catching up on these
They came home to a circle of candles in the middle of the floor, flames flickering, casting dancing shadows up the walls of the main room. Candles lined the window ledges, covered the pool table, wax pooling on the unmarked baize. Gansey’s bed had been made up with fresh sheets, and a tray of candles floated in the center of the white duvet.
Ronan and Gansey exchanged looks and skirted the room, blowing out candles as they went.
Noah’s door was closed. Ronan rapped his knuckles gently on the door.
“Noah, man, you home?”
“Don’t come in here.” His voice was strong, but it sounded like he’d been crying.
“Noah.” Gansey came up behind Ronan. “Noah, what happened?”
“I’m alright,” Noah sobbed. “I’m fine.”
“Fuck,” Ronan muttered. “We’re coming in, Noah.”
Gansey put a hand on his arm. “He said to stay out.”
“What if he–”
“He can’t hurt himself, Ronan.”
“There’re more ways to hurt yourself than to hurt your body,” Ronan replied.
Gansey narrowed his eyes and searched Ronan’s face. He was about to ask uncomfortable questions, so Ronan turned and knocked on the door again.
“You can be mad, but we’re coming in,” he said. He counted to three and opened the door.
Gansey gasped, and Ronan swore. Noah crouched in the center of the room, in the middle of a circle of candles. He held his arm in the flames of a large candle, something that looked like it had been nicked from the altar of St. Agnes. The flames bent around his arm, but he didn’t burn.
“Noah.” Gansey took a step forward, but Ronan put an arm out to stop him.
“I was cold,” Noah croaked. Ghostly tears dropped down his chin, and the flames sputtered.
“Get the candles,” Ronan mouthed to Gansey. Gansey nodded and made his way around the circle, extinguishing the candles. Ronan stepped over a bank of still-burning votives and reached for Noah. “Come on, Noah. Come with me. Please.” He was uncharacteristically gentle in voice and touch. Noah wheeled on him, shoved him back with a power they did not know he could summon. Ronan skidded across the floor, knocking candles aside and sending hot wax pooling across the floor.
“I told you not to come in.” A wind picked up, scattering the remaining candles and, thankfully, extinguishing the flames. Somehow he grew to fill the space, taking all the light with him. Ronan and Gansey gaped at him. Light burst from his chest and he disappeared.