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“Not so fast,” Holiday said, standing in the door with a baby on her hip. “I’m a little worried about this.”
Hannah Rose started flapping her hands at the sight of her father. Burnett reached for her, pulling the little bundle close to his chest. “I’ve checked with the local authorities on both the Brian family and the Owens. Neither have any criminal history. I don’t think they pose any danger.”
Holiday frowned. “It’s not them I’m worried about.” The red-haired fae’s gaze went from Della to Chase.
“Then who?” Della asked, almost certain the woman was going to say something about Chase. Chase’s shoulders tightened as if he had the same thought.
“The ghost,” Holiday said.
“Why would the ghost hurt us?” Della asked. “All she wants is for us to find Natasha.”
“I agree,” Chase said.
“Maybe.” Holiday reached for a strand of hair and twirled it. “But she managed to bring both of you into a vision, and if she did what Burnett told me, with those names on the back of the picture, then she’s pretty powerful. A ghost with that kind of power, and that desperate, can be dangerous. Even if their intentions aren’t evil. Spirits have been known to cause mud slides, tornados. The last twenty-car pileup that happened in L.A. was because of a spirit.”
Della thought of the near accident on the freeway. That wasn’t the ghost, was it? Why would she attempt to hurt them if they were trying to help her?
“I’m not going to stop looking for Natasha,” Della insisted, and shot Chase a glance hoping to communicate to him not to mention the near accident. If Holiday or Burnett thought the ghost was dangerous, they’d be even more out to put a stop to this.
Chase’s eyes widened as if he recalled the accident. Della shook her head so slightly.
Holiday spoke up again. “I’m not suggesting you stop. Just make her give you a little more information before she sends you off on more wild-goose chases.”
Della appreciated Holiday’s concern but … “You said ghosts do what they want, when they want. It’s not like I can text her to send me some info.”
“But if you stop following her leads, she’ll be forced to give you something else. The more she gives you, the more able you’ll be to figure this out.”
“I don’t want to stop,” Della said, and the ghost didn’t want her to stop, either. She felt it, didn’t like feeling it, but she did. “Natasha and Liam are going to die if we don’t find them. And fast.”
Della saw it in Holiday’s eyes again. She didn’t think they were alive. “Don’t say it,” Della said, tilting up her chin in defiance.
“Don’t say what?” Chase asked.
Della glanced at him. “I told you, she thinks they’re already dead.”
“They’re not dead,” Chase said, with the same conviction as Della.
Find Natasha!
The voice came so loud in her head, Della flinched. When she looked at Chase, he had his eyes closed. He’d heard it, too.
“I know it’s hard to accept, but we don’t know that they’re alive,” Holiday said.
Instantly, the temperature in the room dropped so fast that steam billowed out of everyone’s lips as they breathed. A glass vase of flowers sitting on the edge of Holiday’s desk burst. The glass fell to one side, the water another. The water turned to beads of ice like that fancy dot-like ice cream, and all those tiny ice beads rolled around the desk until they formed letters.
Right after the E formed, the door to Holiday’s office slammed shut with such a loud crack it sent an echo through the frosty air. All the little balls of ice ran off the desk and bounced around the floor, making tapping sounds until they melted.
Della held her next breath, too scared to breathe. She saw the same raw panic on Chase’s face. Burnett clutched his daughter closer.
Holiday simply lifted her right brow. “So, okay,” she said, sounding completely calm. “Maybe they’re alive.”
*   *   *
Thirty minutes later, Della and Chase were dismissed after more words of caution, but a commitment from both Holiday and Burnett, and even a coo of approval from Hannah, to move forward on the investigation.
Burnett had agreed they could go tomorrow afternoon to see if the Owen family might be home. They were also going to hang around the neighborhood where Liam lived to see if they could get anything there.
Burnett was going to go back and interview the men arrested with the Craig Anthony case and see if he could “persuade” them to give up any info on the last missing vampires. By the look of worry in the stern vampire’s eyes, Della wasn’t sure she wanted to know what type of persuasion he’d use.
As they walked out onto the porch, Chase stayed close to her side. Under the almost full moon, she moved off the cabin’s porch and turned toward the trail back to her cabin.
“Walk me to the car,” he said under his breath.
“Why?” An image of Steve from earlier with so much pain in his eyes filled Della’s head and heart, and the guilt from earlier tap-danced its way into her conscience.
Frowning, Chase cut his eyes back to the cabin, as if saying he wanted to make sure no one was listening.
Oh, hell, she’d walk him to the car. She’d spent the day with him, she could handle a few more minutes. Besides, a little guilty voice whispered, Steve’s leaving.