“So there really are people trying to kill us,” Lilly said.
“You didn’t believe me?” I sat down on the couch next to her.
“It’s not that I didn’t believe you. It’s just… it sounds so crazy. Why would anyone want to kill us? Just for being reborn spirits?”
“Because we’re powerful.” I sighed. “They fear us. And envy us. We’ve been blessed–or cursed, I sometimes think–with powers they desire, and they wonder how we got them. And whether we really deserve them.”
Lilly glanced at the coffee table, where we’d put the arrow that hit Luke.
“I’ve been meaning to ask…” she said, “Just how powerful are we, anyway?”
“Um… it varies. Some are stronger than others.”
“But if we’re reborn spirits, we shouldn’t be any more powerful than when we were incorporeal, right?”
“Yeah. We probably have a little less, actually.”
She picked up the arrow. “This would have been overkill for any normal spirit. If Luke filled it up this much… he must have been something special.”
“You’re right. We weren’t normal spirits. We were… we’re special.”
“Special how?” She looked at me, her face demanding answers.
“…” I turned away. “It doesn’t matter. I–I’ll tell you later.”
“You don’t trust me?”
I turned back. “No, I do. It’s just…” I paused. “You’ve got enough to deal with right now. I don’t want to add to your worries.”
“So… it’s something bad, huh? Did we–did we make a deal with the Devil or something?”
“No. No. It’s–it’s not bad, it’s just…” I sighed. “I’m just afraid you’re not ready to deal with it at this point. I’m trying to protect you.”
“There are people trying to kill me. I have a right to know the truth.”
“I’m–I’m sorry. I–I don’t want to keep secrets from you, but…” I took a deep breath. Need to stay calm. Can’t afford a meltdown. “You’re really better off not knowing now. But I promise, once we’ve sorted out the prophet issue, and the mind control, I’ll tell you. I’ll–I’ll tell you everything. I promise. No more secrets.”
“I’ll hold you to that.” She smiled.
“Thank you.” I let out a sigh of relief.
“No problem.” She stroked my wing gently. “You’re probably right. Best to deal with things one at a time.”
“Exactly.” I smiled.
We sat in silence for a few minutes.
“Hey.” Lilly broke the silence. “You still haven’t shown me those dragon artifacts.”
“Oh, right.” We’d been interrupted when a certain incubus crashed into the roof. “Wanna do that now?”
“Yeah. You’ve got me curious, actually. You told Luke you have an actual dragon here?”
“You could say that…” I grinned. “Considering he’s still alive.”
“Really? A live dragon?” She rolled her eyes. “Show me the proof.”
“You wanna meet him?” I grinned even more. Perhaps it is time to tell her.
“Well… actually…” She sighed. “If you’ve really got a dragon, it might be best for me not to see it.”
“Because… I’d have to…” Another sigh. “My dad insisted I train for the family business.”
“Family business?” I frowned.
OhFuckOhFuckOhFuckOhFuckOhFuck. I stared at her, wide-eyed with horror.
I’m the dragon.
Lilly is trained to kill me.