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“I know, and if dead people weren’t involved, I might agree.” A tickle of dread ran down her spine thinking about it. Was she doomed to be like Kylie now? Ghosts popping in all the time? But damn, she didn’t want that.
Burnett shrugged and nodded at the same time as if he wished he could disagree, but couldn’t. He leaned forward again. “Holiday also says when you get those kinds of visions it’s normally someone you know or someone who is connected to you somehow.”
Della nodded. “She told me that, too, but I don’t know a Natasha or a Liam. And the ghost is the one who told me to find them. So maybe she knows Natasha, because I don’t.”
“Okay, let’s say you’re right and the ghost isn’t Natasha. Do you think you might know the ghost?”
“I don’t think so. I think she just chose me because I’m connected to the Craig Anthony case.”
The room grew silent for a minute and Della’s thoughts went back to the other issue. “Have you actually spoken to anyone on the Vampire Council yet?”
“I’ve called and they said someone will be in touch.”
“In touch today, or this week?” Della asked, concern tightening her voice. If Della was right, and Natasha and Liam were alive, they needed help, and needed it fast. Or was Holiday—who knew her ghost stuff—correct, and they’d already met their fate?
Burnett adjusted his weight in the chair again. “The ball’s in their court. If I try to push, it could have a negative effect. But I will go ahead and put in to start the investigation on our part. And I’ll get someone to go through all the files we confiscated from Craig Anthony. Maybe we can find some info on a … Natasha and Liam. You wouldn’t happen to have last names, would you?”
“Did you get anything else that might help us locate them?”
She let her mind return to the vision. “Nothing other than it was a dark place that smelled like dirt. Like an underground room.” Buried alive. The thought sent chills down her spine. “But…”
“But what?” Burnett asked.
“I don’t know for sure, but Chase might know something about it, too.”
“How would he know?”
“It’s just … I could be wrong, but I think he might have been connected with that vision, too. We were both lured to the falls for a reason, and I think that was it.”
“You mean, he saw it, too?”
“Yeah, Holiday said it was possible.” She hesitated. “Has he already left the property?”
“Yeah. Right before I came here.”
She pulled out her phone and dialed his number. Burnett leaned on his elbows and drummed his fingers on his desk. The call went to Chase’s voice mail. “Hey, it’s me, Della. I … have something to ask you. Can you call me?”
When she hung up, Burnett studied her. “Does he return your calls?”
“I don’t know, I’ve never called him.” She’d been proud of not giving in to the urge. But this was different. She didn’t need him for herself. She needed him for Natasha and Liam.
“My gut says he’ll answer,” she added, remembering how many times he’d messaged and called her before. Then again, she remembered one of the last things she’d told him. I don’t love you, period. I go back and forth on even liking you.
Her words bounced around her suddenly tender heart, recalling the hurt in his eyes. Then, swearing not to get caught up in all that syrupy emotion, she made herself focus on other issues. She looked down at her hands for a second, a question looming in her head, but knowing the answer scared her. Yet not knowing wouldn’t help anyone, so she asked, “How long? How long can vampires feed off each other and live?”
Burnett dropped the pencil and locked his fingers together, resting them on top of his desk. “Why don’t we just try to find them?” he said. “Besides, if Holiday is right—then time…”
“But just in case I’m right, and they’re alive. I need to know. How long do I have to find them?”
Chapter Six
Burnett gripped his hands tighter and his expression told Della he found her question as disgusting as she did. “Della, you’ve had a rough few weeks. Don’t take on the worries of the world. It’s Sunday, go enjoy being a teenager. Let’s wait until we get the go-ahead to work the case, then we’ll worry about—”
“Quit being difficult,” Della seethed. “Just tell me!”
He let go of a gulp of air. “It depends. If they’re careful not to deplete each other too much, they could hang on three weeks.”
It was longer than she’d expected, so she tried to find comfort in that.
But the ugly truth remained. If they were still alive, and if Chase hadn’t been in that vision, then the bulk of the responsibility of finding them lay on her shoulders.
Well, not entirely. There was the ghost. Della’s stomach quivered ever so slightly. Who was the ghost? And why had she come to Della for help?
But more important than her identity, or any connection, was how Della could get her to give up some information. By God, if this uninvited spirit wanted Natasha found, she needed to get off her dead ass and give Della something to work with. A feeling of panic swelled inside her as she recalled Kylie telling her over and over again that ghosts couldn’t be rushed or provoked to talk.
Wasn’t that just what Della needed? Another unreasonable and difficult individual to deal with.