Epilogue: Healing

Compared to that, the rest of the year was almost deathly boring. Liam healed fast, faster than was supposed to have been physically possible. Which was good, since I had plenty to talk over with him about.

We had come up with some interesting theories as to what happened to Felicity's haywire plans to kill me. Liam thought that the werewolves that were repelled by the William's phial on me must have caught my scent traveling towards Liam to his house where his brother just happened to be. Nathan and Lisa were probably only attacked because their suspicions infuriated Felicity.

But William said that it'd be at least two years before she tries to get at me again—he had also said that I didn't have to wear the necklace anymore if I didn't want to. I did. I kept it on.

I want to believe that she'd given up, but I knew that was far from true. She wasn't the kind to let things go so easily.

And neither was Caleb.

He was healing slowly, gradually. It would be many months before he would be even close to the state William had achieved—the state where they could say or hear their mate's name without throwing up.

I also learned that since William was the general, he was actually the one who had sent Major Daniels to warn us.

Of course, just because we had been attacked and nearly killed didn't mean that we were exempt from the end-of-year exams. They were more neck breaking than the midterms.

Then there was the matter of my class schedule for next year.

It turned out that William had told Sharlon to act as though I was a regular Natural until he had informed me of what I really was. She had agreed, of course, you couldn't just refuse a general.

But now that I know, my schedule is going to triple, and it'll be somewhat close to Max's.

Before I realized it, it was the last day of school, and our parents were picking us all up for the summer.

Jeanette wrapped her white arms around me. "Promise you'll call a lot," she stressed, grinning.

"Alright, alright. I will," I smiled back.

I saw her breathtaking family standing a few yards behind her. She made a face at me, "You won't believe where I have to go this summer."


"To my Aunt Alisa and Uncle Charles's," her nose wrinkled.

I tipped my head. "And that's a bad thing because…?"

"Because I'll have to spend the entire summer with my cousin."

"Who's that?"

"Sasha," the vampire grumbled. "She's unbelievable. But I'll have to get used to her anyway, she's coming to Coven next year."

"Oh." I didn't know quite what else to say. "Um, okay."

Jeanette pulled her lips into a half-smile, "Well. See ya next year, Tria."

I watched her run towards her family across the summer green, the sunlight glinting off her golden hair as it streamed behind her.

William came to stand beside me. "The car's ready."

"Alright. I just want to say bye to Liam and Max first."

He lightly rumpled my hair, "Sure."

Liam had just finished talking to Jeanette. He smiled as we neared each other.

"Some first year, huh?" he said, briefly kissing me.

"That was kind of my fault, wasn't it?" I said sheepishly, wrapping my arms around his waist.

"Even if it was—which it wasn't—I wouldn't blame you. It certainly made things…interesting."

"That's one word for it."

He grinned. "So, my parents are going on a few weeks of vacation for their anniversary, which means Joe's going to be in charge, and I don't think I could stand it. Mind if I come over once in a while?"

"Whenever you want," I ran my fingers through his bangs.

"Thanks." Liam glanced over his shoulder. "It looks like Joe's not very patient today. Must have something to do with that I have a mate and he still doesn't."

"Maybe it's because he's not as sweet as his little brother."

He smiled, "Maybe." His hand stroked my cheek. "I'll see you soon."

"Okay." I hugged him before letting him stride to his awaiting car.

Someone tapped my shoulder. I turned around.

"I heard you're going to be taking almost as many classes as I am next year."

"Yeah. I am."

Max grinned. "Can you handle it?"

"I think I can manage," I said, grinning back.

He tilted his head, looking down at me. "Oh, can you?"

"Yes. But I might need some help with a few things."

"Will you?"


"Like what?"

"I don't know. Maybe this for one," I stood on my toes, leaning in towards him so that my lips were a centimeter from his, my breath entering his mouth. Then, I swiftly pulled away.

"You passed your False Seduction test, no doubt," Max laughed, but sounding a little breathless to my smug delight.

"Of course. Hey, do you think you'd want to come over a few times over vacation? I don't think Will and I are going anywhere." I didn't know why I sounded so hopeful.

"Sounds good," he shrugged, smiling. "I'll take you up on that offer when I can afford to. I don't want to bring you any more Hunters than you'll probably already be attracting. We'd make a dangerous pair, you and I. A set of trouble magnets."

"Oh, c'mon. We're not that bad. And besides, I bet William would like to try play with you sometime. Liam said he'd come over, too. You three would sound awesome together."

Max snorted. "The Canon again?"

"Not necessarily. More like the Bach Double."

"The Concerto? The one in D minor?" His beautiful tawny eyes were eager.

"Yeah. Have you tried it out?"

"A few times. It isn't hard. It is one my favorites, though."

"Oh. Mine, too."

Max smiled down at me; the expression was heartbreakingly beautiful. "Interesting. I guess I'll see you soon, then, Kiley."

"Wait," I called as he ran the opposite direction, "how are you getting home?"

"I drive, of course," he laughed over his shoulder.

"Of course," I muttered.

William was waiting with the passenger door open for me. "You have finished?"

"Yeah. I guess I have."

He slammed his own door shut after he stepped in. "I won't let Felicity do anything like what she came near to doing, Kiley. I'm just curious. Why did you turn her down? From what you've told me, what she said makes sense in a twisted sort of way. You should hate me, and you should hate most creatura."

"What she said made no sense at all. If I hate most creatura, then that'd mean I hate Liam, and Max, and Felicity, and Caleb. And you," I said imploringly. "Which I don't. Felicity is stupid, and it's a good thing she's going to probably wait a few years before attacking me. When she comes for me again, I'll be ready."

He turned his head to smile at me. Without saying anything else, William pulled the Viper into reverse, and in a few minutes, the trees—filled with their summer leaves—had covered Coven Four.