“Ellie, will you talk to me after school?”
“No way,” I said, turning my back to him.
He stepped around me so that we were face to face. “If you don’t, then you won’t know how to call your swords and you won’t be able to defend yourself.”
I felt a shiver crawl up my spine as his eyes bore into mine, locking our gazes, his voice low and downright invasive. “Was that a threat?” I asked cautiously.
His expression gave nothing away. “They’ll come for you.”
That shiver turned into a brutal stab of fear straight into my gut. My pulse quickened and I pursed my lips together when I felt heat rushing into my face.
“Now that I’ve woken your powers, you’re fair game to the reapers. You’re at your most vulnerable and this is when they’ll strike.”
I took a deep breath. “If you don’t leave me alone, I’m going to scream for security and they’re going to call the cops.”
He watched me for a few moments. His jaw was clenched tightly and he sucked in his upper lip in frustration. “It takes a while for your memory to return sometimes, but it’s never been this bad before. I know you’re having the nightmares. You’ve always had them when you’re ready to face who you are. Of course, the last time I saw you—the real you—well, that was over forty years ago.”
My throat tightened.
He flashed me that astonishing smile, only this time it held something different, something secretive. “Happy birthday, by the way. I’m sorry I didn’t say that last night, but I have a gift for you.”
Will pulled something out of his pocket and held out his hand. On his palm lay a pendant shaped like a pair of white wings hanging on a gold chain. The necklace was gorgeous, ethereal, the wings so brightly white that they shimmered and appeared to glow in the light. When I blinked, the glow was gone.
“What is this?” I asked, marveling at the winged pendant.
“It’s always been yours,” he said, lifting my hand and placing the necklace on my palm. “Since before I knew you. It never tarnishes or fades. Always the same. Always permanent even when fate takes so much away.” He gently closed my fingers around the pendant, his warm hands lingering a moment too long. “I’ll talk to you soon.”
Will turned and left. I opened my hand to stare at the beautiful necklace. Brushing my fingers across the wings, I couldn’t decide what it was made out of. The pendant’s surface was smooth and pearlescent, as if it were made out of mother-of-pearl. Its beauty lulled me and I slipped into a strange, nostalgic trance, and the whispers of memories that couldn’t have belonged to me surfaced in my mind. Distant images of Will’s face, of reapers lurking in the dark, of me running through alleys and forests, of the necklace in my hands. Things I shouldn’t have remembered, but I did.