“They’re casing the neighborhood,” Prisha said.
“Time to go,” Tye said.
“Shit,” Gabe spat.
“Prisha, you should head out,” Meghan said earnestly. “You don’t want to be found.”
“You will be safe?”
Meghan nodded. “Thank you again.”
Prisha kissed Meghan on the cheek, nodded at the rest of them, and then disappeared into the garage.
Gabe and Tye grabbed their remaining supplies before hustling the rest of them out of the house. An SUV with heavily tinted windows was parked where the van had sat last night. They all piled inside as Tye took the helm. Reyna tucked her legs up underneath her and waited for what felt like an eternity as the garage door opened behind them. Tye slowly backed them down the drive and out onto the main streets.
Reyna didn’t know what she was looking for. She expected something like the police waiting for them, but what she saw instead was a small army of black vehicles in all shapes and sizes. Reyna held her breath as they passed one of the cars and saw the little red V logo for Visage on the side. Her stomach flopped.
How had they found them? What gave them away? Would they know that they were in the SUV? Were they looking for the black van?
She didn’t know.
Meghan reached out and grabbed Reyna’s hand. They locked eyes and Reyna saw her own fear reflected back at her.
She held her breath as they drove past another Visage vehicle. A vampire got out of the front seat at that precise moment. The woman turned and stared at their SUV as it rolled by. For a second, Reyna swore the woman had X-ray vision and was able to see through the tint to the people behind it. She narrowed her eyes at the SUV. Reyna watched her hand move to the cellphone in her pocket. There was doubt on her face.
“Please don’t. Please no. Please, please, please,” Reyna whispered in the backseat.
Meghan clutched her hand until it was painful. But Reyna didn’t stop her and she didn’t take her eyes off the vampire, who took a step forward. Her hand tightened around the cellphone. She opened her mouth, but didn’t form words. She just stared as if she knew. She just knew.
Reyna tensed. Ready to sound the alarm if need be.
Then something distracted the vampire. She glanced down at her cellphone, frowned, and brought it to her ear. She took one last look at the SUV before turning away as it sped past her.
Reyna released her breath. They drove the rest of the way out of the neighborhood in silence. They weren’t in the clear yet. But at least they were away from the worst of it.
If only the same were true for their morale as they drove through the remains of their broken rebellion from the city.
They weren’t pursued.
Reyna couldn’t believe it.
She was sure that someone would look at their vehicle and assume it was holding rebels. But no, they drove out of the neighborhood and onto the open roads without a hassle. Tye was listening to the police scanner and narrowly missed a roadblock or two, but once they were on the interstate, the coast was clear.
With tension hanging heavy in the SUV, it was a silent hour before Washington finally directed them off of the main roads and onto a long bumpy drive. Once they moved from under a copse of tress, they came upon a large iron gate.
Reyna’s eyebrows rose and she leaned forward to get a better look at it. The gate was straight out of some Victorian period piece. As if it should be a dark and stormy night with lightning announcing their entrance instead of a bitter cold but sunny New Year’s Day.
Tye punched in a passcode and the gates creaked apart slowly. Very slowly.
They inched forward onto the grounds. Everyone was rubbernecking, trying to figure out where the hell Washington had brought them.
After a couple more minutes, they got their answer. A circular drive ended right before a three-story stone mansion. They passed what must have once been lush gardens, but were now overgrown and ignored. Would they have running water? Electricity? The house had clearly been built long before those things existed.
“What is this place?” Reyna asked as they came to a halt.
“Yeah. I’ve never seen this in any records,” Meghan said.
“It’s not in any records,” Washington said. “It’s my home.”
“Does Harrington know about it?” Reyna asked, terror suddenly lancing through her.
“Yes, but he would never in a million years suspect that I would come back here. I haven’t stepped foot in it in fifteen years.”
He glanced back at her. “Because my wife was killed here.”
Then he opened the door and slid out of the SUV. They looked at one another in confusion and sorrow before following him. Reyna’s feet hit the gravel drive and she stared up at the imposing structure. Vines covered much of the entrance. The stonework, which must have once been beautiful, had deteriorated against the press of the elements. Reyna could see at least one window that was broken, and a tree had fallen into the roof on one corner of the building.