Ashes of Honor (October Daye #6) by Seanan McGuire

ONE June 3rd, 2012 So shall she leave her blessedness to one, When heaven shall call her from this blessed darkness, Who from the sacred ashes of her honor Shall star-like rise… —William Shakespeare, King Henry VIII THE NIGHT SKY OVER SAN FRANCISCO was a patchwork mixture of starry black and cloudy gray, all of it washed out by the ambient light drifting up from the city below. It was a tourist’s dream of California summer, perfect as a postcard—and like all postcards, it wasn’t telling the full story. I pressed myself in closer to the wall of the alley, one hand on my knife, and waited. I didn’t have to wait for long. Voices drifted down the alley, speaking in the weird mix of whisper and shout that teenagers have used since the dawn of time when trying to be subtle. There was nothing subtle about these kids, but they would never have believed that. They were playing things oh-so-cool, and they thought they were untouchable. In a perfect world, they would have been. In a perfect world, they would have been allowed to have their little rebellions and take their little risks, and nothing would ever have touched
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