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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33. Stolen

I had witnessed many things tonight, even a faux of my own death, which was strangely frightening if I could be honest. It’s a good thing Maddox wasn’t as psychotic as we thought.

“So,” I started, “Traven is the one we have to kill?”

“You are just children,” Maddox told us. “You aren’t capable of murder.”

Beside me, Clay cleared his throat. He didn’t have to say what the three of us were thinking.

“I don’t think it would be wise of you to try and kill him,” Cari said. She slipped onto the floor next to Clay.

“Try?” Maddox laughed softly. “I wouldn’t try. I would succeed. I’ve been Alec’s puppet for far too long. It’s time to cut the strings.”

I frowned. “What kind of dirt does he have on you?”

Maddox looked around before he answered. “Let’s just say he knows some of my secrets and he’s going to share them unless I help him.”

“But what does Clay have to do with this?” Cari asked.

“Alec believes that Mr. Davenport here has stolen something from him, and he would like it back. He’ll do whatever is necessary, I told you. He feels nothing. He’d kill his own mother and not bat an eye.”

“But I didn’t take anything,” Clay murmured. “The only things I have with me are my necklace and a knife my dad gave me.”

“A knife?” asked Maddox suspiciously.

I glanced at my lap.

“May I see it?” Maddox leaned forward. “It might be what he’s looking for. But I couldn’t imagine why, or what you’re doing with it.”

Clay reached into the pocket of his jeans and produced a small, silver pocketknife. The handle was engraved, but even though I was next to him, I couldn’t make out the words.

“What does it say?” I asked.

Before he could reply, Maddox cut him off.

Peccata vestra volunt vos,” he explained. “It’s Latin. It means ‘Your sins have desire to have you.’”

“That’s a weird thing to have engraved,” Cari said, shaking her head.

“Not if you’ve done something terrible and someone knows it, and the knife is just a way of hinting at it,” I said.

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