Surviving these trials is not easy, especially for Amelia, who is being stalked by shadowy beings only she can see. They're searching for people they can physically touch, because only those they can touch can see them. Amelia soon learns why she is being stalked when she accidentally harms her best friend with fire during the third trial. Fire is a witch's signature. The shadows are after witches.
Now Amelia must decide what to do: should she continue on her path to profession knowing there is no redemption, or should she give up on her dream and turn away from Cathedral Reims in order to stop the shadows who plan to destroy everything she loves?
“You know the rules, Olly. You know how things are supposed to be between us. It’s worse for nuns, especially. You’ll just be given a slap on the hand, but I’ll be exiled.” I close my eyes, soaking in the reality of the implications we toss between each other. “Nothing but this can ever exist between us, Oliver.”
His eyes fall to the scuffed floor. “Not even in secret?”
“Not even in secret. So whatever we feel about each other, we just have to ignore.”
He frowns. “Like we’ve been doing this whole time, Amelia? I just can’t do that, seeing you every day, with your hair, your eyes, your smile.” He turns away, his cheeks flushing a light purple, a peculiar color for a blush, but his blush, nonetheless.
“Would you rather be my friend, or not have me at all, because if you can’t control yourself, then it will have to be the latter.”
Oliver says nothing and starts down the tight corridor of shuttered classrooms and study areas. Not a soul breathes behind them--only the knowledge of Cathedral Reims exists behind those doors when no one occupies those rooms. From day one, those rooms contain everything anyone in the Professed Order ever needs to know and nothing else. We don’t need to know anything else, certainly not about feelings or being human.
We make it halfway down the corridor, when Oliver stops me again. “Since nothing can ever happen between us, can I at least kiss you?”
I raise my eyebrow, an intense heat blossoming in my stomach that threatens to seep under every edge of me. “What will kissing do? If you like it, you’re going to want more.”
“I just want to know what it’s like to kiss you, that’s all. And once I know, I don’t think I’ll want any more.”
I sigh, mulling over his request. I’m about to decide, when I hear a familiar pair of boots pound in the direction of the stairwell that leads to the first floor. None other than Theosodore Branch appears, bearing a jagged smile that makes me want to run to my room.
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About the Author:
Amber Skye Forbes is a dancing writer who prefers pointe shoes over street shoes, leotards over skirts, and ballet buns over hairstyles. She loves striped tights and bows and will edit your face with a Sharpie if she doesn't like your attitude. She lives in Augusta, Georgia where she writes dark fiction that will one day put her in a psychiatric ward...again. But she doesn't care because her cat is a super hero who will break her out.