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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34. Unfolding

My mind reeled. Everything that had happened in the course of a few hours was all orchestrated by someone else. Someone who wanted to hurt Clay for something he wasn’t even positive about. And killing the rest of us wouldn’t bother him one bit, it seemed.

We were so completely and uttered fucked.

“Can he get in here?” I asked nervously. I glanced toward the kitchen as I said this, because of the broken glass door.

So, yes, he could get in if he wanted.

A cold gust of air trembled through the house, making me shiver. Clay slipped an arm across my shoulders and pulled me close. I wasn’t going to tell him that the chill wasn’t just from the fear, because I think he knew.

“We have to board up the door,” I whispered to Clay.

He nodded, looked at me, and leaned his forehead against mine. When he pressed his lips to mine, I closed my eyes briefly.

“We’ll be okay,” he said, then pulled away.

But I was still shaking.

“Alec can find another way in,” Maddox informed us. “If he really wanted to, he could do what you and Lena did and climb through the skylight. But I doubt he would.”

I frowned. “How scary is he?”

Maddox smiled a little. “He’s worse than me, if you can believe that. For more than half my life, he’s been the one making decisions for me, forcing me to do unspeakable acts upon innocent people.”

He gestured to my face.

“But what did you do?” Lena asked. “Why is he doing this?”

Maddox sighed. “It happened so long ago. I did something terrible and Alec was there to pick up the pieces, and he swore if I did everything he wanted, he’d never tell anyone my secret.”

We all leaned forward simultaneously, waiting.

“I killed someone close to me,” Maddox whispered, his voice suddenly hoarse. “And then I tried to kill myself, and that’s when Alec found me.”

Everything was unfolding before our eyes.

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