Abigail pondered their situation as she watched Jacob sleeping on the couch. His gentleness mixed with naivete—qualities the males in their lives didn’t possess—was a seductive combination. No wonder Delilah had fallen for him. As a huntress, her sister knew the importance of remaining detached from her mark. Emotional involvement almost always guaranteed failure of the mission. But it was too late now. And they both would face the consequence. Pa demanded success. Consistently. No exceptions. For their kind to survive, meeting Pa’s goals was imperative.
Delilah sat across from her in the other chair, occasionally glancing toward Jacob as she picked at her fingernails. Abigail sensed waves of fear radiating from her twin and felt the tightness in her sister’s chest as if it were her own body being squeezed.
“We can ask Pa to spare Jacob,” Delilah suggested.
“Pa won’t do that. He can’t. The Ascendants will override him. Jacob’s a perfect candidate.”
Delilah’s frowned. “Then we should run away. There has to be a place beyond Pa’s reach. Has anyone ever escaped from him… or the Ascendants?”
Abigail shrugged. “I don’t know who would dare to try. An idealist, maybe.” She paused for a moment, lost in thought. “Miss Esther may be able to give us an answer.”
Her sister’s face brightened at the suggestion. “Oh, yes! Abby, please call her. And hurry. We’re running out of time.”
Using the old wall phone hanging in the kitchen, Abigail dialed the elderly woman’s number. On the second ring, she picked up.
“Hello, Abigail. I’m glad you reached out to me. I can help you and Delilah.”
“Miss Esther, you know why I’m calling?”
“Of course, dear. I picked up your aural signal. The connection between us doesn’t diminish over time, you know. And the answer is yes, we’ve done it before. But not often. Is the boy still sleeping?”
“Yes, ma’am. He is.”
“Good. I’ll be right there. And I’m bringing Jedidiah with me. We’ll need him.”
When Abigail rejoined her sister by the fireplace, Delilah gave her a questioning glance. Abigail dipped her head in affirmation.
“She’s coming now and bringing Jed. She says she can help.”
To be continued.
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Written by Allorianna Matsourani