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She had bought the first pretty book she found on eBay as a gift for Edith, and it was the same cycle over again. The book became a vehicle for a controlling spell, and after that a second swapping spell was performed, with Edith’s soul going into the body of a handcuffed Caleb while Kimberley, now in Edith’s body, bought herself a catoblepas pill before performing one last ritual.

Her life, in exchange for opening a portal into Tartarus.

That was where Kimberley’s journal ended, and with Elijah refusing to cooperate even after his capture, we could only do our best in putting the remaining puzzle pieces together.

I can imagine a devoted Kimberley introducing herself to Elijah, and of course neither pair required a vehicle to make a swapping spell happen. After that, Kimberley jumped into her death, and Elijah, now in Edith’s body, used the same portal to rejoin the living.

More likely than not, Kimberley had kept a journal to help Elijah get up to speed with things (what to do with Edith, who’s Taylor Swift, how to use the Internet and the likes), and Elijah, now in Caleb’s body, simply left Edith to die.

I think it’s also safe to assume that Elijah didn’t immediately reclaim Caleb’s life for his own because he wanted all loose ends tied up first. In his book, Elijah had mentioned his ability to astrally project, a method in which the soul was able to roam free while its human body was in an unconscious state.

Hadrian and I believed that it was while Elijah had been astrally projecting that he saw Hadrian speaking to the agent handling Edith’s murder. And because Elijah had been a soul at that time, he had also seen the ghost – aka me – Hadrian was keeping company with.

We knew he had used a camouflage spell to disguise himself as Caleb’s ghost, but his purpose for doing so was anyone’s guess. Did he want to gain my trust in order to extract information about the ongoing investigation on Edith’s murder? Or did he have anything more sinister planned?

And if you’re curious about all the twitching and itching he did, well, that was one other thing Elijah hadn’t counted on. A little-known fact about camouflage spells was how they were primarily designed to work with living skin. On ghostly forms, however, they tended to itch like hell, and it was why Caleb had abruptly left when he approached me that time at the basement. And honestly, just remembering that incident still gave me nightmares. If the camouflage spell hadn’t made him itch, that day might have had a different and far more tragic ending…on my part.

I had asked Hadrian about Elijah last night, and he told me that the Lord of the Underworld had him thrown into the darkest and hottest depths of Phlegethon. It was only fitting that Kimberley and Elijah be together in their infernal incarceration, with absolutely no chance of being reborn.

And as for the ghosts that came to my rescue…

WEDNESDAY HAD FINALLY come, and I couldn’t be any happier. Today marked the end of my week-long house arrest, a punishment that Hadrian had meted out and which I accepted without complaint. I would never forget the look on his face when he had come bursting into his apartment and saw me outside his window. He had looked devastated, as if a part of him had already been prepared to see the worst.

Never again, though, I promised myself. Even now, merely remembering that look on his face made my heart lurch, and I had to take several deep breaths to regain control over my emotions.

“Everything alright?” Hadrian seemed to have sensed my anxiety, his silvery gaze narrowed at me.

“I’m good,” I reassured him quickly. “I was just thinking about Kimberley,” I improvised. “I still find it sad that she threw her life away just like that.”

“Don’t waste your sympathies on her. I was able to get a look on her past lives, and even in the times that she hadn’t been mentally sick, she still chose to be evil.”

The words had its intended effect, and I found myself wishing Kimberley had never been born so that Caleb and Edith could’ve enjoyed their lives a little longer.

Our car sped past a town signage, and I turned to Hadrian with a suspicious frown. “Why are we going to Silver Mist?”

“You don’t want to?”

“Today is my first day out,” I reminded him archly, “and you promised to take me somewhere nice.”

“I haven’t forgotten,” he promised.

If that were true, then why were we now driving inside the parking lot of a small-town bookstore? Books were more his thing, not mine, and my thoughts must have shown on my face with the way Hadrian’s lips curved when he came around to open my door.

“It’s not what you think.”

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