I slowly get to my feet and walk back into my room. The scent of vanilla and roses is almost gone, too faint for any normal human to smell. I walk to my closet and open the white door. Something black flies out at me and lands on my face. I quickly pull it off and look at it. It’s Ryan’s old leather jacket, the one he gave me two days ago. I bury my face in it. It smells like Ryan, like leather and outdoors and guitar strings. I could live on this smell. Reluctantly, I set the jacket on the bed and walk into the giant closet. Slowly, I walk to the back, where I keep the box that I haven’t touched since I put it in here so long ago. I gently slide the box of the top shelf and set it on the floor. The same black clothes are still in here. My dad insists on me having black for whenever I stay for long periods of time with him in his palace. The dead are very jealous of color, and will do anything to get it. Absolutely anything. I sort through the box until I find one outfit that fits best in the human world, a black mini-dress with a lace and ribbon bodice. Matching black leggings follow the dress out of the box. I shed my comfortable sweats and tank top for the black mourning wear. After brushing my hair, I slip Ryan’s leather jacket on over me. I close my eyes, and for a split second, I can almost imagine I’m in his arms again. But the dream fades too quickly and I slam back into reality. Body numb, I grab my bag and walk back out to Wraith. He’s leaning against the granite countertop twirling a key ring around his finger.
He looks at me and smiles. “Ready?”
Wraith walks over to me and puts a cold hand on my shoulder. “Shadow Princess, blackmailing thou was the only way I could think of to get thee out of the house today. Thou needs thy friends for comfort in a time like this, not being alone in a house with an eidolon. That is the only reason thou is going today.”
I nod. “I’m just not sure if I can handle the sympathy from the Clique and everyone else today.”
Wraith nods sympathetically. “Thou will be fine. And when thou returns home, thou can let thy guard down and grieve.”
I shrug again. “Whatever. Let’s just go and get it over with.”
Wraith nods and leads me out to the garage.
He waves the key ring in my face. “What car do these keys belong to?”
“The corvette,” I say without looking up.
Wraith walks to the silver corvette and opens the passenger side door for me. I reluctantly get in and lean back against the headrest, eyes closed. Wraith closes the door and materializes in the driver’s seat. He starts the car and backs down the insanely long driveway that my mom insisted on having when she designed the house. Mom. The identical scents and looks of fear that I saw on hers and Ryan’s face when they were taken again…who, or what, did this to them? I’ve been all through the supernatural side, and I’ve never smelt anything like it, no matter what I’ve come in contact with. And nothing that I’ve ever seen produces that feeling of pure terror. Not even my father, and he’s the Shadow Lord. Wraith mentioned a She. Who is this “She,” and what does she have against me and my father?
“Stop the car!”
Wraith slams on the brakes and faces me. “Is everything okay, Shadow Princess?”
“You said something about my past being very dark.”
Wraith nods. “That I did indeed, Shadow Princess.”
My lower lip starts trembling. “So please, explain.”
Wraith shakes his head. “That is one thing I cannot do, Shadow Princess.”
“Because it is thy father’s wish that thou dost not know about the darkness of thy family’s past.”
I hit the dashboard. “Then why did you bring it up?”
Wraith shakes his head. “I know not why I did it, but I regret allowing the words to pass my lips.”
“Wraith, you’re not moving this car until you tell me what you meant.”
Wraith smiles again. “Shadow Princess, I am an Eidolon. Do you really think I need a car for transportation?”
“You may not, but I do.”
Wraith’s smile turns into the cunning trickster grin his kind is known for. “That only shows how much thee does not know about thyself.”
“Wraith? What are you planning to do?”
Wraith takes my hand and we suddenly appear outside the car.
Gasping for breath, I turn to Wraith. “How did you do that?”
“Mommy! That girl and that boy just appeared on the street!”
I turn around and see a young boy standing in a green grassy yard holding a ball, standing in shock. I glare at Wraith. “What is your problem? You don’t do supernatural stuff like that when a human can see you!”
Wraith shrugs. “I thought he needed the fright.”
I fight the urge to slap him, knowing my hand would most likely pass through him, and that little boy doesn’t need to see anything else weird. “You thought he needed a scare?”
Wraith nodded. “Humans live in security too much. Thou need a good fright every now and again.”
Forgetting that he’s part ghost, I slap him. Instead of passing through his face, my hand makes contact with solid skin. It’s my turn to be shocked.
Wraith’s dark eyes flash with warning. “Thee is very lucky thy father commanded me not to hurt thee.”
I jerk my hand away from Wraith’s and start walking.
“Son, I’m sure they just got out of that car right there,” says the boy’s mom.
I turn and walk back to the house. “I’m sorry for scaring your son, my…friend isn’t from here, and he’s still learning it’s not nice to scare people.”
The woman nods and escorts her child back inside, like a mother hen.
After the door closes, I roll my eyes and turn back to Wraith. "This isn't the Supernatural Side! This is where living, breathing humans live and breathe! You can't do everything you did in my dad's kingdom, things don't work that way here!"
Wraith glares at me. "Then thou best watch thyself and thy temper. Thou art more like thy father than thou knowest."
"What are you talking about?"
"Look at thy hands," he says as he gestures toward my hands.
I look down and see that my clenched fists are slowly turning translucent, like Wraith's skin. "What's happening to me?"
Wraith smiles. "Tis thy coming of age. Here is something thy father never told thee. Thou art eidolon."