I don't know what it's like. And it terrifies me." Especially because Sonya's life depends on me.

Adrian reached out and traced the lily on my cheek. "You won't have to find out what it's like tonight because you aren't going to fail. You can do this. And I'll be here with you as long as it takes, okay?"

I took a deep breath and tried to calm myself. "Okay." I returned to my stool after he left and tried to ignore the fatigue in my body and mind. I thought about what he'd said, about how I wouldn't fail. I thought about his faith in me. And most importantly, I thought about Sonya. I thought about how desperately I wanted to help her.

All these things churned within me as I stared at the water, crystal clear except for the hair floating in it. One red line against all that silver. It was like a spark of fire, a spark that grew brighter and brighter in my eyes until it took on a more definite shape, a circle with stylized lines radiating from it. A sun, I realized. Someone had painted an orange sun onto a piece of plywood and hung it on a chain-link fence. Even with the shoddy canvas, the artist had gone to a lot of care in painting the sun, stylizing the rays and making sure the lengths were consistent with each other. The fence itself was ugly and industrial, and I caught sight of what looked like an electrifying box hanging on it. The landscape was brown and barren, but mountains in the distance told me it was still the greater Palm Springs area. This was kind of like the area Wolfe lived in, outside of town and away from the pretty greenery. Through the fence, beyond the sign, I caught sight of a large, sprawling building -


The vision vanished as my head hit the floor. I had fallen off the stool.

I managed to sit up, but that was all I could do. The world was spinning, and my stomach felt queasy and empty. After what could have been three seconds or three hours, I heard voices and footsteps. Strong arms caught hold of me, and Adrian helped me to my feet. I clung to the table while he picked the stool up and helped me sit back down. Ms. Terwilliger pushed the silver plate aside and replaced it with an ordinary kitchen plate filled with cheese and crackers. A glass of orange juice soon joined it.

"Here," she said. "Eat these. You'll feel better."

I was so disoriented and weak that I didn't even hesitate. I ate and drank as though I hadn't eaten in a week while Adrian and Ms. Terwilliger waited patiently. It was only when I'd practically licked the plate clean that I realized what I'd just consumed.

"Havarti and orange juice?" I groaned. "That's too much fat and sugar for this time of night."

Adrian scoffed. "Glad to see there's no lasting damage."

"Get used to it if you're going to be using magic a lot," said Ms. Terwilliger. "Spells can deplete you. Not unusual at all to have your blood sugar drop afterward. Orange juice will become your best friend."

"I'll never get used to it, seeing as I'm not going to - " I gasped, as the images I'd seen in the silver plate came tumbling back to me. "Sonya! I think I saw where she's at." I described what I'd seen, though none of us had any clue about where or what this place might be.

"You're sure it was like a regular sun? With rays?" asked Adrian. "Because I thought the hunters used that old Alchemist one - the circle and dot."

"They do, but this was definitely - oh God." I looked up at Adrian. "We have to get back to Amberwood. Right now."

"Not after that," said Ms. Terwilliger. She was using her stern teacher voice. "That took more from you than I expected. Sleep here, and I'll make sure everything's cleared up with Desiree and the school tomorrow."

"No." I stood up and felt my legs start to buckle, but in the end, they held. Adrian put a supportive arm around me, clearly not believing in my body's recovery. "I have to get back there. I think I know how we can find out where this place is." Adrian was right that the sun I'd just described wasn't the design that had been on the sword or brochure. Both of those had used the ancient symbol. The one in my vision was a more modern adaptation - and this wasn't the first time I'd seen it.

The sun in my vision was an exact match for Trey's tattoo.

Chapter 20

GETTING TO TREY was easier said than done. A girl getting into the guys' dorm at normal hours would've been difficult enough. But after curfew? In the middle of the night? Nearly impossible.

I had to resort to creative options and called Eddie while I was driving Adrian home.

One thing I never had to feel guilty about was calling Eddie at any hour. He kept his ringer on (much to Micah's delight, no doubt), and I suspected he slept with the phone next to his pillow.

"Yes?" Eddie's voice was alert and ready, as though he hadn't been asleep at all. That was just how he was.

"I need you to go see if you can wake up Trey," I told him. "Sonya's been kidnapped and is being held at some weird compound with a logo like Trey's tattoo. We need to find out what he knows."

This was the first time Eddie was hearing about Sonya's kidnapping, but he didn't ask for further information - or how I'd known her location. He knew she'd been in danger recently, and this quick message was enough to get him going. I didn't exactly know what would happen when Eddie did find Trey, seeing as there was no way I'd be able to talk to Trey myself until morning. Still, we had to start somewhere.

"Okay," said Eddie. "I'm on it. I'll call you back."

We disconnected, and I stifled a yawn. "Well, here goes nothing. Let's hope Eddie can find out something."

"Preferably without beating up Trey in the process," said Adrian. He snuggled against the passenger seat, the only sign that he too was feeling tired from our late night. He'd long since converted from a vampire's nocturnal schedule. "Since that might limit how much we can find out."

I made a face. "If Trey's somehow involved with this, I'm not sure I want to take it easy on him. And yet... I just can't believe he is."

"People fool each other all the time. Look at you. You think Trey knows you're part of a secret society helping to keep vampires hidden from the world?"

"Actually... yes." I stopped at a red light and thought back on some of Trey's weird behaviors.

"He knows Jill's a Moroi, I'm almost certain of it. He didn't notice right away, but when he did, he kept telling me to keep her hidden. Then after Sonya was attacked, he told me to stay safe." A horrible realization was dawning on me. "He knew. He knew I was friends with Sonya. He probably knew about the attack and never said anything!"

Tags: Richelle Mead Bloodlines Fantasy
Source: www.StudyNovels.com
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