House of Night 09 - Destined

House of Night 09 - Destined by P.C. Cast Read Free Book Online

Book: House of Night 09 - Destined by P.C. Cast Read Free Book Online
Authors: P.C. Cast
what you did.”
    Stevie Rae nodded and swallowed hard, then she said, “A few weeks ago I found Rephaim almost dead. He’d been shot from the sky. I didn’t turn him in.” She looked from the computer screen and Duantia up to Dragon and said pleadingly, “I didn’t mean to hurt anyone or do anythin’ wrong.”
    “That abomination killed my mate,” Dragon said. “The same night he was shot from the sky and should have died.”
    “Professor Lankford, please allow the Red High Priestess to continue her confession,” Duantia said.
    I saw Dragon’s jaw clench and his lip lift slightly in a sneer, but Stevie Rae’s words drew my attention back to her.
    “Dragon’s right. Rephaim would have died that night if I hadn’t saved him. I didn’t tell anyone about him. Well, except my momma, and that was later. Anyway, I took care of him instead. I saved his life. And then he saved my life in return—twice. Once from the white bull of Darkness.”
    “He faced Darkness for you?” Duantia sounded shocked.
    “Yes.”
    “Actually, he turned away from Darkness for her.” I took up the story. “And last night he asked forgiveness from Nyx and pledged himself to her path.”
    “Then the Goddess made him a boy!” Stevie Rae said with such enthusiasm that even Duantia’s lips twitched up in a smile.
    “Only from sunset to sunrise,” Neferet added, in a throw-cold-water-on-the-moment voice. “During the day he is condemned to be a raven—a beast—with no memory of his humanity.”
    “That was his consequence for the bad stuff in his past,” Stevie Rae explained.
    “And now, during the time he’s a boy, Rephaim wants to come to school like any other fledgling,” I said.
    “Remarkable,” Duantia said.
    “The creature does not belong at this school,” Dragon said.
    “The creature isn’t at this school,” I said. “The boy is. The same boy Nyx forgave. The same boy Stevie Rae has chosen as her Consort. The same boy who tried to swear himself into your service.”
    “Dragon, you rejected him?” Duantia asked.
    “I did,” Dragon said tightly.
    “And that is why I expelled them all,” Neferet said in a calm, reasonable, adult voice. “My Sword Master cannot tolerate his presence, and rightly so. When Zoey’s group decided to turn their allegiance from us to Stevie Rae and the Raven Mocker I saw no choice except that they all had to go.”
    “He isn’t a Raven Mocker anymore.” Stevie Rae sounded totally pissed-off.
    “And yet he is still the being who murdered my mate.” Dragon’s voice was a lash.
    “Hold!” Duantia’s command shot from the computer. Even from thousands of miles away and through Skype, the power in her voice was a tangible presence in the room. “Neferet, let me be certain that I am absolutely clear about last night’s events. Our Goddess, Nyx, appeared at your House of Night and forgave the Raven Mocker, Rephaim, and then gifted him with the form of a human boy during the night, and as penance cursed him with a bestial form of a raven during the day?”
    “Yes,” Neferet said.
    Duantia shook her head slowly. “Neferet, there is a part of me—the remnants of a very young me, mind you—that understands your response to such unusual events, though you were mistaken. Simply put, you cannot expel a group of fledglings who have done nothing more than stand by their friends. Especially not this group of fledglings,” Duantia said. “ This group has been far too goddess-touched to be cast away.”
    “That kinda brings up the second thing I need to talk to you about,” I said. “Because of the differences between red fledglings and regular fledglings, it’s really better that they were expelled.” I frowned. “Wait, that didn’t come out right.”
    “What she means is we can’t rest right unless we’re underground,” Stevie Rae explained for me. “And there isn’t much underground here.”
    “So during daylight they’d like to stay in the tunnels under the

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