TWENTY-ONE

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"Have you heard any other thing about Denise?", I asked Victoria the next morning as we prepared for the meeting.

"Apart from the fact that she's Francesca's daughter and a normal, nothing", she replied. I was tempted to tell her to add 'not a fan of Troy Sanders and generally creepy' to her collection but kicked against it. She's Francesca's daughter and no matter what, I have to respect her.

"What about David Blackhead?", I chose to ask instead.

"Nothing too", she replied and gave me a really confused look, "Why are you so interested in them?"

"Because everybody is", I returned as carefree as I can. I couldn't very well tell her that Denise Firewalt, Francesca's beloved daughter, wants to fathom me out like some sort of puzzle and David Blackhead just creeps me out, now could I?

Fortunately, the others chose that moment to enter into the conference room which have been arranged to accommodate our vast number. Really long tables were placed in a round format so that we can all sit and face each other and there's a really big metal whiteboard in case of maps and exhibits— at least that's what I think it's for, you can never really know with this people.

The meeting started in earnest with Oliver giving a summary of the battles we fought against Trichloris last summer and this one.

"Stop staring at him so much, you're gonna start creeping him out", Vic fiercely whispered to me all of a sudden and I abruptly shifted my gaze from David back to Oliver.

"I can't help it", I replied, "He looks like a big bundle of living secret and you know how much I hate secrets".

David chose that moment to excuse himself from the room and I stood up to follow him but Vic pulled me back down.

"What in the world do you think you're doing, Troy?", she asked with flaming seriousness on her face.

"I need to find out what the deal is with that man and this is the only chance I have", I replied and went after him. Everyone shot me a curious look as I reached for the door but I quickly returned them a reassuring smile and they all seemed to settle back in their seats.

I slipped out of the room and saw David turn a corner. I followed him as quickly as I can, and quietly too of course, making sure to keep a reasonable distance between us. He looked back once but I quickly hid in a corner until he appeared satisfied that no one was following him and entered his room, at least I hope it's his. I waited for a while in order to be sure that no one else was coming before slipping in after him.

I've got to say that the room bore a striking resemblance to its occupant; Nice, dark, and one that cannot be missed, way downright creepy. It was the same colour as the other rooms of the house, it's still a part of our house, remember.

The bed, curtains and carpet were still the same but that was where the sameness stopped. The chairs and table were now all darkly coloured and looked to be made out of some material that I can pointedly say it's not wood. On his table was a life-size human skull holding a lot of pens than should be possible for it. Loads and tons of scrolls practically oozing of dark magic littered the table and a bottle filled to the brim with a red substance, I can only hope it isn't blood, was at its centre. Also, there was a creature that looked very much like a scorpion sleeping on his table, at least that's what I presumed it was doing as it wasn't moving, or showing any visible signs of life for that matter.

Transfixed by the creature, I put my hand out when I suddenly heard, "I wouldn't do that if I were you".

I jerked out of the creature's range as I snapped back to realisation and turned to see David Blackhead reappearing out of thin air, that crazy man had actually used an invisibility spell.

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