♱Chapter 23♱

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Raven's P•O•V

I was awoken by someone yelling. My eyes fluttered open as I looked around in confusion. The clock on my bedside table read 1:09. Who would be up at this hour? I turned on the lamp beside my bed and heard someone yell outside in the hall once again. This time what they had said was much clearer,

"He's gone!" The deep male voice exclaimed in bewilderment. The voice was distant as he must have been down the hall from my room.

I pulled the covers off of myself and got up from my bed. I grabbed my silken robe quickly, pulling it on over my shoulders and I hurried out my door.

Down the hall was a guard standing with Alec. Alec looked fully awake although his hair was tousled and he had a disheveled look as he stood there in just a pair grey sweat pants. Obviously he had been woken up from the man shouting as well. 

"I went to do rounds and when I went to check the holding cells - he was gone!" The guard shouted, like this had never happened. I approached them and came closer. Piper had come out of her room and Irina and Dimitri both had appeared.

I held my robe tighter around myself, as it was colder inside the hall.

"Andrei, who is gone?" Alec asked firmly.

"DeMalo." The guard, Andrei, said. "DeMalo is gone."

I felt my heart drop into my stomach. Everyone froze. Alec stepped back from Andrei and looked at him with wide eyes.

No one said anything. Alec stared at Andrei with a flabbergasted look.

"Gone?" Alec's voice raised. "How could he possibly be gone?!" Alec snapped at Andrei. Andrei visibly flinched.

"I don't - I don't know sir... I went to check on his cell and when I approached it, the cell door was opened and the hawthorn branches were ripped off of the bars." Andrei told him. Alec gave him an incredulous look, his expression one of disbelief.

"The hawthorn branches? But that's impossible. No Vampire can get past them." Alec stated.

"No Vampire can... but a Mortal can." Andrei said. I furrowed my brow in confusion. So did Alec.

"What are you saying? Do you really think a Mortal has something to do with this?" Alec asked him. Andrei was quiet for a second, then spoke.

"I think there's something you need to see..." Andrei muttered and lead us.

We arrived in a dark basement after a couple minutes of following Andrei through the winding corridors. The walls were stone and worn foundation. Andrei lead us through an aisle of holding cells made of steel bars. All had branches of brittle hawthorn tied to them.

He paused at the end of the aisle where we had to turn right down to the next aisle. He clenched his jaw.

"What are you waiting for?" Alec said with an irritated tone. Andrei closed his eyes and sighed. He stepped back and let us walk through, then we all saw it.

A girl. Maybe seventeen. Just a couple years younger than me. She was laying in a pool of her own blood, looking drowned in it as it must have spilled out of her torn throat, making her look neck deep in the dark crimson liquid.

She looked peaceful though. Her eyes were shut softly and her lips together in a straight line, not a frown. If not for the blood, I would have thought she was sleeping soundly. But nothing was peaceful and sound about how she had gone...

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