“Stop it!” A suppressed scream.David looked at her quickly. “I’m sorry-“”No! Just don’t talk!” Gillian’s automatic reflexes had taken over driving the car. Shewas hardly aware of anything outside her own body. All her concentration was fixed on the drama inside her own mind.(Angel! Did you hear that? What is going on?)(Of course I heard it.) The voice was slow and thoughtful.(Well, is it true? Is it?)(Look, let’s talk about this later, all right, kid? Let’s wait-)(No! Everything with you is “Wait” or “We’ll talk about it later.” I want to know right now: is it true?)(Is what true?)(Is Tanya that sick? Is she about to lose her finger?)(It’s just an infection, Gillian. Streptococcus pyogenes. You were the one who put it there.)(You’re saying it is true. It’s true. I did it with my spell. I gave her flesh-eating bacteria.) Gillian threw the thoughts out wildly, disjointedly. She couldn’t really grasp what it all meant yet.(Gillian, we had to stop her from destroyingDavid. It was necessary.)(No! No! You knew I didn’t really want to hurt her. What are you talking about? How can you even say that?) Gillian was in hysteria again, a strange hysteria of the mind. She was vaguely aware that she wasstill driving, that fences and trees were flying by. Her body was sitting in the car, breathing quickly, speeding, but her real self seemed to be in another place.(You lied to me. You told me she was all right. Why did you do that?)(Calm down, dragonfly-)(Don’t call me that! How can you just-just sit there… and not care? What kind of person are you?)And then-Angel’s voice changed. He didn’t get hysterical or agitated; it was much worse. His voice became calmer. More melodious. Pleasant.(I’m just dispensing justice. It’s what angels do, you know.)Icy horror swept over Gillian.He sounded insane.”Oh, God,” she said, and she said it out loud. David looked at her.”Hey-are you okay?”She scarcely heard him. She was thinking with fevered intensity: (I don’t know what you are, but you are not an angel.)(Gillian, listen to me. We don’t have to fight. I love you-)(Then tell me how to fix Tanya!)Silence.(I’ll find out myself. I’ll go back to Melusine-)(No!)(Then tell me! Or heal Tanya yourself if you’re a real angel!)A pause. Then: (Gillian, I’ve got an idea. A way to make David love you more.)(What are you talking about?)(We need to give him a near-death experience. Then he’ll be able to truly understand you. We need to make him die.)Everything blurred. Gillian knew they were nearing Somerset, they were on familiar streets. But for a moment her vision went completely gray and sparkling.”Gillian!” A hand was on hers, a real hand, steadying the wheel. “Are you all right? Do you want me to drive?””I’m okay.” Her vision had cleared. She just wanted to get home. She had to get to thatshoe box and fixthe spell on Tanya somehow. She had to get home … to safety…But nowhere was safe.(Don’t you understand?) The voice was soft and insidious in her ear. (David can never really be like youuntil he’s died the way you have. We have to make him die-)”No!” She realized she was speaking aloud again. “Stop talking to me! Go away!”David was staring at her. “Gillian-“(I don’t want to hurt you, Gillian. Only him. And he’ll come back, I promise. He might be a little different.But he’ll still love you.)Different… David’s body. Angel wanted David’s body. As David left, Angel would take possession….They were almost home. But she couldn’t get away from the voice. How do you get away from something that’s in your own mind? She couldn’t shut it out. …(Just let go, Gillian. Let me take over. I’ll drive for you. I love you, Gillian.)”No!” She was panting, her hands gripping the steering wheel so hard it hurt. The word came out jerkily.”David! You have to drive. I can’t-“(Relax, Gillian. You won’t be harmed. I promise.)And she couldn’t let go of the steering wheel. The voice seemed to be inside her body, diffusing through her muscles. She couldn’t take her foot off the accelerator.”Gillian, slow down!” David was yelling now. “Look out!”(It will only take a second…)Gillian’s world had been switched into an old-time movie. The flickering black-and-white kind. With each frame, the telephone pole in front of her got bigger and bigger. It was happening very slowly, but at the same time with utter inevitability. They were rushing oh-so-slowly toward that pole, and they were going to hit. On the right side of the car, where David was sitting.(No! I’ll hate you forever…)She screamed it in her mind and the last word seemed to echo endlessly. There was time for that.And then there was a loud sound and darkness.”Can I see him?””Not yet, honey.” Her mother scooted the plastic chair closer to the emergency roombed. “Probably not tonight.””But I have to.””Gillian, he’s unconscious. He wouldn’t even know you were there.””But I have to see him.” Gillian felt the hysteria swelling again, and she damped her mouth shut. She didn’t want a shot, which is what the nurses had said they were going to give her when she started screaming earlier.She had been here for hours. Ever since the cars with the flashing lights came and pried the station wagon door open and pulled her out. They’d pulled David out, too. But while she had been completely unhurt-“A mirade! Not even a scratch!” the paramedic had said to her mother-David had been unconscious. And had stayed that way ever since.