Chapter no 77

The Hawthorne Legacy (The Inheritance Games, 2)

dreamed that I was running through the halls of Hawthorne House. I hit a staircase, and at the bottom, I saw a dead girl. At first, I thought it was Emily Laughlin, but then I got closer—and I realized it was me.



I was standing at the edge of the ocean. Every time a wave crested and came toward me, I thought that it would swallow me whole. I was ready for it to swallow me whole.

But each time, as the darkness beckoned, I heard a voice: Jameson Winchester Hawthorne.



“You son of a bitch.” The words cut through the darkness in a way that nothing else had since I’d been here. The voice was Jameson’s again, but louder this time, sharper, like the edge of a knife. “She was dying, and you just stood there! And don’t tell me it was shock.”

I tried to open my eyes. I tried—but I couldn’t.

“You would know, Jamie, about standing there and watching someone die.”

Emily. It always comes back to Emily with you.”

I wanted to tell them that I could hear them, but I couldn’t move my mouth. Everything was dark. Everything hurt.

“You know what I think, Gray? I think the whole martyr act was a lie you told yourself. I don’t think you stepped back from Avery for my sake. I think you needed an excuse to draw a line so you could stay safe on the

other side.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“You can’t let go. You couldn’t when Emily was alive, no matter what she did, and you can’t now.”

“Are you done?” Grayson was yelling now.

“Avery was dying, and you couldn’t run toward her.” “What do you want from me, Jamie?”

“You think I didn’t fight the same fight? I halfway convinced myself that as long as Avery was just a riddle or a puzzle, as long as I was just playing, I’d be fine. Well, joke’s on me, because somewhere along the way, I stopped playing.”

I can hear you. I can hear every word. I’m right here—

“What do you want from me?”

“Look at her, Gray. Look at her, damn it! Est unus ex nobis. Nos defendat eius.”

She is one of us. We protect her. Whatever Grayson said in response was lost to the sound of a crashing wave.



I sat at a chessboard. Across from me was a man I hadn’t seen since I was six years old.

Tobias Hawthorne picked up his queen, then set it back down. Instead, he laid three new pieces on the board. A corkscrew. A funnel. A chain.

I stared at them. “I don’t know what to do with these.” Silently, he laid a fourth object on the board: a metal disk. “I don’t know what to do with that, either.”

“Don’t look at me, young lady,” Tobias Hawthorne replied. “This is your

subconscious. All of this—it’s a game of your making, not mine.” “What if I don’t want to play anymore?” I asked.

He leaned back, picking up his queen once more. “Then stop.”

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