I stepped inside the Eternal Library, spun around, and stared at the door.
Come on, Ethan. I could barely breathe as I waited for him to come through. Time felt like it stood still.
There were five more demons in that room that we hadn’t killed.
Had they gotten to him? Stopped him from leaving? Or worse?
Had he decided to stay back and kill them all himself? He’d been so angry. And after what he’d learned about Lavinia killing his dad, I nearly slapped myself for not considering the possibility that he might stay back for revenge.
You’ll be right behind me? I remembered the words I’d spoken to him only seconds earlier.
I hadn’t questioned his response.
Because I trusted Ethan with all of my soul. The Ethan in this reality… the Ethan in my dreams… he was the same. I’d felt it when I’d kissed him.
Finally, when I was seconds away from putting my key back in the lock and returning to that room, Ethan hurried out of the door.
I rushed into his arms and buried my face in his chest, inhaling his familiar, earthy scent. His arms tightened around me, warm after using his fire magic.
“What took you so long?” I asked after pulling away.
“It’s only been a few seconds.”
“Oh.” It felt like it had been so much longer.
I stood there, speechless, my eyes locked on his hazel ones. Then, my focus drifted down to his lips.
The lips I’d kissed.
His breathing shallowed, as if he was thinking about the kiss, too.
“That wasn’t the first time,” he said slowly.
“What do you mean?”
“We’ve kissed before. I don’t know how to explain it, but I remember it. Kind of. It’s hazy, like a dream…” He shook his head and looked off to the side, then snapped his focus back to me. “I probably sound crazy.”
“No,” I said quickly. “You don’t.”
“Did you feel it, too?”
I swallowed, since where could I possibly begin? How was I supposed to explain my experience to him, when I didn’t understand it myself?
“What do you remember?” I asked instead.
“The two of us, kissing in the cove,” he said, his cheeks flushed. “In the library at school. In the back room in the café. In your room.” His eyes roamed up and down my body, and heat rose to my cheeks, too.
Because what we’d done together in my room had been far more than kissing.
“It doesn’t make sense.” He scratched his head. “Unless…”
“Memory potion.” He dropped his arm back down to his side and stood straighter. “Witches can make memory potion and use it to take away memories and replace them with false ones. Like what they did to Raven.”
I nodded, since I knew all about what had happened to Raven—both from the textbook on the history of the supernatural world, and from the Queen of Swords herself.
She’d been taken by a witch and held captive in a prison for weeks. Afterward, she’d been given memory potion to make her forget the supernatural world. Her memories had been replaced, so she’d believed she’d jetted off to Europe and spent all of that time there, instead of being locked in a witch’s prison.
Which would mean…
“You think your time with Mira wasn’t real?” As I said it, I wished it were true.
I was a terrible sister.
“I don’t know.” He shrugged. “They feel real. More real than what I remember with you.”
His words sent a sharp pain through my chest.
“What else do you remember with me?” I held my breath again, wishing for the impossible.
Wishing for him to remember all of it.
“No more than I just told you,” he said. “And the memories are already fading. But maybe Hecate knows what’s going on.” He looked around the Library’s ivory hall, but I’d already checked—Hecate wasn’t there.
I’d been to the Eternal Library enough times by now to realize that Hecate usually wasn’t there. It was like she was teasing us. Because the library contained endless knowledge, but only when she saw it fit to provide it to us.
“I’m sorry.” Guilt filled me deep to the core as I thought about how I’d rushed up to him and kissed him. “I shouldn’t have done it. I just didn’t know what else to do…” I flashed back to Ethan standing there, staring at Jamie’s corpse—at where he’d driven the dagger into her heart. He’d been lost in his mind, oblivious to the demons prowling the boundary dome around us. “I needed to bring you back.”
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