“You’re not having second thoughts, are you?”
Mirkella fought the urge to roll her eyes. Sure that her perfume should be dry by now, she tied a black silk scarf around her neck. “Of course not.”
“Good.” Toria grinned approvingly. “Can’t have you backing out now, Kella.” She slipped a dainty foot into a pointed, high-heeled shoe. “Hate wearing these things. I can’t wait to get out of them.”
Kella knew what she meant. She’d thought the other girl was joking when she’d said beauty was pain. Besides, high heels were useless for running in.
She hoped it wouldn’t come to that.
Toria smiled and leaned back on the velvet couch; her body poured itself over the dark material. “I could get so used to this.”
“Aren’t you nervous?” asked Kella. She was surprised to find that she wasn’t.
Toria laughed in response. “No. I’ve done this before. Got to say, though, the stakes were never quite this high. Evey was absolutely right, we can’t afford to screw up on this one.”
The first time Kella saw Evey Huntingdon, she thought: That woman’s eyes are dead. But after the meeting was over, Evey had taken hold of her by the arm; her touch was as light as paper, but it had held Kella still.
“I’ve told this to the others. You need to know this as well.” Evey’s pale, thin face moved closer to Kella’s. “If you ever dream that you’re in a hallway with a red carpet and black pillars, get behind the nearest column. If you don’t, they’ll see your face; if they see your face, they’ll remember it.” She leaned in even closer. “And you don’t want that.”
Kella had been wrong. Evey’s eyes weren’t dead. They were coals waiting for a single breath to spring them into life.
She pulled herself out of the memory. “No. We can’t.”