The raven boys, p.27

The Raven Boys, page 27

 part  #1 of  The Raven Cycle Series

 

The Raven Boys
 



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Page 27

 

  Helen was stony. "I don’t want to hear it. You didn’t get her anything. "

  "I didn’t say anything about it!"

  "You called it glassware. "

  He asked, "What should I have said?"

  "They’re not all glass. This one I’ve found her is not glass. "

  "Then she won’t like it. "

  Helen’s face shifted from stony to very stony. She glowered at her GPS. Gansey didn’t like to think of how much time she’d invested in her non-glass plate. He didn’t like to see either of the women in his family disappointed; it ruined perfectly good meals.

  Helen was still silent, so Gansey began to think about Blue. Something about her was discomfiting him, though he couldn’t put his finger on it. Taking a mint leaf from his pocket, Gansey put it into his mouth and watched the familiar Henrietta roads snake below them. From the air, the curves looked less perilous than they felt in the Camaro. What was it about Blue? Adam was not suspicious of her, and he was suspicious of everyone. But then again, he was clearly infatuated. That, too, was unfamiliar ground for Gansey.

  "Adam," he said. There was no answer, and Gansey looked over his shoulder. Adam’s headphones were looped around his neck, and he was leaned over beside Blue, pointing something out on the ground below. As she’d shifted, Blue’s dress had gotten hitched up and Gansey could see a long, slender triangle of her thigh. Adam’s hand was braced a few inches away on the seat, knuckles pale with his hatred of flying. There was nothing particularly intimate about the way they sat, but something about the scene made Gansey feel strange, like he’d heard an unpleasant statement and later forgotten everything about the words but the way they had made him feel.

  "Adam!" Gansey shouted.

  His friend’s head jerked up, face startled. He hurried to pull his headset back on. His voice came through the headphones. "Are you done talking about your mom’s plates?"

  "Very. Where should we go this time? I was thinking maybe back to the church where I recorded the voice. "

  Adam handed Gansey a wrinkled piece of paper.

  Gansey flattened the paper and found a crude map. "What’s this?"

  "Blue. "

  Gansey looked at her intently, trying to decide if she had anything to gain by misdirecting them. She didn’t flinch from his gaze. Turning back around, he spread the paper flat on the controls in front of him. "Make that happen, Helen. "

  Helen banked to follow the new direction. The church Blue directed them toward was probably forty minutes’ drive from Henrietta, but as the bird flew, it was only fifteen. Without a quiet noise from Blue, Gansey would’ve missed it. It was a ruin, hollowed and overgrown. A narrow line of an old, old stone wall was visible around it, as well as an impression on the ground where an additional wall must have originally been. "That’s it?"

  "That’s all there is left. "

  Something inside Gansey went very still and quiet.

  He said, "What did you say?"

  "It’s a ruin, but —"

  "No," he said. "Say precisely what you said before. Please. "

  Blue cast a glance toward Adam, who shrugged. "I don’t remember what I said. Was it … That’s all there is?"

  That’s all.

  Is that all?

  That was what had been nagging him all this time. He knew he recognized her voice. He knew that Henrietta accent, he knew that cadence.

  It was Blue’s voice on the recorder.

  Gansey.

  Is that all?

  That’s all there is.

  "I’m not made out of fuel," Helen snapped, as if she’d already said it once, and Gansey had missed it. Maybe he had. "Tell me where to go from here. "

  What does this mean? Once more, he began to feel the press of responsibility, awe, something bigger than him. At once he was anticipatory and afraid.

  "What’s the lay of the line, Blue?" Adam asked.

  Blue, who had her thumb and forefinger pressed against the glass as if she was measuring something, answered, "There. Toward the mountains. Fly … Do you see those two oak trees? The church is one point, and another point is right between them. If we make a straight line between those two, that’s the path. "

  If it had been Blue he’d been talking to on St. Mark’s Eve, what did that mean?

  "Are you certain?" This was Helen, in her brisk supercomputer voice. "I only have an hour and a half of fuel. "

  Blue sounded a little indignant. "I wouldn’t have said it if I wasn’t sure. "

  Helen smiled faintly and pushed the helicopter in the direction Blue had indicated.

  "Blue. "

  It was Ronan’s voice, for the first time, and everyone, even Helen, twisted their heads toward him. His head was cocked in a way that Gansey recognized as dangerous. Something in his eyes was sharp as he stared at Blue. He asked, "Do you know Gansey?"

  Gansey remembered Ronan leaning against the Pig, playing the recording over and over again.

  Blue looked defensive under their stares. She said reluctantly, "Only his name. "

  With his fingers linked loosely together, elbows on his knees, Ronan leaned forward across Adam to be closer to Blue. He could be unbelievably threatening.

  "And how is it," he asked, "you came to know Gansey’s name?"

  To her credit, Blue didn’t back down. Her ears were pink, but she said, "First of all, get out of my face. "

  "What if I don’t?"

  "Ronan," said Gansey.

  Ronan sat back.

  "I would like to know, though," Gansey said. His heart felt like it weighed nothing at all.

  Looking down, Blue bunched a few of the layers of her improbable dress in her hands. Finally, she said, "I guess that’s fair. " She pointed at Ronan. She looked angry. "But that is not the way to get me to answer anything. Next time he gets in my face, I let you find this thing on your own. I’ll — look. I’ll tell you how I knew your name if you explain to me what that shape is that you have in your journal. "

  "Tell me why we’re negotiating with terrorists?" Ronan asked.

  "Since when am I a terrorist?" demanded Blue. "Seems to me I came bringing something you guys wanted and you’re being dicks. "

  "Not all of us," Adam said.

  "I am not being a dick," Gansey said. He was uncomfortable with the idea that she might not like him. "Now, what is this thing you want to know?"

  Blue reached her hand out. "Hold on, I’ll show you what I mean. "

  Gansey let her take the journal again. Leafing through the pages, she turned it to him so that she could see the one in question. The page detailed an artifact he’d found in Pennsylvania. He’d also doodled on it in several places.

  "I believe that is a man chasing a car," Gansey said.

  "Not that. This. " She pointed to one of the other doodles.

  "They’re ley lines. " He stretched out a hand for the journal. For a strange, hyperaware moment, he realized how closely she watched him as he took it. He didn’t think it missed her notice how his left hand curved familiarly around the leather binding, how the thumb and finger on his right hand knew just how much pressure to apply to coax the pages to spread where he wanted them to. The journal and Gansey were clearly long-acquainted, and he wanted her to know.

  This is me. The real me.

  He didn’t want to analyze the source of this impulse too hard. He focused on flipping through the journal instead. It took him no time at all to find the desired page — a map of the United States, marked all over with curving lines.

  He traced a finger over one line that stretched through New York City and Washington, D. C. Another intersecting line that stretched from Boston to St. Louis. A third that cut horizontally across the first two, stretching through Virginia and Kentucky and on west. There was, as always, something satisfying about tracing the lines, something that called to mind scavenger hunts and childhood drawings.

  "These are the three main lines," Gansey said. "The ones
that seem to matter. "

  "Seem to matter how?"

  "How much of this did you read?"

  "Um. Some. A lot. Most. "

  He continued, "The ones that seem to matter as far as finding Glendower. That line across Virginia is the one that connects us to the UK. The United Kingdom. "

  She rolled her eyes dramatically enough that he caught the gesture without turning his head. "I know what the UK is, thanks. The public school system isn’t that bad. "

  He’d managed to offend again, with no effort at all. He concurred, "Surely not. Those other two lines have a lot of reports of unusual sightings on them. Of … paranormal stuff. Poltergeists and Mothmen and black dogs. "

  But his hesitation was unnecessary; Blue didn’t scoff.

  "My mother drew that shape," she said. "The ley lines. So did Nee — one of the other women here. They didn’t know what it was, though, only that it would be significant. That’s why I wanted to know. "

  "Now you," Ronan said to Blue.

  "I — saw Gansey’s spirit," she said. "I’ve never seen one before. I don’t see things like that, but this time, I did. I asked you your name, and you told me. ‘Gansey. That’s all there is. ’ Honestly, it’s part of the reason why I wanted to come along today. "

  This answer satisfied Gansey fairly well — she was, after all, the daughter of a psychic, and it matched the account his recorder gave — though it struck him as a partial answer. Ronan demanded, "Saw him where?"

  "While I was sitting outside with one of my half aunts. "

  This seemed to satisfy Ronan as well, because he asked, "What’s the other half of her?"

  "God, Ronan," Adam said. "Enough. "

  There was a moment of tense silence, occupied only by the continuous droning whine of the helicopter. They were waiting, Gansey knew, for his verdict. Did he believe her answer, did he think they should follow her directions, did he trust her?

  Her voice was on the recorder. He felt like he didn’t have a choice. What he was thinking, but didn’t want to say with Helen listening in, was, You’re right, Ronan, it’s starting, something’s starting. He was also thinking, Tell me what you think of her, Adam. Tell me why you trust her. Don’t make me decide for once. I don’t know if I’m right. But what he said was, "I’m going to need everyone to be straight with each other from now on. No more games. This isn’t just for Blue, either. All of us. "

  Ronan said, "I’m always straight. "

  Adam replied, "Oh, man, that’s the biggest lie you’ve ever told. "

  Blue said, "Okay. "

  Gansey suspected that none of them was being completely honest with their replies, but at least he’d told them what he wanted. Sometimes all he could hope for was getting it on the record.

  The headsets fell silent as Adam, Blue, and Gansey all stared intently out the window. Below them was green and more green, everything toy-like and quaint from this height, a play-set of velvet fields and broccoli trees.

 
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