“I’m sorry. I must have missed a door, but you’re free to come back tomorrow. We open at ten.” I force a smile because I’m alone in the basement of the library with a complete stranger. No one would hear me scream and it would take a long time for anyone to even find my body down here. I already assume the worst because at this point in my life I’m not taking anything off the table.
“No, now is fine. After all, I’ve come all this way just to see you, little bird.”
It’s not the first time I’ve been called bird with my name being Dove, but the way he says it makes it sound as if I’m some breakable creature. To him, though, I probably am.
I’m already thinking of ways to get out of here, but it’s not looking so good. I could try and run past him, but he’s blocking the doorway and he’s so much bigger than I am. There’s no cell service down here, but I didn’t bring my cell phone anyway. I always forget to charge the damn thing and it’s not as if someone is calling me regularly.
He takes another step close to me and I’m thankful for the table that separates us. He tosses a book onto the table, but it doesn’t look like a traditional book that belongs here in the stacks. It’s handmade and looks like a scrapbook.
“Little birds should be careful about flying where they don’t belong.”
Unable to help myself, I reach for the book and pick it up. When I open it, I see the inside is filled with newspaper clippings and I look up at the mystery man.
“How did you know?”
I’d been looking for these archived newspapers and hadn’t been able to find them. They were not in our system and they should have been. I spent hours going over the microfilm trying to find them, but these dates were missing. The reason I came to the basement was to try and find the originals. But so far I’d had absolutely no luck.
“You’re good at spying and not getting caught,” he says as he runs a finger along the table. “But you’d do well to remember that while you’re watching someone, someone might be watching you.”
Every hair on my body stands up at his words. He’s been watching me? My stomach feels sick and somehow I feel violated. I know that makes me a hypocrite, but when I was spying on Ezra and Erik I felt as if I had the right to. This doesn’t feel the same.
“I’m only here to warn you.” He points at the book. “Read that and maybe you’ll find out the twins aren’t who you think they are,” he says as he begins to walk out. I think to myself that I already know they’re vampires at this point, and he pauses as if he actually heard what was in my head. “I’m not talking about them being vampires. I’m talking about them being murderers.”
I stand there motionless as I watch him leave. Then when he’s gone, I still don’t move. I look down at the book in my hands and once again I’m eager to read it, but now I’m afraid of what it might hold. Who was he and why did he want me to have this information? I close the book and run my finger along the binding.
It’s been almost a week since I sought out Ezra and Erik. I can still see the anger on their faces when they caught that man all over Ravana. It confirmed exactly what I’d already been thinking. They were in love with her and they flew into a jealous rage and dragged him off her. I should have been disgusted by the act of violence. I couldn’t fight the feeling of jealousy—they were so angry about another man touching her; they flew into such a rage over her and their possession was clear. They were always so laidback when I watched them before, but not when it came to her.
More than anything, seeing how fast they moved and how their eyes changed was the proof I needed, but all I could focus on was jealousy.
I still don’t get why she let another man kiss her when she had Ezra and Erik making her laugh and smile the whole night at the theatre. They looked happy together, and I knew I had to leave them be, even if it felt like my heart was breaking. But a week later I’m still not over it.
I slipped up the first night after I vowed I wouldn’t follow them anymore. The same man they dragged off of Ravana at the theater found me lurking outside of her house. He was angry and had gone through my stuff, saying he was a cop. I didn’t believe him, but he was twice my size and clearly on a mission. I’d hauled ass out of there thinking that was my sign to really keep away. I was in over my head, at least physically, when it came to watching them, but I could still do all the research I wanted. Normally digging for information is what I’m best at, but I’ve been hitting nothing but brick walls in my efforts to know more. I know they had to have a past like Bishop had, but there’s nothing to track. Maybe they’re young vampires, but I didn’t even know how all that works. Do you get turned or are you born a vampire?