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Amadhay appeared back in Adrian's room loaded down by all six bags. “Did anything change while I was home?” she demanded, dropping them and moving immediately to the bedside.

The aelfe gave her a look. “He hasn't moved. I think you put a dead body in my bed.”

“He's not dead,” Amadhay snapped. She hoped he wasn't, anyway. She had done everything in her power to save him. All the necromancer books she read while at Palnoki had really come in handy, because if she had done her normal healing spells, he would have died on the spot.

“Wait. What's with the bags?” Adrian demanded. “Are you moving in here?”

“Don't get your hopes up,” she scoffed, “I'm going on a mission with Monkey and Benjy. I need you to—”

“No,” he said before she could even finish her request. So that's where Essie's been getting it, Amadhay thought sardonically. “I'm not nursing him back to health. I don't even think it can be done. You better take him with you.”

“On a mission?” she asked exasperatedly.

He glared at her. “It's bad enough that you put a dead body in my bed. I'm not going to let him stay there until he's a rotten corpse.”

“Adrian,” she pleaded, “Christein will kill me if he sees him.”

“Wait, why?” Adrian asked, his eyes turning sharp. He looked closer at Tenshu. “Who is this?”

She blinked quickly. “Just someone he doesn't like,” she lied. “You know how he is. He expects me to hate everyone he hates.”

Adrian looked suspicious. “Is he your secret twine? Did Christein walk in on you two and try to kill him in a jealous rage?”

“Yes,” she said in a flat tone, rolling her eyes. “That is exactly what happened.”

Adrian hesitated for a moment, as if he wanted to ask something, but instead, after a moment of consideration, he shrugged. “Either way, you've got to get him out of my bed. Why didn't you take him to Rea?”

Because Rea would recognize him in a click and alert Arne Riff, Amadhay thought before answering as calmly as she could. “He's not Phoegani. She's a stickler about that.”

“She does favors for you all the time,” he argued, eyeing her suspiciously again.

“We just had a falling out,” she lied. “So I'm not taking him to her. She'd probably kill him.”

“He's dead already.”

“No he's not!” Amadhay exclaimed, needing him to stop saying that. She had put too much effort in saving Tenshu for him to be dead. She refused for him to be dead.

“He's not breathing, I couldn't find a pulse, and he's icy.”

“He's in dead shock,” she bit out, not really wanting to explain, but not wanting Adrian to think she planned on leaving a dead body in his bed.

“He's in what?” the older teenager asked, crossing his arms over his chest. She could tell that he thought she made it up off the top of her head. She hadn't.

“He's a necromancer. They go into dead shock when they're hurt badly. The necromantic abilities put them closer to dead all the time, so it's harder to bring them back. You have to be careful and heal them just so. He's in the first stage, near death. He's breathing, but barely. His pulse is incredibly slow and faint. He's lost almost all of his body heat. But he's alive.”

“I'm definitely not dealing with him then,” he stated.

“Adrian,” she pleaded. “You owe me.”

“I don't owe you nearly this much.” He shook his head. “He's got to get out of my bed. Either take him with you or take him to a healer.”

“I can't,” she bit out.

“Why not?” he demanded. “He's definitely not more likely to heal up here than there.”

He was though. She had read enough on necromancers in an incredibly credible library to keep him alive long enough that his body's natural healing would kick in and take him out of dead shock. Healers would keep trying to wake him up, would keep poking and prodding at him. Necromancers were such a secretive, private race. They normally lived in large communes, far away from large cities or in large communities when in big cities. They so rarely allowed non-necromancers to work on them, that most healers would have no idea what dead shock was. Most healers had no idea what to do with a necromancer when they did get one. Nine times out of ten, necromancers died on the healers table.

Her conscience couldn't take him being one of them.

No, he had to stay with her so that she could nurse him back to the living. She owed it to him. She owed it to Ribbon.

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