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“I’m not having this discussion now.” She glanced in my direction, then walked out of the room.

“Is that everything, then?” Loki asked us once she’d gone.

“Not even close.” Matt had been sitting next to me but he got to his feet. “What do you want with us? You can’t just keep us here!”

“I’ll take that as a yes.” Loki smiled emptily at me and turned to leave the room.

Matt tried to rush him, but Loki was already out the door before he got to him. He slammed the door and Matt flew into it. There was a loud clicking as bolts locked, and Matt sagged against the door.

“What is going on here?” Matt shouted and turned to look at me. “How come you’re not dying anymore?”

“Would you rather I be dying?” I pulled the sleeve of my sweater down and wiped the blood away from my face. “I could get Kyra in here to finish the job.”

“Don’t be ridiculous.” Matt rubbed his forehead. “I want to know what’s happening. I feel like I’m in a bad dream.”

“It gets easier,” I said and turned to Rhys. “What the hell was that hobgoblin thing that came in? Was that an actual troll?”

“I don’t know.” Rhys shook his head, looking just as bewildered as I felt. “I’ve never seen one before, but everyone goes out of their way to make sure mänks don’t know anything.”

“I didn’t think there were real trolls.” I furrowed my brow, trying to remember what Finn had told me about trolls before. “I thought they were just myths.”

“Really?” Matt asked. “After everything that’s happened? So you pick and choose what mythology you believe in?”

“I’m not picking and choosing anything.” I got to my feet. I still felt sore all over, but it was light-years better than I’d felt when I woke up. “I believe what I can see. I hadn’t seen this before. That’s all.”

“Are you okay?” Matt watched me as I hobbled around the room. “Maybe you should take it easy.”

“No, I’m fine.” I brushed him off. I wanted to get my bearings in the space, maybe see if there was a way that we could get out. “How did we get here anyway?”

“They broke into the house and attacked us.” Matt gestured to the door, referring to Loki and the Vittra. “That guy knocked us out somehow, and we woke up here. We hadn’t been awake very long before you woke up.”

“Lovely.” I pressed my palms against the door, pushing on it as if I thought it would open. It didn’t, but I had to try.

“Hey, where’s Finn?” Rhys asked, echoing thoughts I was starting to have. “Why didn’t he stop this?”

“What does Finn have to do with this?” Matt asked with an edge to his voice.

“Nothing. He used to be my tracker. It’s sorta like a bodyguard.” I took a step back, staring at the door and willing it to open. “He tried to protect me from all of this.”

“That’s why you ran away with him?” Matt asked. “He was protecting you?”

I sighed. “Something like that.”

“Where is he?” Rhys repeated. “I thought he was with you when the Vittra came.”

Matt started yelling about Finn being in my room, but I ignored him. I didn’t have the energy to fight with Matt about propriety or his feelings for Finn.

“Finn left before they broke in,” I said, once Matt had finished his tirade. “I don’t know where he’s at.”

I wouldn’t admit it, but I was surprised that Finn hadn’t protected me. Maybe he had really left. I thought it had all been a bluff, but if it was, Finn would’ve been there when we were attacked.

Unless something bad had happened to him. The Vittra could have gotten to him before they came after me. He cared too much for duty, even if he didn’t care enough for me. The only way he wouldn’t keep me safe was if he couldn’t.

“Wendy?” Rhys asked.

I think he’d been talking before that, but I hadn’t heard anything he’d said. I’d been too busy thinking of Finn and staring at the door.

“We have to get out of here,” I said and turned to Rhys and Matt.

Matt sighed. “Obviously.”

“I have an idea.” I bit my lip. “But it’s not a great one. When they come back, I can use my persuasion. I can convince them to let us go.”

“Do you really think it’s strong enough?” Rhys voiced the concern I’d had myself.

So far, I’d only used persuasion on unsuspecting humans, like Matt and Rhys, and Finn had told me that without training, my abilities weren’t as strong as they could be. I hadn’t begun my training yet in Förening, so I had no clue how powerful or weak I might be.

“I really don’t know,” I admitted.

“Persuasion?” Matt raised an eyebrow and looked at Rhys. “Is that the thing you were telling me about? That mind thing she can supposedly do?” Rhys nodded, and Matt rolled his eyes.

“It’s not supposedly.” I bristled at his skepticism. “I can do it. I’ve done it to you before.”

“When?” Matt asked dubiously.

“How do you think I got you to take me to see Kim?” I asked, referring to when he’d taken me to see his mother, my “host” mother, in the institution.