For the next couple of weeks I’ll be posting the first three chapters of Legacy of Ghosts in tiny, blog sized nuggets, hopefully a bit a day.
If you’ve missed previous chapters, you can read them here.
This contains spoilers. If you haven’t read Shades of Gray, proceed at your own risk
Jorick came back in time to bundle Katelina up and head down to bed. She was too tired to demand answers, as she’d planned, so she made a mental note to press him later. He could only avoid her questions for so long. Though, she sometimes wondered if he was evasive naturally, or had come to be that way after so many years. But how many years was it, exactly?
That was something she didn’t like to think about, so she didn’t. She curled up next to him in the ridiculous carved bed, and went to sleep. When she woke up the next evening he was already gone, so she got dressed and padded upstairs on her own.
The house was eerily quiet and dark except for a snapping fire in the front room grate. Katelina wrapped her arms around herself and shivered in the thick atmosphere. Some houses felt happy, or peaceful, but this one felt sad; very, very sad. It was like the wood and plaster oozed some old heartbreak.
She shook off her depressing fantasies and made herself breakfast. She’d just finished eating when Jorick and Loren walked through the front door.
“- I will, I will,” Loren was saying in an exasperated voice. “You don’t need to nag!”
Jorick looked beautifully offended. “I’m not nagging you. I simply want to see you do what you said you would.”
“Yeah, yeah, whatever.” Loren dropped into one of the wing backed chairs. His dark eyes sought Katelina’s and he asked with a smirk, “Does he boss you around this much?”
Though Katelina couldn’t keep from laughing, Jorick didn’t seem to find it very amusing. “I don’t ‘boss’ anyone around. I merely make suggestions that you’d otherwise not think of on your own.”
Loren gave him an incredulous eye roll. “If you say so.” He turned back to Katelina. “So, what’s the deal with you two?”
A small, choking noise escaped Katelina’s throat. She looked to Jorick for help, but his face was a mask she couldn’t read. What was she supposed to say? That they were… What were they? Even she didn’t know what “the deal” was.
“So what’s the deal with you and Jorick?” the teen repeated. “Are you like going out or what?”
“Going out?” she echoed weakly. “I think I’m a little old for that.”
“Ah, you can’t be that old.” He leaned forward, his eyes narrowed as he scrutinized her. “Well, on second thought.”
Katelina looked suitably insulted and Loren laughed. His mirth was short lived because Jorick smacked him in the back of the head.
“Enough. Don’t you have somewhere to be?”
Loren rubbed his scalp and scowled. “No, not really.” Jorick gave him a hard look and Loren relented. “Okay, yeah, I guess I do. Something super important must have come up somewhere.”
Katelina looked from one to the other, but neither seemed ready to explain. Loren just got up and glared at Jorick. He was barely through the door before Jorick shut it firmly and snapped the lock into place.