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He nodded. “The statistics are that one in ten of the stronger bloodlines are actually susceptible to being turned.”
“So, me being around my sister or my cousin can expose them?”
“It’s exposed only through blood. Like the HIV virus. So just being with them isn’t going to get them turned.”
Della sat back in her seat and tried to digest what she knew.
“Hey,” he said and touched her shoulder. “Don’t worry about things that haven’t happened. Let’s worry about saving Natasha and Liam right now.”
She looked at him, and knowing he was right, she nodded.
He spoke again. “You said you felt as if the ghost wanted you to come here. Did you learn anything that would help?”
She tried to consider everything she’d learned. “I don’t think so.” She looked at Chase and offered him more of the truth. “I think this is about something else.”
“Like what?”
“She wants me to find out who killed her.”
“Okay,” he said, sounding leery. “Do you think you know who did it?”
She looked at Chase and debated telling him everything again. She almost did, then stopped. Oddly, it wasn’t because she didn’t trust him, but because he already held a prejudice against her father. She didn’t need him assuming the worst right now.
“Can we just try to find Natasha and Liam?”
“Okay,” he said, but his expression said he didn’t like it. “What do you want to do? Where do you want to go?”
“Back to Uck’s,” she said.
“You still think the were you got a trace of at the restaurant has something to do with Natasha?”
“I do,” she said. “And so does the ghost. She’s the reason I knew it was werewolves that the rogue was scared of last night.”
“Then to Uck’s we go.” He reached over again and brushed a strand of hair behind her ear. “We are going to work this out.”
“Work what out?”
“Everything,” he said. “Natasha and Liam. You and me.”
Her heart gave a big tug, and all she could do was nod.
He started the car, and for some crazy reason, she heard Steve’s voice in her head.
Promise me that before you fall in love with Chase, you’ll remember that I loved you first.
Then she heard Holiday’s voice. Just be careful.
Oh, hell. Was she really falling in love with Chase?
*   *   *
She called Burnett and told him she’d be home in a couple of hours to give him a full report. He started to interrogate her over the phone and she insisted they’d talk later. He wasn’t happy, but he accepted it after she told him exactly where they were heading. He obviously felt there was nothing to worry about at Uck’s, and didn’t mind them going.
What pissed Della off was that he was right.
They got nothing at Uck’s. But because there were a few vampires there, they ordered Cokes and talked about mundane stuff. Stories about his parents and his sister. But for some reason, it didn’t feel mundane. She wanted to know all those things.
Then he asked her about her past. Wanting him to know the good side of her father, she told him about how they played chess and even entered a few competitions. She told him about her father taking her fishing. About Scrabble night, and how the family would get together and play.
It was sometime during that conversation that she understood why the ghost wanted her to read the diary. When you cared about someone, you wanted to know the little things. Details of their life. Her aunt, Bao Yu, wanted to know the little things of her daughter’s life.
*   *   *
At almost nine o’clock, Chase pulled up at Shadow Falls. “Do you want me to come with you to talk to Burnett?” he asked.
“No,” she said. “I got it.”
He stared at her. “Are you going to tell him about the leak in the FRU?”
“I have to,” she said. “Are you going to tell the council that I know about it and for him to get the hell out of there?”
“I already have—when you went to the bathroom right after we got to the restaurant.”
She inhaled. “At least we’re being honest.”
“Working for adversaries doesn’t change what’s between us, Della.”
It would, Della sensed it. It just hadn’t risen to a head. And when it did, she didn’t have a clue how she was going to handle it.
But that was only part of her problem. “I’m not a hundred percent sure what is happening between us,” she said.
He leaned over and kissed her again. She only let it happen for a second. She put her hand on his chest and pushed him back an inch.
“I can clear that up for you,” he said. “It’s called being bonded. And it’s a powerful thing. We belong together now.”
“I have to go.” She walked away from him sitting in his car. And she listened to him drive away, feeling the emptiness she felt each and every time.
She went in and gave Burnett a full report. And when she told him about the leak in the FRU, a part of her almost felt disloyal to Chase. Working for adversaries doesn’t change what’s between us, Della. She reheard Chase’s words, and again, she knew he was wrong.
No sooner had Della told Burnett about the leak, he picked up the phone to call someone at the FRU.
He was promptly informed that one of their agents had already cleaned out his office and left a letter of resignation.