there. “Grifyth, you know what you need to do. Let them be together. Let this be over with.”

“My name is Vincent!” he said. Rage turned his face purple, and Cyn/Kristen grabbed for my hand. “And you should know that!”

He pulled the knife away from Cyn for a split second to point it at Monty, and I pulled Cyn’s hand as hard as I could to jerk her away from him. She must have been thinking the same thing, because she propelled herself at me.

Vincent reached out to grab her, but he only got a handful of her hair and it slithered out of his grasp. Uri and Caspian launched themselves at him, and all three of them went down in a tangled heap.

I could hear punches flying and grunts of pain as fists hit flesh, but I couldn’t see what was happening.

When the dust finally settled, Uri was sitting on Vincent’s chest, pinning his arms down on either side, with Caspian holding his feet. Monty stood by, looking unsure of himself.

He glanced at me, and I could see guilt written all over his face. Guilt that he hadn’t done anything to stop his partner.

“Make it right,” I told him. “You can still make this right.”

He shook his head.

The other Revenants and Nikolas and Katy were still waiting by the riverbank. Grabbing Cyn’s hand, I raised my voice. “Vincent interfered. He was supposed to do one job, and he did another. He took a life that wasn’t his to take. You need to set the balance right.”

“Abbey, we can’t just-,” Cacey started to say.

But I held up one hand. “Yes. You can. I don’t care how you have to do it, but you need to set things right. Bring Kristen back. Take me. Restore the balance.”

“Abbey,” Caspian pleaded. “Don’t. Don’t do this for me.”

I turned to face him. “I would give up my heart and breath and soul for you. Gladly. But this is bigger than you. And bigger than me. It’s my destiny to be your other half, but it’s also my destiny to be the best friend that I can. To Kristen. She was robbed of her future, her dreams. Vincent took that away from her when he had no right to.”

“I won’t stand in the way of your decision,” he said. “I’ll support you. Always.”

My heart almost broke again at the unwavering look of love in his eyes.

Kame spoke up. “You realize what will have to happen if we do this, right, Abbey? What you’re asking? We’ll have to change time. To change the order of things.”

Briefly I thought about Mom and Dad. Uncle Bob and Aunt Marjorie. It wasn’t fair that I wouldn’t have the chance to say good-bye to them.

But that was life.

“I’m asking you to repair the order,” I said. “I’m ready.”

He hesitated. “We can’t be sure about what will happen, after. This is a real mess. It’s something entirely different from anything we’ve done before.”

I looked to Monty. “Are you willing to try to help me cross over?”

He glanced at Vincent.

“Don’t you fucking do it, Monty!” Vincent yelled, bucking against Uri and trying to throw him off. “It won’t work. And if you-”

Uri clamped his hand down over Vincent’s mouth. “Enough from you.”

“He’s burned on his upper shoulder,” I called out, gesturing on myself where I’d hurt Vincent. “Just there.”

Uri poked Vincent’s chest and he made an angry, choked sound.

“He may not be willing, but he’s still here,” said Monty. “I can try to use that bond.” Then he nodded. “Yes. I am willing.”

I let out a deep breath. Kame smiled at me. “Now or never, baby girl.”

I smiled back, and then I locked eyes with Caspian. “Now. Definitely now.”

“We’re going to need Uri,” Cacey said. “And Caspian.”

Nikolas stepped forward. “I can take their place.”

Cacey gave him a sideways glance. “Are you sure about that?”

Drawing himself up to his full height, Nikolas scowled at her. “You doubt a Hessian?”

“Okay, okay.” She shook her head, and Nikolas went over to where Vincent was lying. He quickly exchanged places with Caspian and Uri, and had no trouble whatsoever subduing Vincent on his own.

Caspian came to join me, and I turned to Cyn. She still looked like Kristen.

“Bye, Kris,” I whispered, holding up my hand. “I love you. Don’t forget that. Take care of my mom and dad.”

She placed her hand against mine, our palms touching, and nodded.

“Bye, Abbey,” she said with a sad smile. “I love you, too.”

Then she stepped back.

The Revenants moved forward, forming a tight circle around me and Caspian. Their arms were touching. Uri straightened, and said, “Acacia, I call upon you.”

Cacey answered. “Uriel, I call upon you.”

“Sophiel, I call upon you,” Kame said.

“Kame, I call upon you,” she replied.

“And I call upon myself,” Monty said, “And Grifyth.”

Monty picked up my hand, and then picked up Caspian’s. Bringing them together, one on top of the other, he placed his hand on mine, directly above the ring Caspian had given me, and then pushed down.

With Monty’s hand touching mine, I could touch Caspian. I looked down. “I …”

When I glanced up again, Caspian was smiling.

“I promise you forever,” I vowed to him, staring into his green eyes. “Whatever that is. Whatever I can give you. You have all of it. All of me.”

“I promise you forever,” he replied. “Whatever that is. Whatever I can give you. You have all of it. All of me.”

“Now,” Monty said.

I closed my eyes.

The feeling of water swept over me.

The scene flashed and changed, and the cottage was in front of me. Nikolas and Katy’s cottage. But instead of seeing their belongings, I recognized Caspian’s art pad. His charcoal. Empty bottles stood along the windowsill, waiting to be filled with new perfumes.

A bowl of fresh peppermint leaves sat on the table beside my flower press and oil distiller, waiting … for me and Caspian. The new caretakers of the cemetery.

Nikolas and Katy came walking toward me, leading Nikolas’s horse behind.

“Did it work?” I said. “Am I crossing over?”

They just smiled.

“Take good care of Stagmont,” Nikolas said, handing me the reins to the horse. “He’ll stay with you now. At the cemetery.”

I nodded. “And you?”

“On to something new.”

As he spoke his face started changing, the wrinkles lessening. His hair turned darker, and so did Katy’s. The faded strawberry blond color she used to have became a rich, vibrant shade of red. Color bloomed in her cheeks. She laughed as she held her hands out in front of her. Then she turned to Nikolas.

But Nikolas wasn’t the old man I’d once met raking leaves. Now he was young. No more than twenty. Katy was young too. Maybe seventeen.

They stepped back, turning away from me. Katy lifted her hand to wave, and I did the same. But already the scene was changing again. They were dissolving around the edges. Moving on. Becoming the new Revenants.

Everything started to fade. …

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