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👻🦇Bonus Chapter – In Which Khalid Keeps the Spirits at Bay👻🦇

Here is a preview of a Patreon exclusive scene. This scene is 22 pages long and follows Khalid watching Timothee get transformed in the God of Shadows, some sweet-ish Marion moments, and Val in the gardens when he goes outside. By subscribing, you help us work toward our goal of being full-time authors.

Love and Starlight, Jasmine & Sophie


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Timeline

This chapter takes place during Chapter 19, at the All Hallow's Eve Ball.



Bonus Chapter – In Which Khalid Keeps the Spirits at Bay - Preview


Val is Carmilla’s wild card, not mine, he reminded himself, trying to calm his speeding heart. Who am I kidding? Val is everyone's wild card.

Khalid turned back to the dance floor. Timothée was now dancing with another student, looking as stiff as the drinks Val had chugged.

And when he looked back at the drink table, Val was gone.

The party wore on, but now everything was focused on the Greywick boy. Students hovered around the edge of the dancefloor, waiting for their opportunity.

Khalid sat at a table with Marion. Although he wanted to have a good time, his mind raced.

“It’s just a suit of armour,” Marion mused. “All those students are looking at Tim like he’s—”

Her words faded away as Khalid caught sight of Rayna on the dance floor, swaying in the arms of a tall Morning Star girl. Behind the girl’s back, she caught Khalid’s gaze and bugged out her eyes. Then her hand did six swift movements, quick as a blink.

Khalid’s stomach sank. He just couldn’t catch a break.

“Y-Yeah, that was weird,” Khalid said, trying to slide back into the conversation. He pulled on his right ear, then touched a finger to his lips. “I’m feeling a bit stuffy in here. Going to get some fresh air. Oh, looks like Vivian’s trying to get your attention—”

“Vivian’s dancing with Darius.” Marion put her hands on her hips. “I’ll come with you. Fresh air sounds—”

Khalid began walking to the glass double doors that led out to the gardens beyond the ballroom. Rayna sprinted up, her short blue hair bouncing. “Marion! There you are! We haven’t had a chance to chat all night. Let’s get a drink—”

“Excuse me.” Marion walked around her.

Khalid sighed, signalled Rayna to stop the attempt. He’d have to deal with this with Marion around.

All just an extra challenge to the game.

They stepped outside into the cool night’s air. The ballroom exited to the Tealight Garden, a cobblestone path that led through a maze of topiary hedges. They were manicured into the shape of rabbits and elephants, flying horses and phoenixes, praying saints and sword-wielding knights.

Usually, the hedges were imbued with twinkling lights. But now, the hedges were dark; they could only see their way into the path by the glow of the moon and stars.

“Something doesn’t feel right,” Marion whispered.

Khalid took her hand. Pulled her into the maze.

The music became an eerie echo from the ballroom. The air smelled of the rich greenery, of the cold of an autumn night. Of pomegranates.

They turned a corner to the very centre of the gardens: a circular courtyard. Towering marble statues of the minor gods and goddesses bordered the courtyard, standing like sentries. There was Lubuwefe, with their fingers pointed to claws. Yueb, fallen to his knees, a knife before him. Eldy, the one-armed. Niya, a lightning bolt held up to the sky in one hand.

And sitting on a marble bench in the middle was Val.

Or what was left of Val.


END OF PREVIEW

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