corrected. The lines in her face softened, and she smiled. “Would you mind taking me to my place before we meet Charlie?” “I don’t think that’s a good idea.” She looked down. “Oh, right. I can get my own ride.” “That’s not what I meant. I don’t think going to your house is a good idea because they might be watching it. I’m not letting you out of my sight until I know you’re safe.” Her smile returned; it was brighter than the sun filling his living room. “Can you keep me safe while I grab just a few things? Please?” He sighed, unable to tell her no. “Let’s go then. We’ll stop by your house—but just for a minute. And by the way,” he said as he opened the door, “you owe me a chair.” “Just as soon as you fix the hole on my front porch.” *** A block before Eve’s house, Lucien knew it was empty, but when he stepped through the front door, he had no doubts that vampires had been in it. They left behind their distinct smell. According to Scott, vampires smelled like black licorice. To him, however, they smelled like wet pine needles. Lucien examined every room in her house, looking for anything out of the ordinary. The cabinets and countertops in her kitchen had already been replaced. The company he’d hired on short notice had done an excellent job. “The house is empty,” Eve said. “What are you looking for?” He opened her kitchen cupboards; most of them were bare. “You’ve had visitors.” Lucien bounded up the stairs, taking three steps at a time. “Look for anything that doesn’t belong,” he called down to her and then inspected her room thoroughly. After several minutes, Eve appeared in the doorway to her room. “Nothing’s out of the ordinary.” Lucien glanced around one more time. A vampire wouldn’t waste his time coming in here without a purpose. His eyes moved up to the last place he hadn’t looked. Eve’s light fixture was trimmed with a circular decorated silver border; in the center was etched ivory glass. He grabbed a chair and moved it directly beneath the light. Standing upon it, he reached his hand into the glass until his fingers found what he was looking for. He withdrew a small white plastic square. On its side was a flashing green light the size of a pinhead. “They know we’re here. Grab your things.” She moved quickly, stuffing a duffel bag with whatever clothes were in her closet. “What is that?” she asked while throwing a toothbrush into the bag. “It’s a remote motion sensor.” After only thirty seconds, he picked up the bag. “Time’s up. Let’s go.” With Eve following behind, he walked out of the front door and froze. Passing directly in front of them drove a black Cadillac with tinted windows. The driver’s side window was rolled down, and the same spiked haired vampire Lucien had fought the night before drove behind the wheel. He pointed his long forefinger at Eve and grinned wildly. Despite the sun, Lucien started after him, but Eve pulled him back. “Not now. Please. We need a plan.” The Cadillac turned the corner and drove out of view. Lucien clenched his jaw. He didn’t like how brazen the vampires were being. Someone wanted Eve. Bad.
Chapter 15 It was 10:21 am. Most of the morning rush had left the coffee shop with only a few customers steadily moving in and out. Eve and Lucien were the only ones who stayed, sitting in a booth in the corner. Eve was unusually silent. She tore a napkin into several tiny pieces, and then twisted them into long strands, which she laid side by side. Once she had twisted at least three strips, she braided them. He could watch her for the rest of his life. The door opened and Charlie entered, looking grim. Lucien glanced away. He was not looking forward to meeting him, and by Charlie’s sour expression he was feeling the same way. After ordering a coffee, Charlie slid in next to Eve and squeezed her hand. “Hey, Eve. I know you said you were