"Not a surprise if his group's working counter to yours." Adrian's tone softened. "If it makes you feel better, it sounds like he was kind of conflicted if he was trying to warn you."

"I don't know that it does. Oh, Adrian." I pulled up in front of his building and saw the yellow Mustang illuminated in the streetlight. "You left the car out. You're lucky it didn't get towed."

"I'll move it," he said. "And don't look at me like that. It's within a half-mile radius. I'm not breaking your rules."

"Just be careful," I muttered.

He opened Latte's door and glanced back at me. "You sure you want to go back to the school? You'll be locked in until morning."

"Not much I can do until then anyway. I want to be there the instant I can get access to Trey. I'll trust in Eddie for now."

Adrian looked reluctant to leave me but finally nodded. "Call if you need anything. I'm going to keep trying to see if I can find Sonya in her dreams. Didn't have much luck earlier." One of spirit's more disconcerting powers was the user's ability to intrude on the dreams of other people. "Is she just not asleep?"

"That, or drugged."

Neither option made me feel any better. He gave me one last, lingering look before leaving.

I returned to Amberwood where a sleepy student aide waved me in without comment.

Mrs. Weathers had long since gone home, and her overnight coverage didn't seem particularly concerned about my comings and goings. As I was walking up the stairs, my phone rang.


"Well, it took forever, but I finally woke his roommate up," he told me.


"He's not there. I guess he wasn't last night either. Some kind of family emergency."

"No word on when he'll be back?" I was beginning to think all of Trey's "family stuff" might be more insidious than I'd guessed. I was also willing to bet he wasn't the only one with a sun tattoo.


I DRIFTED IN AND OUT of sleep that night. My body was exhausted from the magic, but I was too on edge about Sonya to fully give in to the fatigue. I keep waking up and checking my cell phone, afraid I'd missed some call - despite the fact that it was on its loudest setting. I finally gave up and got out of bed a couple of hours before the cafeteria's breakfast began. By the time I'd showered and dressed - and put my coffee maker into high gear - I was back into open hours on campus. Not that it did me much good.

I made two more calls after that, first to Spencer's to see if Trey was working. I didn't expect him to be, but it was a good excuse to see if he'd been there in the last couple of days.

He hadn't been. My next call was to Stanton, reporting Sonya's disappearance. I told her we had a lead that connected one of my classmates to the vampire hunters and that Sonya was likely being held at a compound outside of town. I didn't elaborate on how I knew, and Stanton was distracted enough by the kidnapping in general to ask much more.

At breakfast, I found my "family" sitting with Micah over at West's cafeteria. Eddie, Angeline, and Jill's troubled faces told me they all knew about Sonya. Micah was cheerfully chatting about something, and I had a feeling his presence was preventing the others from discussing what they really wanted to. When Micah turned to ask Eddie something, I leaned over and murmured to Jill, "Get him out of here."

"Tell him to go?" she whispered back.

"If you need to. Or go with him."

"But I want to - "

She bit her lip as Micah's attention returned to her. She looked unhappy about what she had to do, but soon put on the resolved expression that recently I'd often seen her wear. She nodded toward Micah's plate. "Hey, are you about done? I need to check on something with Miss Yamani. Will you come with me?"

Micah brightened. "Of course."

Once the two of them were gone, I turned to Eddie and Angeline. "Any sign of Trey?" I asked.

"No," said Eddie. "I checked in again this morning. His roommate's starting to hate me.

Can't say I blame him."

"This is driving me crazy!" I said, feeling like I could beat my head against the wall. "We're so close and yet helpless. Every minute that goes by is another that Sonya doesn't have." He grimaced. "Are we sure she's alive?"

"She was last night," I said.

Both Eddie and Angeline looked at me in amazement. "How do you know?" she asked.

"Um, well, I - no way!" My jaw dropped as I stared past Eddie. "It's Trey!" Sure enough, a bleary-eyed Trey had just entered the cafeteria. Damp hair indicated a recent shower, but there were bruises and scrapes all over him that I could no longer attribute to football.

Eddie was in motion before I could say another word, and Angeline and I were quick to follow.

I half-expected Eddie to tackle Trey then and there. Instead, Eddie walked right in front of Trey and blocked him from entering the food line. I was just in time to hear Eddie say, "No breakfast today. You're coming with us."

Trey started to protest and then saw Angeline and me. Jill suddenly appeared as well, having apparently lost Micah. A sad look crossed Trey's features - almost defeated - and he gave a weary nod. "Let's go outside."

As soon as we'd cleared the door, Eddie grabbed hold of Trey and shoved him against the building. "Where's Sonya Karp?" Eddie demanded. Trey looked understandably surprised.

Eddie was lean and muscled, but most people underestimated just how strong he was.

"Eddie, back off!" I hissed, glancing around uneasily. I had the same urge, true, but our interrogation wouldn't get very far if a teacher came by and thought we were roughing up another student.

Eddie released Trey and stepped back, but there was still a dangerous glint in his eyes.

"Where's the compound you're holding her at?"

That seemed to wake Trey out of his sluggish state. "How do you know about that?"

"We'll ask the questions," said Eddie. He didn't touch Trey again, but his proximity and posture left no question he would go to extremes if needed. "Is Sonya still alive?" Trey hesitated, and I almost expected a denial of knowledge. "Y-yes. For now." Eddie snapped again. He grabbed the front of Trey's shirt and jerked him close. "I swear, if you and your messed-up associates lay one hand on her - "

"Eddie," I warned.

For a moment, Eddie didn't move. Then, reluctantly, he released Trey's shirt, but stayed where he'd been standing. "Trey," I began, keeping the same reasonable tone I'd just used with Eddie - after all, Trey and I were friends, right? "You have to help us. Please help us find Sonya."

Tags: Richelle Mead Bloodlines Fantasy
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