“Liam, go after him?” Onyx asked.
Liam nodded immediately and ran after Caelan. Beth watched the two of them walking away. When she turned back to Zeke, he was looking down at his palms, the tip of his dagger resting against his skin. He sighed angrily, kneeling down beside the body.
“What are you doing, Zeke?” Beth asked as she watched him making small cuts on the man’s wrists, upper arms, neck and cheeks.
“I’m saving his life,” he said coldly.
She moved forward to go and step over the candles so she could kneel beside him.
“Don’t come into the circle,” he warned her.
“Or you’ll bring a whole company of seasoned warriors on us.”
“Why didn’t that happened when you did, then?” she asked.
“Because the spell recognises itself in me. It knows that I’ve been through the process. It’s a good job that we didn’t fuse me with a spirit, isn’t it Onyx?” he said, giving a short humourless laugh.
“Zeke—” Onyx started.
“Yes, Onyx, I’m initiating him into the Covenant, before you ask.”
“Then I have to stop you.”
“He’s going to die in the trials anyway. But he has to go through this. It’s important that somebody does it, even if it isn’t Tatiana.”
“How do you know?” Onyx asked. Zeke didn’t reply. “Your visions?” Zeke froze exactly where he was. He looked like someone had pressed pause on his brain. “Zeke?”
“Just trust me.”
Nobody said anything as Zeke worked. After he’d made lots of little cuts on the man lying on the floor, he shrugged his coat off, placing it beside him. He cut his own wrist and let his blood drip onto the man’s cuts, going into his veins. After about ten minutes of this, he stopped, licking his wrist, the wound sealing without a scar. He got some of his own blood off the man’s skin and drew a pattern on the pale forehead of the man while he said some things that Beth didn’t understand.
He picked the man’s upper body up and pulled his t-shirt off with one hand. He placed the t-shirt to the side before he began to trace a different pattern onto his chest with his fingernails. He did it with an expertise and surety that could only come with practice. A little blood slowly oozed from the pattern, the slowness of it indicating that this man had no beating heart and was definitely dead.
“Tatiana,” Zeke said quietly as he worked.
“I see your reflexes haven’t changed a bit, Zeke,” said a tinkling female voice.
Beth looked to the other side of the circle of candles, seeing a woman standing there. The woman’s auburn hair was all skilfully piled on top of her head, the occasional ringlet hanging down, kissing her face and neck. Her eyes looked orange in the candle flames, so Beth wasn’t sure what colour they really were. She was wearing a leather strapless top and leather trousers not dissimilar to those that the Brothers wore, her shoes plain and simple. With that, she wore a black cardigan that clung to her skinny arms.