Page 43 of Pretty Little Thief

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Not unless Cal and Grey return soon with my father’s men.

I grab my satchel, toss it over my shoulder, and head out the door. We will ride today, and even though Callum isn’t here, Dom and I have been practicing shooting. I’m getting better, but I’m still not good enough.

My eyebrows shoot up when I see Tristan waiting in the hall beside Dominic. “Shouldn’t you be sleeping?” I ask.

His hand lands on the small of my back causing my stomach to do a backflip. “We split the night shift, so we could both rest. Don’t worry, I won’t be dead on my feet.”

I stiffen. His words hit me like a ton of bricks.Dead Tristan.

“Shit, sorry. It’s just a saying, little bird.”

Dom rolls his eyes, swiping a hand over his face. I try to quickly recover, to shake this uneasy feeling. I know it’s just a saying, so why did I react like that?

“It’s fine. I’m just... my head is not right. I’m sorry.” My feet move through the halls before he can respond.

It’s just a stupid saying. Get it together, Robyn.

We head to the stables, then make our way toward the Blackwood Forest. The day is dreary, clouds covering the sky so that not even a peak of sunlight escapes them. The night fog is still lingering in the air, making it hard to see.

The birds are singing, and the crows squawking.

The crows.

My body breaks out in a cold sweat, nervousness making a home under my skin.

My eyes hit the tree line as we ride deeper into the forest. Goosebumps creep over my flesh watching crows sweep down from the sky to perch themselves on the limbs.

Why is a bird making me so uneasy? Why can’t I get a fucking grip?

There aren’t as many as there are in my dreams, but enough to make my stomach churn with unease. Enough to keep me distracted.

“Watch out!” Dom shouts, but it’s too late.

By the time I look down at the path before me, the branch blocking my way strikes me in the chest, throwing me off of Koa and onto my ass in the dirt. My lungs deflate with the sudden force of my fall.

“Fuck!” Tristan shouts, pulling his stead to a stop beside me.

My head spins. Did I hit it when I fell?

The ringing in my ears does nothing to drown out the cawing crows. They grow louder with each beat of my heart and every breath I take.

My eyes feel heavy, but I can see Tristan and now Dom hovering over me as I try to sit up. Their lips are moving, but I can’t hear the words they’re saying, not over the sound of the crows.

I can’t hear anything over the sound of the crows.

They pull me to my feet, but as soon as I’m upright—


The last sound I hear before my feet slip out from under me, and everything goes dark.




The ringing fades away, but everything around me is dark.