Ghost of a Chance
for you to tell me I can’t celebrate my heritage by
    “Oh, for god’s sake…” I grabbed her arm and
stopped her before she could reenter the living room. “My father is
not responsible for you; I am. At least… well, we’ll worry about
that later. I’m in charge, and I say no flickering. Got it?”
    She tipped her head to the side. “When are
we going to leave?”
    I blinked at the change of subject. “I don’t
know. It depends on Adam, I guess. Do you want to leave?”
    She watched me silently for a moment.
    “We’ll go as soon as it’s possible, OK? And…
er… about the future… I know you’re supposed to stay with me a
month while we see how we suit each other, but I’m afraid that’s
not going to happen.”
    Her eyes narrowed, filled with suspicion and
pain. “You don’t want me, do you? No one ever does. It’s OK. I’m
used to it,” she said with an attempt at an indifferent shrug.
    I felt about as low as a snail’s belly. The
poor kid desperately needed to find a permanent home, but the
sooner she realized that couldn’t be with me, the happier we’d all
be. “It has nothing to do with not wanting you to live with me.
It’s just that things are a bit complicated right now, and what
with Spider… well, you’re not going to be able to stay. I’m very
sorry. I’ll talk to Mrs. Beckett as soon as the seal is
    “Whatever,” she said with another shrug.
    Guilt, anguish, dread, and many other
emotions that had been stirred up in the last few hours made my
stomach roil, but there was nothing I could do.
    “Thank god you’re here,” a low male voice
rumbled from behind, distracting me from my personal hell.
    Pixie turned her attention to the man
marching toward us, his jaw set, his light eyes flashing pale blue.
“He looks pissed again.”
    “He certainly does. It seems to be a normal
state for him.”
    Pixie snickered as Adam stopped in front of
us. “Your father I can deal with; I know how to keep him occupied.
But that woman—” He waved a hand toward the closed double doors in
front of us. “You’re not going to believe what she wants to
    “That bad, is it?” I asked, raising my
    “Yes. I had to order the ghosts and Amanita
to stay hidden so she wouldn’t see them. Not that they’re of a mind
to come out while an exterminator is present.” He paused, eyeing me
carefully. “You didn’t rest for long. Did it help your
    “Incredibly so. Oh, before I forget: I owe
you for a towel. I’m afraid I was sick in the bedroom, and I threw
away the towel I used to clean up.”
    “Yuck!” Pixie said.
    “I have bigger things to worry about than a
towel,” Adam said grimly.
    “Oh, there you are!” Savannah slid open the
double doors and hurried over to us. “Head better? You look much
more animated, and not nearly so pale. You’re just in time, too. We
need to get started in the next three minutes. Obsidian Angel, you
must join us, as well.”
    Savannah’s hand clamped around my wrist as
she dragged me into the large living room that took up the entire
width of the house. The decor was the same as in the sitting
room—clunky, uncomfortable-looking Victorian furniture, lots of
china, muddy paintings on the wall, and dark, heavy velvet curtains
at the windows. It was slightly less dusty in here than in the
sitting room, but it clearly hadn’t seen a good spring cleaning in
a few years.
    “I’m just in time for what?”
    “You sit here, Karma, next to me. Obsidian,
on Karma’s left. Matthew… Now where did he go? Matthew?”
    My father, his eyes avoiding mine, flitted
in through the far door, wearing an air of suppressed excitement. I
wondered what he’d been up to. “Right here. I wanted to have a look
around the place.” A faint pattering followed my father as he
hurried over to us.
    Adam bent to pick up a small smooth stone,
looking at it curiously before narrowing his eyes at Dad. I did the
same. My father

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