(In a minute, Angel. Just let me get-settled.) The truth was that Gillian was completely unsettled. The sense of dread that had been growing ever since she walked in was reaching an unbearable pitch. This place was… she groped for adjectives. Unwholesome. Corrupt. Scary.And then she realized something else. Up until now she hadn’t been able to make outthe faces of the other figures properly. Only eyes and the occasional flash of teeth.But now-they were moving in around her. Itreminded her of sharks, swimming almost aimlessly but ending up in a purposeful gathering. There were people directly behind her-she could feel that with the back of her neck-and there were people on either side of her. When she looked, she could see their faces.Cold-dark-wrong. Not just wrong, but almost diabolic. These were people who might do anything and enjoy it. Their eyes glittered at her. More than glittered. Some of the eyes were shining… like an animal’s at night… and now they were smiling and she could see teeth. Long delicate canine teeth that came to a point. Fangs…All the legendary creatures…Sheer panic surged through her. And at the same instant, she felt strong hands on her elbows.”Why don’t you come outside with me?” a voice behind her said.Then things were confused. Angel was yelling again, but Gillian couldn’t really hear him over the pounding of her own heart. The hands were exerting pressure, forcing her away from the bar. And the figures with their diabolical faces were settling back, most of them wearing conspiratorial grins.”Have fun,” somebody called.Gillian was being hurried up the stairs, whisked through the dim building. A blast of cold air hit her as the door opened and she suddenly felt dearer. She tried to breakout of the iron grip that was holding her. It didn’t do any good.She was out in the snow, leaving the house behind. The street was completely deserted.”Is that your car?”The hands on her arms eased their pressure. Gillian gave one desperate wrench and turned around.Moonlight was shining on the snow around her, giving it the texture of white satin. Every shadow was like an indigo stain on the sparkling coverlet.The person who’d been holding her was a boy a few years older than Gillian. He was lanky and elegant, with ash-blond hair and slightly tilted eyes. Something about the way he held himself made her think of lazy predatory animals.But his face wasn’t wrong, the way the other faces had been. It was set and grim, maybe even a little scary, but it wasn’t evil.”Now, look,” he said, and his voice wasn’t evil, either, just rapid and short. “I don’t know who you are, or how you managed toget in there, but you’d better turn around and go home right now. Because whateveryou are, you’re not a Harman.””How do you know?” Gillian blurted before Angel could tell her what to say.”Because I’m related to the Harmans. I’m Ash Redfern. You don’t even know what that means, do you?If you were a Harman you’d know that our families are kin.”(You are a Harman, and you are a witch!) Angel was actually raging. (Tell him! Tell him!)But the ash-blond boy was going on.”They’ll eat you alive in there if they find out for sure. They’re not as-tolerant-of humans as I am. So my advice is, get in your car, drive away, and never come back.And never mention this place to anybody else.”(You’re a lost witch! You’re not a human. Tell him!)”How come you’re so tolerant?” Gillian was staring at the boy. His eyes… she’d thought they were amber colored originally, like Steffi’s, but now they were emerald green.He gave her an odd look. Then he smiled. It was a lazy smile, but with something heart-wrenchingbehind it.”I met a human girl last summer,” he said quietly, and that seemed to explain everything.Then he nodded at her car. “Get out of here. Never come back. I’m just passing through; I won’t be around to save you again.”(Don’t get in the car. Don’t go. Tell him. You’re a witch; you belong to Circle Midnight. Don’t go!)For the first time, Gillian deliberately disobeyed an order of Angel’s. She unlocked the car with shaky hands. As shegot in, she looked back at the boy. Ash.”Thank you,” she said.”Bye.” He wiggled his fingers. He watched as she drove away.(Go back there right now! You belong there, just as much as any of them. You’re one of them. They can’t keep you out. Turnaround and go back!)”Angel, stop it!” She said it out loud. “I can’t! Don’t you see that? I can’t. They werehorrible. They were-evil.”Now that she was alone, reaction was setting in. Her whole body began to shake.She was suddenly blind with tears, her breath catching in her throat.”Not evil!” Angel shimmered into the seat beside her. He had never sounded so agitated. “Just powerful-“”They were evil. They wanted to hurt me. I saw their eyes!” She was lapsing into hysteria. “Why did youtake me there? When you wouldn’t even letme talk to Melusine? Melusine wasn’t like them.”A violent shiver overtook her. The car veered and she struggled with it, barely getting control. All at once everything seemed alien and terrifying; she was out on a long and lonely road, and it was night,and there was an uncanny being in the seat beside her.She didn’t know who he was anymore. All she knew was that he wasn’t any kind of an angel. The logical alternative sprang immediately to her mind. She was alone in the middle of nowhere with a demon…”Gillian, stop it!””Who are you? What are you, really? Who are you?””What do you mean? You know who I am.””No, I don’t!” She was screaming it. “I don’t know anything about you! Why did you take me there?