Silent Vows (Page 38)

Silent Vows (MacCoinnich Time Travel Trilogy #2)(38)
Author: Catherine Bybee

A noise from his mom’s room had him heading in that direction. He peeked around the corner calling for her even louder.

The room was in shambles, blankets torn from the bed, the mattress tossed off to the side. Every drawer lay opened and tossed to the floor. His mom’s clothes were thrown everywhere.

The hair on the back of his neck started to crawl, and for the first time since he was five, he thought of the bogyman.

His breath came in gasps as he slowly stepped back and out of the room. Once clear of the door, he pivoted and ran straight into the chest of a man he didn’t know.

A hand stopped him from screaming out. “Now, Simon, we wouldn’t want that.”

Simon froze in place, eyes wide with panic. The last thing he remembered before darkness engulfed him was the stranger holding one of the sacred stones and bringing it down on his head.

“She was just laying there? In a hospital bed?” “Yeah.” Todd answered Liz’s question. “Creepy.”

“How so?”

“It’s hard to describe. She looked through you, at the inside.” Todd remembered his coughing fit and shook off a wave of cold that threatened to settle in like a bad winter storm.

“What else happened?” Fin watched when Todd’s face came up.

“Nothing. I choked on something and had to leave.”

“Choked? What were you eating?” Liz asked.

“I wasn’t eating anything. I just started coughing. Couldn’t catch my breath.”

“Grainna.” Fin crossed to the mantel, lifted the sword. “It was she who caught your breath, just like she did to Duncan’s and Tara’s before they sent her back.”

“Why would she bother with me?” Todd didn’t like how Fin tested the weight of the sword or how he looked at him while he held it.

“She probably read you and knows you took away her chance of breaking her curse with Myra.”

“If that’s true, than why not just let me choke to death?”

“Because that’s not how she operates. She likes to play with her prey, and make them suffer at her hand. Her specialty is killing lovers in front of each other.”

“Sick.” Liz turned pale. “With Myra gone she has no use for Todd and nothing to gain by his death, right?”

“Since he is not a Druid, she can gain nothing from him, but she can from you.” Fin put the weapon back where he found it.

“I’m no virgin, Finlay.”

“But you are Druid, and she has found some strength and powers in shedding Druid blood.” Fin’s eyes grew distant before shaking his head and continuing. “She would like nothing better than to take your life or that of any one of us.”

Todd noticed Liz shiver.

“I’ve got to get home. Simon should be…” She looked up, and her face lost all color. “Simon!”

Panicked, Liz jumped to her feet and ran for the door.

Fin and Todd followed. “Wait.”

“Oh, God. I’ve got to get home. Simon is there all alone.”

Todd watched as Fin stepped between her and the car. “Wait. We don’t know if he is in danger.”

“Call him.” Todd suggested.

Liz took a deep breath. “Yeah, good idea.” She started back to the house to make the call.

Todd took the opportunity to talk to Fin alone.

“Someone was watching us, Myra and I, before she left. We thought it was best she stay here to keep Liz and Simon away from any danger.”

“Do you think it was Grainna?”

“No. Whoever it was, was much younger, able to leap a fence, and run like hell.”

“Then one of her men. Chances are he knew about Liz and Simon.”

Todd and Fin exchanged looks. “I’ll get my gun.”

Todd dashed inside, grabbed his nine-millimeter and his back-up Glock with extra clips. He saw Liz run back outside. On impulse, he pulled his sword off the mantel.

“We’ll take my car,” he yelled when he opened the door. Liz jumped in the back seat and Todd tossed Fin his blade. “I’d probably just hurt myself with it anyway.”

The white-knuckle drive to Liz’s apartment was silent. Todd took little notice of traffic laws even without a siren and lights.

Liz jolted out of the car the second it was in park.

“Liz, stop,” Todd yelled. “Stay behind us.”

They approached the door with caution. Todd’s heartbeat did a rapid tattoo when he noticed the door was slightly open. This doesn’t look good. It felt even worse. He motioned for Fin to stay low, and Liz to stay out.

Todd put his fingers in the air and counted down from three. He hit the door hard, crashing it behind him in his wake. Quickly, Todd swiveled in a circle and kept behind the couch for safety.

Fin rushed in behind him, ready for battle with his own weapon.

The search of the small apartment was quick.

It was also empty.

Liz ran to Simon’s backpack, clutching it to her chest, her eyes wide with panic.

Fin caught Todd’s eyes and stared at the floor.

There, almost directly under his feet, was what appeared to be blood drying on the carpet.

Carefully, Todd sat next to Liz and tossed one of the pillows over the spot to keep it from her sight.

“Where is he? Where is my son?” Tears welled behind her eyes as she rocked back and forth. “What has she done to him?”

Todd pulled in his years of police work and tried to give her hope. “She needs something from him, or she wouldn’t have taken him.”

Liz looked at Fin for answers. “Will she hurt him?” They all knew the answer to that, and Fin’s expression only confirmed it. “Oh, God!”

“Look for a note.” Todd stood and started searching the room.

With something to do, they all started searching. Fin noticed the stones were missing.

When he told the others, Liz asked, “Can she control them?”

“I do not know. They call to a higher power, and she may find them useless.”

Fin needed to work on his game face, Todd thought. He lied almost as poorly as Myra.

“They could be anywhere. Any time.” Liz ran her shaky fingers through her hair. “Oh, God.”

Fin took her hands and forced her to look at him, “Listen to me. You and Simon have a special bond. Every mother and child of our kind does.”

“Our kind?” Liz pulled her hands from his. “I’m done with this Druid crap. I just want my son back.”

“Then listen to me.” He grabbed her hands again, and forced himself into her view. “Close your eyes and listen to me.”