The Plot Thickens - 8 | iii

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Anabella was not one to throw tantrums. A few surly remarks here and there but never full-blown tantrums. Vescovi tried to calm her down almost losing a hand in the process. At his orders, Anabella had her men kidnap key players in the Salvay and Passerini camps. Fourteen interrogations and seventy-two hours later they came to learn that Salvay had left the country. It was not clear if Passerini was with him but from all accounts, Sven was. Ava tried to track Salvay and when she came up with nothing but static she knew he was with Sven. Sven's magic cloaked him

"While we were chasing our tails they escaped," Anabella said. She was pacing her irritation preventing her from keeping still.

"So they are on the run," Philippe said.

"Doubtful," Vescovi was none too pleased about the developments, but he could not allow emotions to cloud his judgment. A clear head could solve any if not most problems. He knew Salvay. He was not a man to run. Defeat was not in his vocabulary and would not be an accepted fact. "Anabella, round up a team. You are authorized to investigate the residence of Salvay and Passerini under the suspected violation of the Secrets Act."

"What is that?" Ava wanted to know.

Vescovi explained to her how the Secrets Act worked. "All vampires are authorized, by law, to tell only their human families our secrets, and there is a process. To prevent slip-ups safeguards are compelled into the minds of the humans. That way nothing can—slip after one too many glasses of wine or out of spite. If a human leaves the family, their memories are erased. Salvay's threat is a violation of this law."

"A simultaneous attack then?" Anabella asked. The woman was jonesing for a fight; anywhere she could find it.

"Yes, that would be wise," Vescovi agreed.

Both homes gave up little of consequence as to the whereabouts and actions of their owners. In Salvay's house, they found the underground room where Sven recuperated. Trashed with claw marks in the walls and the vandalized equipment, the scents, weeks old, lingered.

Upstairs he found Anabella standing in front of Salvay's butler. The man was looking straight ahead, handcuffed to a high back dining room chair.

"He's the only one here," Anabella said.

"Proceed." Vescovi unbuttoned his jacket, taking a seat to witness the process.

The man fought the connection Anabella made into his mind. Vescovi feared he would die before Anabella got all the information but the man soon calmed. Anabella's eyes fluttered as she took in all the information from their cerebral link. After the process was complete, she staggered back, the man's head slumping against his chest. He was not dead, but he was barely hanging on to life.

Vescovi went to Anabella. Guiding her by the elbow, he helped her to a seat on the sofa. Whatever she saw through the link bothered her.

"What is it? What did you see?" Vescovi asked this after giving her a moment to collect herself.

"Salvay knew we would come here, so he planted a message in his head," she pointed to the butler. "He promises that there will be a reckoning. That a new world order was to come into play and we are not going to be able to stop it. He says the end is coming soon in a hail of darkness."

"What does that mean?" Vescovi asked her.

"I don't know. That was all he left behind."

Vescovi walked Anabella to the front door calling for one of his men to help her out to the car. Brain hopping from numerous persons in a short period was taking its toll. He instructed her to rest. Pressing his point when she tried to be stubborn about it.

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