Chapter Four

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Hey, everyone! I'm posting 10 Days of True Born - this is a small "thank you" to readers who've kept me going over the rough patche! One chapter a day for ten days before its official release on May 3rd. Below, please find Chapter 4. 


The grandfather clock in the hall chimes ten o'clock. It's a lousy day, gray and raining on and off. The house is silent. I sit at the large wooden table by myself and eat half a grapefruit, a delicacy of the rich. Mother and Father are gone without any word, and without any word on when they'll be back. "On business," Shane tells me, twisting his hands anxiously. I mentally translate: something bad is happening, and we're not supposed to know.

Margot is also not at home. Shane has the sneaking suspicion that she wasn't at home all last night. He'd be right. Every few minutes I hug myself and stare at my plate, and wonder what has happened to my sister.

The night had been one long erotic dream, images and sensations tugging at me as I tangled with my sheets. I felt sick over them, wanted to shut my body down against the treacherous feelings, so it wasn't until almost morning that I finally dropped off into a deep, dark sleep.

And when I awoke, my sister had vanished from me.

It was like going suddenly deaf and dumb. My hands shook as I quickly showered and dressed, then had to dress myself again as I discovered I'd put most of my clothes on backward or inside out. I kept poking at our bond, hoping to bring Margot's awareness back. It remained tied to me like a lifeless tree branch, but nothing moved. As deserted as the house I found myself in.

By the time I feel the first stirrings of life creep back to me it's a little after three in the afternoon. Margot is woozy, disoriented. Bright flashes erupt behind my eyes. I feel her throat burn as she throws up again and again, her stomach sick and empty. Another hour passes before she's somewhere back to normal, though a powerful sense of wrong still overwhelms me.

A little before five the phone rings. I dive for it on the first ring, certain who's on the other end.


"Margot, where are you?"

"Hey, little sis. Are Mom and Dad mad?"

I pause. "Are you all right?" Her voice doesn't even tremble. Then again, she was always the better actress than I.

"Hey, I've just been out partying with some friends. But listen, little sister. I forgot to tell you before I went out yesterday. Dad wanted us to go to the Clinic for another round of Protocols. Something about the last ones being duds. I'll meet you there, okay?"

"Margot, are you there now? Who's with you? Where are you?"

"Gotta dash, little sis. Gonna catch a few hours of sleep now. See you in a couple hours."

"Margot!" I yell. But it's too late. The line is dead.

I run up to my bedroom. The ultra slim phone is where I hid it, under the pillow. The number dials as I speed down the stairs. It picks up with a click. I know someone is there, but all they do is listen.

"Hello?" I grab a coat and pull open the front door. For a moment I simply stand there on the threshold and wonder what has happened to the day. The air is a blinding gold white, turning the streets hazy and strange. These days, when it isn't raining and cloudy, it's like this, as though someone has pulled a veil over the sky.

"Hello?" I say again. "You know who this is, don't you?"

"Yes," a voice on the other end confirms. It's a woman's voice, deep and clear. Maybe the same woman who accompanied Storm? I don't know as I never heard her speak.

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