When Darkness Falls

Page 56

"I keep telling you, I'm going to be all right."

"You're going to have to be all right-and strong as hell. Sophia made you. She'll have power over you."

"She doesn't have power over you."

"She did. Once."

They reached their rooms. They were adjoining, a slender hall attaching them. He was pleased to see that Rick had remembered his native earth, though Lucian had seen to it to bring along Louisiana soil as well, just in case Rick hadn't understood.

But Rick had. For a new member of the society of the undead, he was taking things rather well.

"Get some rest," he told Rick. "You'll need it."

Jade, Jack, and Shanna landed in Shannon at dusk; their plane to Edinburgh came in well after dark. At the Balmoral, Jade was disappointed to discover that no one named Lucian DeVeau had checked into the hotel.

"What made you think he'd be here?" Shanna asked her softly.

"I don't know. I guess ... he knew that it's where I stayed."

"Maybe he's not in a hotel at all, Jade," Jack suggested.

"Maybe not, but... he should be at a hotel, some distance from the graveyard, but close to the city to reach it easily. And he has Rick with him."

"Jade, there was no guarantee that we'd find him," Jack told her.

"Yes, well, I can find the cemetery."

"Yes, well, we're waiting for morning."

"Lucian will go by night," she told him anxiously.

"Jade! Are you so anxious to die? Let us prepare for what's going to happen." He took her by the shoulder, looking into her eyes with firm patience. "He left quickly, determined to get away before Sophia knew he was gone. He's accomplished that."

"Yes, but he doesn't understand about Sophia and the locket."

"He doesn't understand what Renate found out about Sophia and the locket. Maybe that's wrong, maybe-"

"Jack's right, Jade. We need to get some sleep; then we need to gather our weapons. The shops on the Royal Mile are still open for a while, right?" Shanna said.

"I think so."

"Brooms," Jack said. "Lots of brooms. We'll slice the ends into nice sharp points."

"We need a sword from somewhere," Shanna commented. "They have to be beheaded, Jade, remember."

Jade groaned. "Oh, we're going to look just like your everyday tourists, walking through the streets with spiked brooms and a sword. Think a taxi will stop for us?"

"We'll manage."

"We still need to find Lucian."

"Jade, he'll probably find you."

The phone rang suddenly. Jade sprang for it, hope high in her heart. It was Maggie, checking to see that they had gotten there okay, assuring them that Jamie was fine, and telling her that Sean was going for her stepmother first thing in the morning. "Oh, and Matt called. He wanted to know if you had tied up with Renate yet?"

"Tied up with her? No. She's here?"

' 'According to the flight records, she was on your plane.''

"She never even looked for us!"

"Who, what'" Shanna demanded.

"Renate was on our plane-she bought a ticket for it, anyway."

"Wow. The airlines must have been happy. Man, we all spent big bucks, booking so late!" Jack said, shaking his head.

"Maybe she missed the plane and took a later flight," Jade told Maggie. "We never saw her."

"Well, keep an eye out. Matt is certain she's going to think she's the queen of mystery and get herself into some real trouble."

"We'll watch for her, Maggie. You haven't heard from Lucian, have you?"

"No, I'm sorry. I'll let you go now, but keep in touch."

"Thanks, Maggie. Thanks so much."

"Stay safe."

Maggie rang off. "Isn't that weird? "Jade said. "If Renate was on the flight-"

"She had to have missed it. I mean, it was a big plane, and it was pretty full."

"Knowing Renate, she might have been in first class, and maybe she wants to prove something herself before finding us," Jack suggested.

"Well, I hope we see her soon. This has got me worried," Jade said.

"I'm going to shave," Jack said. "Then we'll head out. Shopping."

"Jack, will you and Shanna do the shopping without me? I want to wait here in case Renate is trying to find us, or in case ..."

"Lucian tries to find you," Shanna finished.

"I guess it will be all right," Jack said. "As long as you don't open the door. To anyone. No room service, nothing, Jade."

"No room service," she promised.

* * *

Rick Beaudreaux had his first lesson in the power of the mind that night.

"It's in what you see with your mind's eye," Lucian told him. "Think it, and you will be it."

"Think it, and you will be it ."

"Move with the power of air and mist, and you are the power of air and mist."

"Think it, and you do it," Rick said.

"Walk on water," Lucian murmured. Rick was staring at him. "The first time I saw Sophia, I thought she could walk on water. She wasn't walking at all. I only learned that later."

"When you learned to walk on water?"

"Something like that. Tonight we need to move as one with the darkness."

"Is Sophia here? Could you feel it if she were?"

"She isn't in the cemetery yet. But it's open for a party. Tomorrow night is Halloween."

"Halloween," Rick said. He started to laugh, and the sound was finally just a little bit bitter. "Halloween.

Well, trick-or-treat on me."

"I'm sorry."

"I intend to help you beat her."

Lucian was still. "She isn't here, but she knows we are. And she can move quickly. Tonight will be our only chance to search the tomb unhindered."

"What about Darian?"

Lucian was quiet again for a minute. Still. Dead still.

"Close. So we have to move fast. Think about the beauty and the grace of the darkness. Move with the mist, with the shadow. Disregard gates and fences and iron doors. So close your eyes. See a new backdrop. Feel the wind, hear the air, listen to every pulse around you. The whisper of the leaves around us, ants moving in the earth. The flutter of bird's wing. Feel yourself. The power of your muscles, the agility of your body. Feel the earth with your feet, and run. ..." They had purchased a dozen broomsticks, which hadn't been all that hard.

The shops were geared toward Halloween. Broomsticks were popular objects at Halloween. Witches were common at costume parties.

Jack had even found a decent sword at an antique dealer. They'd managed to get into the Catholic church-a miracle, since the doors had been closed. A priest had come along who sympathized with their story that since they were Catholics in a basically Protestant country, they would dearly love just a few moments to pray.

Shanna had asked the priest questions about Catholicism today, keeping his attention while Jack filled empty little liquor bottles from the plane with holy water. She also persuaded him to sell her several blessed crosses from the small tourist store in the church, despite the fact that it, too, was closed.

When they got back to the hotel, they called upstairs. Jade was in bed, watching the news. She sounded despondent.

She'd yet to hear from Lucian.

They ordered drinks at the bar. Shanna hadn't realized how much she liked Jack until she had spent all those hours on the plane with him. He was handsome, very Irish-looking, and he wasn't afraid-or if he was afraid, he forged forward despite his fear. She liked that. He was dependable.

And he liked her. . . .

She was glad that he was going to be right down that narrow little hallway between the two rooms tonight. She was afraid. And she'd been uneasy ever since they'd left home. Jamie crying out in the airport had unsettled her.

Shanna ran her fingers around the edge of her wineglass, thinking it would be nice to be here under different circumstances-there was a fire roaring in the hearth, the wine was good, the company very pleasant. But thinking about Jack made her think about the other guy she had met-the one at the coffee shop who had reappeared at the hospital.

And then again at the airport.

"What?" Jack said.

"I was just thinking, I guess. About people-about timing in life."

"To people. And timing," Jack said. He had settled for a nonalcoholic beer, and he lifted it to her.

She smiled. "It's so nice here. I was just thinking ..."


The cable man.

Jamie had dreamed about the cable man. She had dreamed about Dave. Jamie had been crying at title airport. She had seen Dave.

Rick had died at the hospital.

She had seen Dave there.



"What did he look like?"


"The guy who came after you when Sophia was tearing into Rick. Was he tall?"

"Tall, lean, but muscular. Reddish-brown hair, good features-I didn't have a lot of time to study him."

"Reddish-brown, longish hair?" she inquired.

"Yeah, it was longish."

"He's here."


"Darian is here. Somewhere. Somehow. I... I met him. I met him at a coffee shop in New Orleans. I made a date with him, but he didn't show. It was the night all those people were killed in Massachusetts.

But then I saw him at the hospital." She hesitated, deciding against mentioning the dream.

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