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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1. Vivian

Lewis set the tea down and sat beside me on the couch. It had been over a month with little word about the missing girls. But despite that and Terry's passing, which was difficult, things seemed to be getting back to normal.

As if reading my thoughts (something only Graham could do, but hadn't done lately because he wanted to respect my privacy), Lewis remarked, “It's not going to be normal around here, is it? I mean, not for us. Because of what we can do, what happened. It's just going to be different.”

Before I could reply, someone touched my arm. Julia sat down and took my hand. Instead of her dirty-blonde hair, she was now fully-blonde, and it looked nice with her violet eyes. She squeezed my hand and looked at Lewis.

“Not hitting on my girlfriend, are you, Lew?” she asked.

“I would never,” Lewis said. “Not after I saw what you did with that see-saw.”

I smiled. “Don't forget the bench,” I said.

We laughed. An amusing but uncomfortable silence settled between us. It stopped when Graham walked in, looked around, and sat on the floor. He was noticeably depressed, and who could blame him. He lost his best friend, and I know he held me responsible.

“I don't,” he assured me. “Tell her, Jules. She doesn't believe me.”

I shrugged, tugged at the sleeve of my black-and-red plaid shirt, and started to wrap a piece of Julia's hair around my finger. I'd gotten better with touching her, and since then, my powers haven't really kicked in with her, or anyone.

Maybe they were taking a break.

I'd sure appreciate that.

“It's not your fault, babe,” Julia said softly, nudging me. She pressed her lips to my cheek. “You couldn't have prevented it. I think it was inevitable.”

“I miss him,” I whispered. “He made me feel like less of a freak.”

“He had that way about him,” Graham agreed, nodding. “He always accepted everyone, no matter what, I wish I could have been like that.”

Julia placed a hand on his shoulder. “He's still here. He's protecting us.”

Graham leaned his head back, letting the sun shine onto his face. “I hope so.”

“We're still alive,” Lewis said quietly. “That's something. Terry would have loved to be here, you know, but unfortunately fate had other plans. It always does.”

Something about what he said must have triggered what I've been feeling for weeks -that Terry was here with us, guarding us – and I was right.

Somehow, the TV flickered on. Lighting up the screen were two faces. Two faces of girls I had seen before. Reports of bodies found. Police asking anyone if they were able to help.

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