“Whis…per?”

He sang the word into my ear, soft and taunting.

I groaned. “Miles, cut it out, okay?”

He slid in closer behind me, his knee, his hip, nudging up against mine. His finger teased a delicate curlicue on my shoulder, little figures of eight, and he gave a soft laugh that tickled my neck. “Whiss…perrr…”

I pulled away, yanking the covers. “Jesus, Miles! I’m trying to sleep, and you’re creeping me out! Knock it off!”

He rolled on to his back. “Sorry.”

But he was smiling. I could hear it in his voice. He was lying there wide awake, grinning into the darkness.

He folded his arms across his chest. His fingers drummed. “I can’t sleep.”

“I noticed.”

“This is going to work. I can feel it.”

“Mmmph.”

“I’ve got to get the whole thing straight in my head, her whole story.” His voice was hushed, but his excitement brimmed as if he was going to talk all night. “She’s like the girl in that book you gave me–the creepy girl who poisoned her family. With the sugar, right? I can’t remember the name. Mary Cat?”

The words recited themselves in my head. ‘Merricat, Merricat, would you like a cup of tea? Oh, no, Constance, you’ll poison me.’ “Shirley Jackson,” I answered automatically, “We Have Always Lived in the Castle.”

 

wisper

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