The Quiet

I followed her gaze to the other side of the room, where there were two windows. One was closed tightly. But the other was opening slowly. I could see some kind of shadow come over the bottom.

Someone was coming inside.

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42. Shiver

While Clay slept, I searched my house for Alec and Maddox. I imagined they would be carrying Lena’s body and that made me shiver. There wasn’t many places to hide here, it’s not like we had trap doors or secret passageways, though that would be handy tonight.

“Maybe they left,” I told myself hopefully. “They left and Clay and I are free.”

Just as my thoughts turned positive, they came crashing down all too soon. Again, there was a crash from upstairs, and I could hear the faint sound of frantic whispers, but I didn’t know what they were saying.

I was at the bottom of the stairs, holding the banister, before someone spoke in a rough, shaky voice.

“You can’t kill him, he’s just a child. I’ll take his place.”

I shivered at Maddox’s words. I didn’t want him to die. Not now. Not if that meant leaving me and Clay to face Alec alone.

I knew in the end that’s what would happen.

I walked back to Clay and lay down with him, my head resting on his chest. He cracked an eye open, gazed at me, and put his arms around me. I tried not to listen to what I knew was coming, upstairs in the dark.

“You’re shaking,” Clay whispered. “Are you okay?”

I swallowed. “Of course not. Lena’s dead and we’re sleeping while Alec is upstairs getting ready to kill Maddox.”

He nearly shoved me off the couch. Suddenly he didn’t seem to feel the pain anymore. The way he looked at me before standing was something I could identify. He spoke quietly.

“We have to get up there without being seen.”

Part of me wished Lena was here. With Clay injured, at least she’d go with me to face the danger. I pressed my hand against his chest and shook my head.

“I don’t want you coming with me. You’re hurt enough.”

He frowned. “I’m fine.”

I rolled my eyes, touched his face and he recoiled.

“Okay, maybe not fine, but I need to come with you. If I don’t, you’re just going to end up getting hurt or worse. I can’t let that happen to you too.”

Regret flashed across his face and his expression turned determined. He gripped my hand and started to walk toward the staircase, but I stopped him.

“What was all that about not being seen?”

Clay smirked as he glanced back at me. “I don’t think Alec expects us to come right up the stairs.”

I hoped he was right.

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