Chapter 27

Callum found Liam and me watching an episode of Survivor in one of his living rooms. As he strode into the room, I straightened up on the sofa and was shocked to see his shirt sullied with a great deal of dirt and black blood.

"Is all that from tonight?" I asked, staring at his shirt.

Callum's jaw clenched as he angrily ran a hand through his hair, which was a great deal more disheveled than the last time I had seen him. Liam had straightened up, too, and took in Callum's state with a frown.

"No," Callum said, and collapsed beside me on the couch. I shifted to look at him. "No, I had a minor incident on my way here."

Liam's eyes flashed. "What? Were the others with you?" He meant Ophelia, Lester, and Raven.

Callum shook his head and I noticed a line of black blood trailing down from his right temple. Only another vampire could make a vampire bleed.

"Vampires attacked you?" I asked.

He swallowed, and said, "Twelve of them. Hired by Lilynn, no doubt."

Liam cursed. "We should have been there, master."

Callum waved a hand. "It's fine, Liam. They just took me by surprise. I was in the air."

"They attacked you while you were flying?" I asked stupidly. I tried to picture it mentally and it just looked ridiculous.

"Hmm," he acknowledged. "They must have been waiting for me."

I eyed the blood. "What happened?"

"I took care of them," he said in a way that sent chills down my spine.

Too often I forgot what Callum was. Goosebumps ran along my arms. His eyes met mine as if he could smell the fear, and there was a ring of black around his irises. The telltale Letalis Flora tingle found its way to my fingertips, sensing a dangerous vampire nearby. I was becoming used to the feeling, I think, because it didn't shock me like it used to. It was almost a comfort that I had a backup system in place if my human instincts weren't enough.

Liam cleared his throat from where he sat. "Uh," he said hesitantly.

Callum's eyes snapped away and he looked down at his hands in his lap. He seemed to be trying to compose himself. I shook myself as well. I felt odd – this was the first time the two of us had had a vampire vs Letalis Flora problem. I knew it must have been from his residual adrenaline from the attack, but it was still unnerving. I swallowed and clasped my shaking hands.

"Well," Liam said, looking between us, "that was weird."

There was silence until Callum said, "I am sorry, Dahlia."

"I'm sorry, too," I murmured. "I don't know what happened."

He put a hand on my knee for a moment, and then took it away. He was still trying to calm down.

"Lilynn couldn't have thought twelve vampires were going to succeed in killing you," I said to change the subject.

"I think her goal was to be an annoyance. The bombs, the vampires…it seems she is trying to buy time," Callum said.

"For what?" I asked.

"I am not sure." He rubbed the bridge of his nose. "For the party, perhaps? Or something else she has planned."

"Should I try to find her?" Liam offered, expression serious.

"No, that would be a death trap," Callum replied. "Everyone needs to stay here for the time being. I have to come up with a plan." He suddenly looked incredibly tired.

"Yes, master," Liam said with an endearing amount of confidence in his voice.

"Liam," I said lightly. "Do you think you could bring some sort of wash cloth?"

Indignant, he stood up and said, "No," but then added, "I can show you where one is, though."

I rolled my eyes and stood as well. "Fine." I looked down at Callum and said, "I'll be right back."

He nodded and closed his eyes. I had the urge to do the same thing. It had been quite a night.

Liam led the way out of the room, down the hallway, and showed me into a bathroom. He handed me a small towel from a rack. "Here you go. Go be a good girlfriend."

I took it, shooting him a look. "Hey," I said, "be nice."

He flashed a grin. I turned on my heel and walked to the door.

"Have a good night, sunshine," he called out teasingly from behind me.

Before I turned down the hallway, I paused in the doorway. "Why do you call me 'sunshine'?" I asked blatantly.

Slightly startled, his smile dropped. He looked at the floor, slowly shrugged, and then raised his eyes to meet mine. "I don't know." He paused for a couple seconds. "I guess I think –" he took a deep breath and let it out "-that you'll be the death of me."

Frowning, I stared at him for a few moments, not knowing what to think. Was that a good thing or a bad thing?

He noticed the frown and tried to explain. "You know, because sunshine and vampires don't –"

"Yeah, I get it," I said softly, lowering my head. I couldn't even begin to understand what he meant. "Good night, Liam."

Callum looked like he was sleeping, so I walked into the room as quietly as I could. I stopped about a foot away from him, taking in the disheveled hair and the messy shirt and his eyelashes against the pale skin of his cheeks. I bit my lip and tried to suppress the flutters in my chest.

"Stop staring and come here, would you?" he muttered, eyes still closed.

I let out a breathy laugh and sat down next to him. One of his hands reached for me, but I swatted it away. "No, no, we've got to clean you up a bit," I said.

I brought the towel to his temple and began to wipe the blood away. The wound had already healed. With his head resting on the back of the couch, he was silent as I worked.

Putting the towel down, I asked, "Do you have another shirt? I'm sorry, but I think this one is done for."

He cracked an eye open and he gave me a pained look. He made a big deal about sitting up, lifting the tee-shirt over his head, exposing a clean white tank top. He tossed the tee-shirt on the floor. My cheeks flushed a bit when he caught me checking him out.

"Are we done cleaning up now?" he asked.

Smiling, I settled more comfortably on the couch. He drew me closer to him and I laid my head on his chest. This was quite possibly my favourite place in the world. For a moment, I forgot about all the dangers out there and felt a sense of peace. The moment was fleeting, however, and my mind reengaged, trying to find solutions to the various problems at hand.

"So, what are you going to do about your party?" I asked quietly.

"Have it anyways," he replied, smoothing a hand over my hair.

"You can't be serious?" I asked, craning my neck to look at his face.

The one dimple came out. "I cannot let Lilynn's efforts make me look vulnerable. You may not know this about me, but I have several enemies who are simply waiting for an opportunity to take me down."

I snorted and shook my head, burying my face in his chest before saying, "No, Mr. Knightley, I had no idea."

"Hmm, yes," he said, amused. "Well, I also believe Lilynn has been launching these attacks not only to attempt to weaken us, but to buy time."

"For what?"

"I am not sure. But I am not willing to postpone the party to a later date when she is more prepared."

"I suppose that makes sense," I mused. I lifted my head again. "But what about the estate? The bombs caused so much damage."

"The police have closed off the area until they have conducted their investigation, so we will have to move the location. A friend of mine has offered his house."

"And the cake?" I asked tentatively. "Did it make it?"

Callum smiled. "It is not beyond repair."

"Good," I said.

That creeping feeling of guilt came over me that all this was happening because of me. I had the urge to finish it once and for all. But she was impossible to find. She even knew how to elude vampires. Maybe I could let her come to me. But that would be stupid. That would be stupid and reckless.

"What are you thinking about?" Callum said lightly.

I swallowed, fingers curling around the fabric of his shirt. "Maybe I shouldn't–"

"I know what you are going to say," Callum interrupted. "And the answer is no."

I sat up, tucking a strand of hair behind my ear. "Callum, me attending the party is an unnecessary risk," I tried to reason. "I know you've hired me to attend, but you'll get a full refund, I promise."

"Money is of no concern to me," he grumbled. "You know that."

I dropped my head. "Yeah, I know." I looked up at him again. "But come on, she is almost guaranteed to try something if I'm there."

"She will try something regardless," he corrected. "And do not think for a moment that I would let you out of my sight tomorrow night."

I gave him a reluctant smile. "Look, I still think –"

"Dahlia," he interrupted, lightly grabbing my forearm. "I have lived long enough to know the importance of carpe diem."

Pulling out the Latin. I frowned at him. Was this going to be a philosophy lesson?

He noticed my skepticism with a quick laugh. "No, listen," he said. "You cannot let other people dictate how you live your life. This party is trivial and frankly, more political than celebratory. But it is my 300th birthday and you know what they say: you only turn 300 once."

I breathed a laugh, closing my eyes and shaking my head. "Callum…"

"I want you there," he said.

"What if she tries something and exposes you guys as vampires to all the non-vampires? What then?" I queried with a pointed look.

"That is easily dealt with."

"Oh, is it?" I asked.

There was a sheepish look on his face. "Yes, well, it is possible to –" he cut off, taking in my expression, which was not pleased.

"Say it," I commanded.

"Well, Ophelia has a certain talent. She can…make humans forget certain things," he finished slowly.

I just looked at him. Of course. Of course. How else had vampires and werewolves and God knows what else survived centuries without humans ever finding out? Jesus, there was so much to learn. Not for the first time I found myself wondering what else was out there?

"Dahlia?" Callum said warily.

"Yeah, it's fine," I answered, shaking myself. "Still getting used to it all, you know?"

He gave me a reassuring look and raised a hand to touch the scar on my neck. "So," he said softly. "You will come?"

The cold from his fingers sent a chill down my spine. I gave him a good glare and replied, "Fine. But if there's any sign of her, I'm leaving. I can't – I don't want anyone getting hurt."

"Fine," he echoed. He looked down, hand still resting on my neck. "You know, I do…"

"You do what?" I prodded, brow furrowing.

He lifted his head slowly and a slow, mischievous smile appeared. "I do expect a birthday present." The meaning was unmistakable.

The statement took me by surprise. My mouth dropped open and Callum laughed in a way I had never heard him laugh before. It was lighthearted and boyish and it hit me right where my heart was. He pulled me towards him and kissed me, still laughing.

The night that ensued was the most fun I had had in a long time: falling off the couch half-naked with Callum coming tumbling down after me, laughing hysterically when Lester accidentally came into the room and dropped the book he was carrying and hurried away as I yelled, "Yoga! I'm teaching him yoga!", sneaking into the kitchen to eat some chocolate cake in just a tee-shirt while Callum went to answer a phone call, Callum making a "tsk-tsk" sound when he found me mid-bite, me throwing a forkful of cake at him, a chocolate-covered Callum chasing me around the counter and pressing me against the fridge until I surrendered, kissing me until my knees buckled…

You would have thought we were the most carefree people. Carpe diem, right?

As I was drifting to sleep with his arms around me, he asked, "Did I scare you when I told you about my wife…Anne?" It sounded like it had been something on his mind for a while.

Drowsily, I replied, "Not really." I yawned.

"I—" he stopped.

I forced my eyes open to try and see his face. "What is it?" I asked quietly. He tended to overthink things, especially when it came to my opinion of him.

Gently, his hand came behind my head and pressed it to his chest. I closed my eyes again and inhaled deeply. His scent was like aromatherapy. "Nothing," he said lightly. I knew it wasn't "nothing".

"Callum," I murmured.


"If you had been single for 300 years, I'm not sure I would trust you."

I fell asleep to the quiet rumble of laughter in his chest.

"Miss Simon, are you trying to steal that car?"

"Shit," I cursed under my breath, frozen with one leg in the car. I turned my head to smile sweetly at Mike the bodyguard who was watching me with his arms crossed. "I'm not stealing it," I said, attempting to be persuasive. "Liam won't mind, I swear." I almost balked at the look he was giving me. "Okay, okay, he won't mind much."

After waking up alone in a bed, I had taken a shower and dressed in last night's clothes, which had been dirty from last night's attack. As wonderful as last night had been, the full weight of everything hit me as I tucked my gun in the waistband of my jeans. Today was Friday. Today was the party.

I had snuck downstairs and padded down the hallway with my shoes in my hand so as not to draw the attention of Mike and the other guard who were milling by the front door, drinking coffee and catching up on last night's basketball game. I went out the back door that led to the garden, ran around the side of the house, and stopped with my back against the wall when the big circular driveway came into view. I peeked out to see if the path was clear and darted to Liam's shiny black BMW, where I knew the keys were on the dashboard.

And here I was, after all that effort, in trouble with Mike. He raised his eyebrows, and said, "You know one of us has to accompany you if you want to leave."

I sighed, slumping against the seat. "It's a free country, you know?" I said in a defeated voice.

I had nothing against Mike, but I had enough people following me. I wanted some true alone time. Truth was that I worried about Mike. I was sure Callum paid him an exorbitant salary, but certainly nothing to get killed over. I had noticed the wedding ring on his left hand earlier.

"Uh-huh," he replied before heading toward his black sedan that was parked behind Liam's car.

I made a face at his back before closing the door and starting the car.

After picking up some unhealthy breakfast at Starbucks, I headed home. Glancing in my rearview mirror, I kept Mike's black sedan in my sight. He seemed to always keep three cars between us. I thought I noticed another black sedan following me, but it drove past my apartment and turned right. My paranoia had gotten worse these past few days.

Mike stayed in his car as I gave him a nod, chocolate croissant in my mouth as I fumbled for my keys in my purse. Once I got to my apartment, I immediately went to change my clothes and to properly brush my hair, humming to myself. Zipping up my sweatshirt, I walked into the living room and collapsed on the couch. My apartment felt a bit strange. Lately, I hadn't been spending much time here and it felt a bit empty. There were no groceries in the fridge, no dishes in the sink, the orchid on the coffee table was wilting, and all my magazines were outdated.

With a groan, I got up. Stretching, I made my way over to the kitchen and put the kettle on for some tea. It was I turned to head back to the couch that I noticed something out of place on the counter. I usually kept it clean of all clutter, so the small stack of papers stuck out.

Dread in my stomach, I went to the counter and realized they weren't papers but photos. Gingerly reaching out, I picked them up.

The first one was of my mother. It wasn't a recent photo. She was standing in her garden in our backyard, looking at the camera with her signature closed-mouth smile. I quickly flipped to the next one. My father in his favourite armchair, reading the newspaper. The next one was of Will at a football game, holding up a banner with a slightly drunken grin. Veronica with her German Shepard. A close-up of Alexander smoking a cigarette outside a bar. My college roommate Karen with her new baby. The last one was of Hannah, my best friend from home. She was blowing out the candles of her birthday cake, grinning wide.

I stared at the pictures in my hand. What the hell did these mean? I flipped through them again and then turned the picture of my mother over. Neatly written on the back was:

91 Deer Valley Rd

Sacramento, CA

The same was written on the back of my father's picture. I flipped to Will's photo and saw the address of the hospital. Each one had their addresses written in that neat cursive writing. Under the address on Hannah's photo was:

I'm coming for you. Get in my way and I go after them all.

Now I understood what these meant. The meaning was oh-so clear. Lilynn Blaise intended to either hurt or kill my family and friends if I sabotaged her in any way. She had obviously learned the blackmailing trick from her ex-boyfriend Damien.

"Oh, hell no," I said as I threw the photos down on the counter.

The photos didn't have their intended effect, because I was now pissed beyond belief. This woman had most likely hired a hit on me, tried to kill me with werewolves, set off bombs with innocent people around, tried to kill Callum, and was now threatening people who had nothing to do with her obsession with Damien. I had been the one to draw his attention and to kill him. This was between her and me.

Striding over to the phone, I picked it up and dialed my house number. I needed reassurance that they were okay.

"Mom?" I asked the moment someone picked up.

She sounded startled. "Dahlia? Is that you?"

"Mom, thank God," I uttered, sitting on the arm of the sofa, one hand running through my hair.

"What is it?" her voice asked, worried.

I dropped my hand and cleared my throat. I didn't want to alarm her. "Nothing," I lied. "I'm just calling to say hi. Is Dad there?"

"Yes, he is," she said suspiciously. "What's going on?"

"Nothing," I repeated. "Just—"

"You don't call for three months and you expect me to believe it's nothing," she asked, quite irate.


"Dahlia," she interrupted.

"Mom—" I tried again.

"It's that job of yours, isn't it?" she said. "Are you in trouble? I told you that you shouldn't be –"

"I'm not having this conversation again, Mom," I said bluntly. "I have to go."

"Dahlia," she snapped in the way that only she could.

"Sorry," I said. "I love you."

I hung up the phone and tossed it on the couch. I was so relieved that they were all right. I was relying on the fact that if they were okay, the others were okay as well.

I'm coming after you. So, she wanted me to sit around, scared to death, waiting for her to come for me.

"Not if I come for you first, bitch," I whispered.

Anger was a great motivator.

I didn't care if Lilynn was 'impossible to find', according to the vampires. I was a damn good private investigator and I was going to track her down. I was going to get to her before she had a chance to do any more damage.

As I loaded my gun up, I realized that I didn't have much information to go on. She had always come to me. She had never mentioned a word about where she lived. I slipped on my shoulder holster for the Firestar underneath my sweater, wracking my brain for something to start on.

She always came to me, which meant she knew where I was. That meant she had eyes on me most of the time. Not her eyes, I was sure. She probably hired local mercenaries or werewolves or whoever the hell wanted a big chunk of cash.

I suddenly remembered the black sedan that I thought might have been following me home. It had continued on past my apartment, so I had dismissed it. But it wouldn't have just parked right next to Mike, would it?

"Stupid," I muttered to myself, adjusting the holster so that the gun fit neatly under my arm.

The view outside my windows didn't look out on the street, so I couldn't watch to see if the sedan passed by again. I frowned, but quickly remembered that Will's apartment did have a view of the street. And I had the keys to his place. He had given them to me last year when I needed to feed his plants while he was away on vacation.

Grabbing them out of a kitchen drawer, I hoped he wouldn't mind. He was angry with me in a way that was most likely irreparable. But this was quite a life-or-death matter and I had a hard time feeling too guilty.

I locked my door behind me, quickly unlocked his apartment and stepped in. It was dark and quiet. I peered into the living room, where I had left Will bleeding on the floor. There were blood stains on the carpet. It brought back memories of that night and I felt a little nauseas. I didn't regret for a minute that Damien and his vampires were dead.

Continuing down the hallway, I turned left into his bedroom. It was cluttered with clothing, sports magazines, bowls of old food, and wires leading to his various electronics. His bed was unmade, the sheets tangled in a ball at the foot of the bed. I stepped over his full laundry hamper and went to the window. I peered out at the street. I found Mike's black sedan. There were five other cars parked along the street near my apartment, but all of them were empty. I kept watch of the cars that came down the road.

I felt the weight of the gun underneath my left arm. I didn't have a plan. What if I did find her? Was I going to kill her? She was a human and I had never killed a human before. I swallowed at the thought of it. I would kill someone if my life or someone else's life was in danger. I knew I would. Lilynn had tried to kill me several times. How guilty would I really feel?

Still, I had some faith in the justice system. I leaned against Will's bookcase, staring at the road. If I had proof of her attempting murder, that could put her away for a long time. She was so mentally unstable that I wouldn't put it past her to talk to the police about vampires and me and this whole secret world.

But who would believe her?

I bit my lip and watched a black sedan drive past. I leaned forward and watched it turn right, as the one I had seen before do. So help me God, I hoped that was the same car. I checked the clock on my cellphone. 11:23. I waited with bated breath until I saw it again, this time at 11:29. I squinted to try to get a glimpse of the driver, but I was too high up and the windows were tinted. I waited until it passed by again at 11:35. It turned right every single time, every six minutes.

The right turn was onto Adderly Street, which was a short road with a traffic light at the end. It was risky, but when the car was stopped at the red light, I could slip into the backseat and essentially highjack the car.

I massaged my temples. Jesus, there were so many issues with that. One, I had to get out of the building without Mike seeing me. Two, it might not be one of Lilynn's people. Three, someone could see me. Four, what would I do if I did manage to get the driver to take me to Lilynn?

There was a nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach, but the anger of Lilynn's threat was overwhelming. I had to do something. I was never any good at waiting around. And I didn't want to play by her rules.

I watched the car drive by again. 11:41. I wracked my brain for ideas to get past Mike. There were two exits in the building, but one was alarmed and only used for emergencies. The other was the front entrance, which Mike had a clear view of. I could jump out of a first story balcony, but I didn't have access to any first story apartment. What I did have access to was the laundry room on the first floor, though. I closed my eyes, trying to visualize the room. There weren't any windows, but there was a large vent that led to the back of the building. That was going to have to do.

Retreating out of Will's bedroom, I locked up and went back to my apartment. I ripped through the same kitchen drawer that had held Will's keys and found a screwdriver. On a whim, I slipped an old recorder I had from college into the pocket of my jeans. It couldn't hurt. A confession would be substantive proof for court.

Jaw setting when I saw the pictures on the counter, I threw them into the drawer. Maybe these could be proof, too. I shut the drawer on my mom's smiling face. Going to the foyer, I pulled on a pair of brown leather boots that were well-worn and easy to run in. Tying my hair into a high ponytail, I glanced around the apartment before grabbing my keys and my phone.

Flying down the stairs, I nearly crashed into Mrs. Bailey, an older woman who lived on the second floor.

Not stopping, I smiled in apology. "Sorry, Mrs. Bailey," I breathed.

"Miss Simon," she said, slightly alarmed. Her gray eyebrows knotted together. "What are you in such a rush for?"

I slowed to say, "Just late for a meeting! See you later," before disappearing out of sight. When I reached the ground floor, I paused to hear her enter her apartment. There was no one else around. Most people were at work. I took a deep breath before heading to the laundry room.

It smelled of laundry detergent and the stuffy scent of lint. There were five dryers up against the wall that held the vent. I turned to quietly shut the door behind me. Taking the screwdriver out of my pocket, I walked over to the dryers and squinted up at the vent. It was big enough for me to fit through, but it was high. I hoped I had the upper body strength to hoist myself up. I climbed onto the dryers and reached up to dust the lint off of the screws in each corner of the vent.

Coughing into my sleeve, I started to take the screws out. It was obvious they had been in there awhile and it took a good five minutes to get them all out. Tucking my screwdriver back into my pocket, I glanced at the door, sucked in a breath, and tried to hoist the vent screen off. It squeaked but didn't move. I tried again, managing to pull it off by a half inch. I prayed no one could hear the squeaks of plastic each time I pulled on it. If someone saw me right now, it would raise a fair number of questions.

The screen eventually popped off and I set it down on the top of a dryer as gently as I could. Hands on my hips, I stared up at the cloudless sky and breathed in the fresh air. I tried hoisting myself up, using the wall to push myself with my feet, but it was too high. Boots clanking on the dryer, I tugged my sweatshirt down and turned around. There had to be something I could stand on. There wasn't anything in the room except for the washers, dryers, and a medium-sized trashcan.

I hopped off, ripped the lid off the trashcan and emptied out the contents on the floor. Balls of lint and empty bottles of detergent were strewn across the floor. I climbed onto the dryer again, flipped the trashcan over, and paused for a moment before standing on it and heaving myself through the small hole. At the last moment, I kicked the trashcan off the dryer because I didn't want it to be terribly obvious that someone had climbed through. There was a muted sound as it hit the tile floor.

The grass was damp as I crawled out of the hole. Staying low, I looked around to see if anybody had seen me. The back of my building looked out on another set of apartment building. To my left was Adderly Street and the traffic light. It wasn't a busy time of day, so there were currently no cars stopped at the red light.

I stood up and brushed myself off, making sure I still had everything with me. A black sedan came into view and I hurriedly pressed myself against the building and bent my head. I slyly tried to see if it was Mike or Lilynn's guy. It had different hubcaps than Mike's sedan, but I couldn't be sure. I let it pass through the light.

It came by again in six minutes. I scrolled through the contacts on my phone and pressed call when I found "Bell". It started ringing.

"Sergeant Bell," a distracted male voice answered.

"Bell," I said. "It's Simon."

Sergeant Bell was my friend at the San Francisco Police Department. We had met when I had been hired to find a fugitive on a case that he had been assigned to. It took a while to warm up to each other, but we ended up helping each other out on different cases.

There was some movement on the other end. "Simon?" Bell asked, surprised. "Haven't heard from you in weeks. What's up?"

"The usual, you know," I said. "Listen, you remember that time I brought in Carlos Santiago and you said you owed me a favour?"

He groaned. "Yeah, I remember," he said reluctantly.

"Yeah, well, I'm calling to collect on that favour," I said, brushing the dirt off my knees.

"What is it?" he asked. "It better not take long. I'm working on a mother of a case right now and the Lieutenant is up my ass."

"I need you to arrest a woman named Lilynn Blaise," I told him. "I don't know where she is and I don't have proof yet—"

"Up my ass, Simon," he interrupted. "Do you understand? I don't have time to go after some lady—"

"I wasn't finished," I cut him off. "I'll know her location soon and I am going to tape her confessing her crimes."

"What are these alleged crimes?" he asked, sounding interested despite himself.

"Attempted murder, blackmail, acts of terrorism…" I listed off.

"Okay, who is this lady?" Bell asked. "Is this is a case you're working on?"

"No, this is something I'm pursuing myself," I said. "She's hired a lot of local mercenaries, too, so bring back-up."

"What the hell, Simon? This sounds serious. Why are you calling me in on this? You should be calling 911."

"Because I don't have proof or a location, Bell," I explained impatiently. "And I don't just need a squad car. I need someone to take this seriously."

There was silence. A blue minivan drove by. The six minutes were almost up. Cradling the phone between my shoulder and ear, I took the Firestar out of the holster and pulled back the slide to load the cartridge. I hoped I didn't have to use it.

"Bell?" I said. "I need an answer."

"Okay," he said roughly into the phone. "You gotta tell me what you're doing, though. How are you finding this Blaise woman?"

I took the phone back into my hand. "Can't tell you that," I told him.

"Jesus Christ, you're going to do something illegal," he swore into the phone. "I—"

The black sedan came into my view. The light was yellow. There were no other cars around. This was my window. "I gotta go, Bell. I'll call you when I have a location." I hung up and shoved the phone into my sweater pocket.

I waited for the car to stop at the light before sprinting about fifty yards to a clump of bushes. I crouched down, breathing hard, asking myself if I was really going to do this. I'm coming for you. Get in my way and I go after them all. Oh, yes, I was going to do this.

A/N: I think the moral of this entire story is: don't make Dahlia angry. Haha!

As you can probably tell, the next bit will be quite action-based. We're getting to the end! Well, kinda sorta. Probably three long chapters left, I'm not entirely sure how to break it up yet. Do you guys like longer chapters or would you prefer shorter ones? I know long chapters can be an overload sometimes.

Please let me know your thoughts, and enjoy your holidays!