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Chase ordered them two sodas. He remembered she drank diet, and for some reason, the thought made her feel good. They chatted about mundane things, knowing others were listening.
But when the vamps left, the conversation got a little less mundane.
“Did you get anything from the vision that might help us?” Chase asked.
Della let herself be pulled back into the memory that could easily break her heart. “They said something about someone wanting to make them murderers.”
“I know.”
“Do you think someone’s making assassins out of fresh turns?”
Chase shook his head. “They could, but you’d need to trust anyone you sent out to do something like that.”
“The noise?” Della said. “It was like some construction equipment above them.”
He nodded. “But it could have been anything.”
She trailed her finger down her cup. “We need to tell Burnett about it. We never even told him about the other one.”
“If you think it will help, go for it. I just don’t see what good it’ll do.” He grabbed a napkin and wadded it up in frustration. “What I don’t understand is why the ghost is doing this. Putting us there for no reason. We’re not getting anything that will help us find them.”
Della felt the same way, but then suddenly, she knew the answer. “But we care.”
“We care. She wants us to care about them.”
Chase exhaled and looked down at his drink. “Then she’s succeeding.” He stabbed his straw into his cup.
They both grew quiet, as if trying to come to terms with caring. Then Chase looked up at her and she could tell he’d moved his thoughts away from the vision. “Why didn’t you fake your death like most everyone else?” he asked.
She shrugged. “I had Chan, and when my parents took me to the hospital because I was sick, I ran into some other supernaturals and they gave me the number for Shadow Falls. Holiday’s not big on vamps faking their death.”
He nodded and stared at his soda for a while. “But it obviously hasn’t been all that easy for you. I’ve heard you complain about your dad … and your aunt. And the one parents’ day I was there, you … looked pretty miserable sitting with them.”
She exhaled. “There were times I thought it might be easier the other way, but after hearing Natasha, I don’t know. Holiday may be on to something.”
He nodded. “Did you lose other people, too?”
Remembering the conversation they had both been privy to between Natasha and Liam, Della suspected he meant a boyfriend. “Yeah. I had someone.”
“Were you close?”
“I thought we were. I was wrong.”
“He hurt you?” he asked, and his eyes grew a tad brighter with obvious anger.
“Yeah.” She turned her drink in her hands, tracing a drop of condensation down the glass, finding the courage to ask the same question. “What about you?”
“I was only fourteen.” He paused as if that was the answer, then he added. “But yeah, there was someone.”
“Did you love her?” Della asked.
“Young love,” Chase said. “She was a friend of my sister. I’d had a crush on her for a long time. She’d finally stopped looking at me like the younger brother.”
“Do you ever go see her? I mean, I know she thinks you’re dead, but have you ever just watched her from afar to see how she’s doing?”
“No.” He cut his eyes down at his own glass. “She died.”
“How?” Della asked, her chest feeling full.
“She was on the plane with us when it went down.”
Della’s heart really crunched with pain then. “I’m sorry.”
“Me, too. But I saw her, sort of.”
Della picked up her straw and stirred the ice around. “You mean as a ghost?”
He made a face. “I guess that’s what you would call her. I was in pretty bad shape from the crash, and I was sort of there … with them. Or halfway there, if you know what I mean?”
She nodded. “I do. The same thing happened to me when I was … being Reborn.”
“I’m glad you decided not to stay there,” Chase said.
“You, too,” Della admitted.
He smiled. “You know, I think she knew about you.”
Della made a face. “Your girlfriend? How could she have known about me?”
“She said they could peek into the future and that I’d meet someone who was a real challenge.”
“That doesn’t mean it was me,” Della insisted.
He chuckled. “I don’t think I’ve met anyone who is more of a challenge.”
She lifted her third finger up off her glass just a bit.
He saw it and laughed. “I had fun today.”
She bit down on her lip. “I’m paying you back for the ticket. Who knew they could charge four hundred dollars?”
“Yeah, but I was going fifty miles over the speed limit.”
Della frowned. “I was going fifty miles over the speed limit.”
“And you enjoyed every second of it,” he said. “I’d pay twice that much to see you having fun again.”
“Yeah, but you’re not going to pay it. I’m getting some compensation for working this case and I’ll reimburse you.”
“See, you’re a challenge,” he said. “I’ve got plenty of money, Della.”