A silence. Then Kim said, with what sounded like forced lightness, “But, Tan, you could ruin his whole life…””I know.” Tanya’s voice was serene. Satisfied.”But… well, what do you want me to do?””Be ready to spread the word. That’s what you do best, isn’t it? I’ll get the letters written by Monday.And then on Monday you can start telling people-because I want everyone to know. Prime that grapevine!” Tanya was laughing.”Okay. Sure. Consider it done.” Kim sounded more scared than ever. “Uh, look,I’d better get backdownstairs now-can I use the brush a second?””Here.” A clatter. “And, Kim? Be ready to help me with Gillian, too. I’ll let you know what I’ve got in mind for her.”Kim said, “Sure,”-faintly. Then there were afew more clatters and the sound of a doorrattling open and shut. Then silence.Gillian stood in the stuffy closet.She felt physically sick. As if she’d found something loathsome and slimy and unclean writhing under her bed. Tanya was crazy-and evil. Gillian had just seen into a mind utterly twisted with hatred.And smart. Angel had said it.(Angel, what do I do? She really means it, doesn’t she? She’s going to destroy him. And there isn’t anything I can do about it.)(There may be something.)(She’s not going to listen to reason. I know she’s not. Nobody’s going to be ableto talk her out of it.And threats aren’t any good-)(I said, there may be something you can do.)Gillian came back to herself. (What?)(It’s a little complicated. And… well, the truth is, you may not want to do it, kid.)(I would do anything for David.) Gillian’s response was instant and absolute. Strange, how there were some things you were so sure of.(Okay. Well, hold that thought. I’ll explain everything when we get home-which we should do fast. But first I want you to get something from that bathroom.)Gillian felt calm and alert, like a young soldier on her first mission in enemy territory. Angel had an idea.As long as she did exactly what Angel said, things were going to turn out all right.She went into the bathroom and followed Angel’s instructions precisely without asking why. Then she went to get David totake her home from the party.”I’m ready. Now tell me what I can do.”Gillian was sitting on her bed, wearing the pajamas with little bears on them. It was well after midnight and the house was quiet and dark except for the lamp on her night stand.”You know, I think you are ready.”The voice was quiet and thoughtful-and outside her head. In the air about two feet away from the bed, a light began to grow.And then it was Angel, sitting lotus style, with his hands on his knees. Floating lotus style. He was about level with Gillian’s bed and he was looking at her searchingly. His face was earnest and calm, and all around him was a pale, changing light like the aurora borealis.As always, Gillian felt a physical reaction at the first sight of him. A sort of shock. He was so beautiful, so unearthly, so unlike anyone else.And right now his eyes were more intensethan she had ever seen them.It scared her a little, but she pushed that-and the physical reaction-away. She had to think of David.David, who’d so trustingly taken her home when she “got sick” an hour ago, and who right now had absolutely no idea what was in store for him on Monday.”Just tell me what to do,” she said to Angel.She was braced. She had no idea what it would take to stop Tanya, but it couldn’t be anything pleasant-or legal. Didn’t matter. She was ready.So Angel’s words were something of a letdown.”You know you’re special, don’t you?””Huh?””You’ve always been special. And underneath, you’ve always known it.”Gillian wasn’t sure what to say. Because itsounded terribly cliche-but it was true. She was special. She’d had a near-death experience. She’d come back with an angel. Surely only special people did that. And her popularity at school-everyone there certainly thought she was special. But her own inner feeling had started longbefore that, sometime in childhood. She’d just imagined that everybody felt that way… that they were different from others,maybe better, but certainly different.”Well, everybody does feel that way, actually,” Angel said, and Gillian felt a littlejolt. She always felt it when she suddenly remembered her thoughts weren’t private anymore.Angel was going on. “But for you it happens to be true. Listen, what do you know about your great-grandma Elspeth?””What?” Gillian was lost. “She’s an old lady. And, um, she lives in England and always sends me Christmas presents…” She had a vague memory of a photographshowing a woman with white hair and white glasses, a tweed skirt and sensible shoes. The woman held a Pekingese in a little red jacket.”She grew up in England, but she was born American. She was only a year old when she was separated from her big sister Edith, who was raising her. It happened during World War One. Everyone thought she had no family, so she was given to an English couple to raise.””Oh, really? How interesting.” Gillian was not only bewildered but exasperated. “But what on earth-“”Here’s what it’s got to do with David. Yourgreat-grandma didn’t grow up with her realsister, with her real family. If she had, she’d have known her real heritage. She’d have known…””Yes?””That she was born a witch.”There was a long, long silence. It shouldn’t have been so long. After the first second Gillian thought of things to say, but somehow she couldn’t get them past the tightness of her throat.