The Removed [Book #2]

It's been a month since the three hunters and Terry's death. Vivian, Graham, and Julia, along with Lewis, have been staying at the Miller house. There has been little news on the missing girls, leaving Vivian to wonder if she should find them.

Then something happened that changed everything.

TRILOGY ORDER:

#1 - BOUND
#2 - THE REMOVED
#3 - CHASING SHADOWS

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11. Lewis

I left Graham's house under the cover of shadows and moonlight. I knew if he woke up to find me dressed, he'd ask what I was doing. I decided I'd tell him after the meeting, and hopefully he'd have good news for me when I returned.

On the way to the cafe, I shoved my hand in one pocket, keeping my fingers around Vivian's phone. If it vibrated again, for any reason, I would know. In the other, was Julia's phone. I checked it before leaving the house.

Five texts and thirteen calls.

All from her family.

I sighed as I quickened my pace. None of this was fair. Julia was a good person, she didn't deserve this, not for a second time. I wondered, as I turned the corner at the end of the block, if Vivian had told Detective Boyd about that.

There was a streetlight on in from of the coffee shop, a figure standing alone under it. Even from his profile, he definitely looked like someone you didn't want to mess with. As I got closer, I cleared my throat and spoke.

“Detective Boyd, I presume?”

The man turned his head, his silvery eyes falling on me, then took the cigarette out of his mouth and nodded. “Mr. Tanner,” he said, his voice tired. He smiled at me. “It's good to meet you.”

I smirked. “You look like you're waiting for trouble.”

He laughed. “I can't smoke in my apartment, so I come here.” He looked behind him. “I love this place. I used to come here a lot. How did you find out about it?”

Inside my pocket, my hand tightened around Julia's phone before I said, “I used to come here with someone, a long time ago.”

Boyd nodded. “By the way, feel free to call me Remy. Say, Lewis, could I ask you something?”

I glanced at him. “What's that?”

Suddenly, he looked uncomfortable. He hesitated before answering. “Don't worry, it's not about your abilities. I was wondering about Vivian, though. How is she doing?”

It's not about our abilities yet, but it will be soon enough.

“She's having a hard time,” I said. “She's been in Julia's room for about a week. I never hear her come out. Maybe Graham does, but if so, he doesn't tell me.”

“Graham?” he asked.

“Graham Miller.” I sighed. “He's the one we're all living with now. After...after what happened, none of us had anywhere to go. I mean, not the girls. Vivian's parents never came back when they found out she died.”

Remy almost choked on his cigarette. “She died?”

Mentally cursing myself, I nodded. “Yes, sir. She died a few weeks ago, but Graham revived her. I don't know how, but that's the story I heard from all of them.”

“Graham, Vivian and Julia?” he asked.

I nodded. “There was another,” I continued, “his name was Terry Jones.”

Detective Boyd frowned. “Yes, I heard about him. His death, I mean. His body was found on the playground off Severs Road.”

I stared at him. That wasn't possible. Vivian told me what happened to him, that Terry died at her feet, in Graham's driveway. I took a breath but didn't want to say anything about this, because I knew it wouldn't make any sense.

I could only think of one thing to do. I excused myself, walked backwards until I was in the small alley next to the coffee shop. Once against the wall, I pulled out Vivian's phone and called Graham. As I suspected, he was asleep so it went to voicemail.

“Graham, it's Lewis. I took Vivian's phone. I'm around the corner with the cop she talked to and he told me something really interesting about Terry. By the time you get up, I'll be back at the house, and I'll tell you everything then. Oh, and keep trying.”

I closed the phone and returned to my spot next to Remy.

He held out a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. I took one and and stuck it behind my ear. “So,” I began, “tell me what exactly we're looking for, because I sure as fuck don't know.”

He laughed and shook his head, his eyes suddenly serious as he said, “Anything that will help us track down her abductor, Mr. Tanner. Also, may I have her phone?” He pulled out a plastic bag from his pocket. The word EVIDENCE was in bold, black letters across the front.

I removed her phone from my jacket and dropped it into the bag.

Searching for clues was hard when the only light provided was from an old streetlight, but it didn't really matter if the sun was out, because we found nothing. It was almost sunrise when Remy stopped looking completely. He leaned against the coffee shop window and dragged a hand down his face.

“This bastard is good,” he murmured. “Almost too good.”

“Julia should have been more careful, having already been taken once before.”

Remy stared at me, his eyes narrowed. He had another cigarette in his mouth, and was puffing smoke into the air. It swirled and disappeared as the wind picked it up.

“What did you just say?” he asked roughly.
 

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