The emergency room was cold and it didn’tseem to matter how many heated blanketsthey wrapped around her. Gillian kept shivering. Her hands were blue-white and pinched looking.”Daddy’s coming home,” her mother said, stroking her arm. “He’s taking the first plane he could get.You’ll see him tomorrow morning.”Gillian shivered. “Is this the same hospital- where Tanya Jun is? No, don’t ask. I don’t really want to know.” She stuck her hands under her armpits. “I’m so cold…”And alone. There was no soft voice hi her head. And that was good, because, God, the last thing she wanted was Angel-or rather that thing, whatever it was, that monster that had called itself an angel.But it was strange after so long. To be all alone… and not know where he might be lurking. He could be listening to her thoughts right now…”I’ll get another blanket.” The nurse had shown her mother the heated closet. “If you could just lie down, honey, maybe you’d feel like sleeping a little.””I can’t sleep! I have to go see David.””Hon, I already told you. You’re not going to see him tonight.””You said I might not get to see him. You didn’t say I wouldn’t! You only said probably!” Gillian’s voice was rising, getting more shrill, and there was nothing she could do about it. The tears were coming, too, flooding down uncontrollably.She was choking on them.A nurse came hurrying in, the white curtains around the bed swirling. “It’s all right; it’s natural,” she said softly to Gillian’s mother. And to Gillian: “Now, just lean over a little-hold still. A little pinch. This is something to help you relax.”Gillian felt a sting at her hip. A short time later everything got blurry and the tears stopped.She woke up in her own bed. It was morning. Pale sunlight was shining full in the window. Last night…oh, yes. She could vaguely remember her mom and Mrs. Beeler, their next-door neighbor, leading her from the hospital to Mrs.Beeler’s car. She remembered them taking her upstairs and undressing her and putting her to bed. After that she’d had hours of wonderful not-thinking.And now she was awake and rested and her head was clear. She knew exactly whatshe had to do even before she swung her legs out from under the covers.She glanced at the ancient Snoopy clock on her nightstand and got a shock. Twelve thirty-five. No wonder she was rested.Efficiently, without making a sound, she put on Levis and a gray sweatshirt. No makeup. She ran a comb once through herhair.She paused, then, to listen. Not just to the house, but to herself. To the world inside her own brain.Dead quiet. Not a creature stirring. Not thatthat meant a thing, of course.Gillian knelt and pulled the shoe box out from under her bed. The wax dolls were garish, red and green, like a hideous parody of Christmas. Her first impulse at the sight of that poisonous green was to get rid of it. Snap off one doll’s hand and the other’s head.But what that would do to Tanya and Kim, she didn’t want to think. Instead, she forced herself to get a Q-tip from the bathroom, soak it in water, and dab the iridescent green powder away.She cried as she did it. She tried to concentrate as she had when she’d done the spell, seeing the real Tanya’s hand, seeing it heal and become whole.”Now may I be given the power of the words of Hecate,” she whispered. “It is not I who utter them, it is not I who repeat them; it is Hecate who utters them, it is she who repeats them.”When the powder was off, she put the dolls back in the box. Then she blew her nose and rummaged through the pile on her desk until she found a small pink-flowered address book.She sat on the floor crosslegged, dragged the phone close, and thumbed through thebook.There.Daryl Novak’s cellular phone number.She dialed quickly and shut her eyes. Answer. Answer.”Hello,” a languid voice said.Her eyes flew open. “Daryl, this is Gillian. I need you to do me an enormous favor, andI need you to do it now. And I can’t even explain why-“”Gillian, are you okay? Everybody’s been worried about you.””I’m fine, but I can’t talk. I need you to go find Amy Nowick; she’s got”-Gillian thought frantically-“uh, honors chemistry this period. I need you to tell her to drive tothe corner of Hazel and Applebutter Street and wait for me there.””You want her to leave school?””Right now. Tell her I know it’s a lot to ask, but I need this. It’s really important.”She expected questions. But instead, all Daryl said was, “Leave it to me. I’ll find her.””Thanks, Daryl. You’re a lifesaver.”Gillian hung up and found her ski jacket. Tucking the shoe box under her arm, she walked very quietly downstairs.She could hear voices from the kitchen. A low voice-her dad’s. Part of her wanted to run to him.But what would her parents do if they saw her? Keep her safe and bundled up, keep her here. They wouldn’t understand what she had to do.There was no question of telling them the truth, of course. That would just get her another shot. And, eventually, maybe a visit to the mental hospital where her mother had stayed. Everyone would thinkdelusions ran in the family.She moved stealthily to the front door, quietly opened it, slipped out.Sometime during the night it had rained and then frozen. Ice hung like dewdrops from the twigs of the hickory tree in the yard.Gillian ducked her head and hurried down the street. She hoped no one was watching, but she had the feeling of eyes staring from between bare branches and out of shadows.At the comer of Hazel and Applebutter shestood with her arms wrapped around the box, hopping a little to keep warm.