Bound [Book #1]


They are connected by the fact that they've all died and been brought back.

This is a trilogy. Look for the other two books:

#2 - THE REMOVED
#3 - CHASING SHADOWS

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12. Twelve.

I tried to figure out what I would say to Graham when I talked to him again. I didn't want to just confront him about what I found out, in case I was wrong. I didn't think I was, but that didn't mean I could go around accusing people of things I had no proof of.

Instead, I went to talk to Terry. He was sitting in the living room, flipping through channels on the TV. I watched him for a long time; nothing interested him in the slightest it seemed. Finally, he shut off the TV and turned toward me.

“You've been watching me,” he said. He didn't sound mad, just surprised. “Why?”

“I need to talk to you about something,” I said. “It's important.”

Terry raised an eyebrow and scratched his chin. “You sound a little panicked. Is it bad?”

I thought about it before I nodded. It was to me, and it would be to him and Julia, when I told her. It was hard enough to talk about my suspicions with Graham lurking. This was his house, after all.

“I think Graham has ulterior motives,” I said quietly. Then I waited.

Terry's amber eyes widened. He pushed his hair from his eyes and said, “That's not possible, Vivian. He saved us. He's one of us. He's protecting us, and has been for a long time. Where did you get this crap from?”

Now he sounded angry.

“When I met Graham, he suggested hypnosis to me. I didn't think about it then, but why would he ask me to do that, a complete stranger? Because he wanted me to think he found me, saved my life. But, really, he didn't just find me. He knew what would happen to all of us. He knew we'd each be killed, recreated, and hunted afterward. I just what to know why.”

Terry sighed. “You aren't making any sense. Graham isn't a bad guy. He's offered you his home because you have nowhere else to go. Why are you going to jeopardize that by trying to turn us against him?”

“Terry, I-” I tried again.

“What does he have to gain from this?” he asked.

“I'm not sure,” I said.

He bit the inside of his cheek, mostly I think so he didn't scream at me, which I suddenly appreciated very much.

“You're being irrational,” he told me. “Do you want to leave that bad? Do you want to be killed?”

“No,” I said, shaking my head. “I don't want to leave, but I don't know what else to do.”

“How about you tell me what you think of me to my face, Vivian?” a voice said from my right side. “For the life of me, I can't imagine why you'd think negatively of me, especially after I saved you.”

I closed my eyes. I didn't want to turn my head. I didn't want to see his face. The anger, the pain, the betrayal.

“Graham, I'm sorry,” I whispered.

“You're not.” He laughed and it was a horrible sound. “You obviously think I'm something I'm not, so you don't belong here. I want you to go. Get out of here.”

“Wait-”

“No.” He grabbed my wrist, which forced me to open my eyes. “You don't deserve my kindness.”

“You're hurting me,” I hissed.

“Good,” he said harshly.

“Hey man,” Terry said, putting his hands up. “She said she was sorry. She knows she made a mistake. Let her go.”

Graham's eyes slid away from me. “Are you fucking kidding me? Terry, you sat here and listened to her lies, and now you're going to defend her?”

He shook his head. “Can you blame her? You came out of nowhere. You've basically forced her to trust you.”

Graham unwrapped his fingers from my wrist. He straightened up and narrowed his eyes, then turned to Terry. “Do you trust me?” he asked.

“You know I do,” he answered. “So does Jules.”

Graham shook his head angrily. He looked at me. “I want you to get out of my house. I tried to help you, I tried to warn you. You don't care that you're going to die, do you?”

“Of course I do,” I snapped. “Dying once was awful. I don't want to do it again.”

“Dying sucks,” he agreed, “but so does trusting the wrong people.”

I didn't say anything after that, just sat on the couch. Julia came in a few minutes later, and she looked alarmed.

“What's wrong?” I asked, my eyes wide.

She ignored the obvious tension in the room and grabbed the remote. She turned to the news channel and sat on the armrest of the couch, her eyes brimming with tears.

A body had shown up in the woods – the woods where Julia was taken from last month – and the police thought it was one of the missing girls.

“It's terrible,” Julia said, her mouth trembling slightly. “They don't know who the girl is.”

I had an idea. It was crazy and would probably get me killed.

They didn't know how to find the girls who went missing.

But I did.

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