“Hey – what do you think you’re playing at?” I shouted angrily at Raven. We hadn’t seen him in months and he just turns up out of the blue and starts attacking one of the people who hold us together?
“You don’t understand.” He growled under his breath, straightening out his clothes. He watched Jay follow Asha upstairs, so I gave him a push to attract his attention.
“You aren’t getting away with this so easily, Raven. I had a lot of respect for you before, but you’d better watch out now.” I settled him with a grave stare, before turning to Aria. She was standing shocked by the sofa – neither of us had got much rest since the Sabrie incident. Her eyes, usually so bright, were kind of blank, bloodshot.
“Are you ok?” I asked timidly.
She seemed to wake up from a daze, and looked over to Cheshire who was purring in his sleep on the sofa next to her. “I’ll be fine – I’m just...” She shook her head. “What was all that about? With Asha?”
“I’m going to find out now.” I shoved my hands in my pockets and stole a quick glance at her again before she could notice. “How is Cheshire?” I asked out of courtesy.
She smiled as she watched him sleep. “He’ll be back in no time, I’m sure of it.” I felt her eyes on my face so I looked up again; our eyes met, she coloured, and we both looked away. I cleared my throat but before I could say anything she grabbed my hand. My heart skipped a beat.
“Before I forget – this is yours.” She put the Soulsphere in my palm and then let go. The jewel was cold, and I felt my face fall – we’d been so close up until a few days ago...
“Right. Thanks.” I could sense her disappointment too as I turned to follow Jay upstairs. I had to see if Asha was ok. Suddenly the scars on my back from that damn cat burned and I spun around to see Cheshire opening and closing his eyes.
Aria shrieked and jumped on him, kissing his forehead and hugging him. He hugged her back, surprised but pleased with the attention. I gritted my teeth and scowled, then followed Asha and Jay’s scent to her bedroom. I knocked gently on the door, and then pushed it open. They were on the balcony, but turned to face me when they heard my footsteps in the room. There was a bag at Asha’s feet, and Jay held a crumpled piece of paper in his hand.
I looked between the two of them. “Is there something going on that the rest of us should know, Asha?” She paled.