesn’t seem so bad, you know?”
    The wind caught Aurora’s hair. It tickled her cheeks and tangled in her eyelashes. “Why did you leave home?”
    He sighed and let go of her hand. Her fingers felt cold in his absence. “Why did you?”
    She let her hand fall to her side and gripped the edge of the roof. “I didn’t choose to.”
    He was quiet for a long moment. “Me either,” he said.
    They sat in silence for a while. Aurora’s feet dangled in the cold air, the wind nipping at her ankles. While she had slept, the world had shifted and lit up like the stars. Tristan was right. This place was brutal and cold, but there was something beautiful, something wild, in the brick and stone. She looked behind her, wanting to follow the glow all around the city, to see all ofthis place that had swallowed her whole. A few specks of light peeked out of the darkness. The city walls stood watch, and beyond them, only shadow.
    â€œWhat’s over that way?”
    He turned too, following her gaze. “It’s just the forest.”
    â€œThe forest?” Of course. Not everything was gone. She twisted until she was flat on her stomach, head propped on her elbows, her whole body pointing toward the darkness. “Have you ever been there?”
    Tristan twisted with her, and then they were lying side by side, staring at the trees they could not see. “Of course I have,” he said. “I wasn’t born here, was I?”
    â€œOh,” she said. “But since then? Since then, have you been?”
    â€œNot in years,” he said. “It’s not the most inviting of places.”
    There was a taste of the world she knew, just beyond the walls. “Let’s go,” she said. “Now.”
    He laughed. “Are you crazy? Even I don’t have that much of a death wish.”
    â€œWhy?” she asked, the word rushing out of her. “Why is it crazy?”
    â€œBecause we have no way to get out, and no way to get back. Not without being seen. Not without breaking our necks. And of course,” he added, when she didn’t reply, “there are the ghosts to think about.”
    â€œGhosts?”
    â€œGhosts,” he said. “And monsters. Werewolves. Trees thatcome alive and grab at you as you try to sneak past.”
    â€œLiar,” she said. “There aren’t any monsters.”
    â€œOh really?”
    â€œThere are only bears. And wolves. And the occasional lion. But no monsters. Don’t tell me you’re afraid of them?”
    â€œYou’re mad, Mouse. Completely, utterly mad. And yes, to answer your question. I don’t fancy becoming supper for some ravenous beast.”
    She pressed her chin down into the palms of her hands and closed her eyes. “I’m not mad,” she said. “It’s just . . . it’s somewhere I’d like to go. It reminds me of home.”
    â€œDo you miss it?”
    â€œAll the time. But . . .” She opened her eyes. Even in the darkness, she could see the outline of his face, the slight frown that curved his mouth. She shrugged. “There’s no going back now.”
    â€œMy parents are dead.” He spoke

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