Spirit Prophecy (The Gateway Trilogy Book 2)

Spirit Prophecy (The Gateway Trilogy Book 2) by E.E. Holmes

Book: Spirit Prophecy (The Gateway Trilogy Book 2) by E.E. Holmes Read Free Book Online
Authors: E.E. Holmes
and I was struck by how much better she was accepting the magnitude of all of this than I was. Then again, she’d been submerged in this alternate reality for her entire life, whereas I had only forced myself to accept its existence a few months ago.
    I took a deep steadying breath, blew it out slowly, and then reached my hand out for the textbook that Mackie was handing back to me. It was bound in some kind of animal skin and looked as though it should be kept in a glass case in a university library archive and only handled while wearing gloves. As I turned it over in my hands I caught Mackie’s eye. She was smiling as though she knew exactly what I was thinking and was thoroughly entertained by it.
    “Am I amusing you?” I asked.
    “Glad to hear it,” I said, carefully placing a book onto Savannah’s desk. She looked at it like she had never seen such a thing before and proceeded to ignore it wholeheartedly.
    “Talk about culture shock, right?” Mackie said. “On a scale of one to ten, how ready are you to hop a plane back to the States?”
    “Look, it sounds crazy. But you’d be surprised how quickly it all starts to feel normal. First day speeches are always meant to sound impressive. They figure the more important they can make it all sound, the better students we’ll be.”
    “Obviously haven’t met me before then, have they?” Savannah said, fluttering her lashes innocently.
    “My point is, the biggest hurdle is already passed for you, hasn’t it?” Mackie said.
    Hannah looked up from her book in mild surprise. “How do you mean?” she asked.
    “You’ve already done a Crossing, haven’t you?” Mackie asked.
    She raised her voice a bit, and I saw several heads turn to listen.
    “Yeah,” I said, feeling the spotlight of unwanted attention glaring in my face. “How did you know that?”
    “Celeste told us. She said the spirit activity was so intense that you had to get special permission to perform it before you were properly initiated, just to protect yourselves.”
    Brenna was leaning on her hand, looking eagerly at us. More heads turned. Was staring openly at people only considered rude in America?
    “That’s right,” I said.
    “Well, there you go,” Mackie said, clapping her hands. “None of us has ever performed a Crossing before. You’re several steps ahead of everyone else in this room.”
    A few of the surrounding faces looked impressed in spite of themselves, which I’m sure was Mackie’s intention. But it didn’t last, of course.
    “Oh, Mackie, that’s really not fair,” Peyton chimed in from a few rows ahead, her expression politely incredulous.
    Mackie turned to face her. “What’s not fair?”
    “Several steps ahead of everyone else? Really? Are we meant to be awed by this vast wealth of experience?” Peyton laughed delicately and turned instead to me. “Look, I know Mackie’s trying to make you both feel better, sweet thing that she is, but I think it’s really much kinder to let you know exactly where you stand.”
    Awesome. Here we go. Junior high cattiness rears its ugly head.
    “And where’s that?” I asked, feigning polite interest.
    “As far outside of this inner circle as you can possibly be,” Peyton said, gesturing around her. Here and there, a smug face nodded in agreement. “We’ve all been groomed for this training since birth. We’ve grown up learning about our history and respecting our traditions. I wouldn’t want you to get a false sense of security about fitting in here just because you stumbled your way through one barely-sanctioned ceremony.”
    Mackie glanced over to find Siobhán, but she was occupied with handing out books to the Novitiates on the other side of the room. “Peyton, give it a rest, okay?”
    But I held up a hand to silence her. I’d had enough of the mean girls routine. “No, no, please go on,” I said. “You’ve obviously got quite a bit you’d like to say to us, and to be

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