Chapter Seventeen.

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I wake with a jolt, my body springing upward, toes and fingers tingling coldly.

I blink into a dark room. It's got stone walls, but I don't recognize it as Castrum. It's freezing in here, a frigid cold wind washes through the room and the lights flip on.

Out of reflex I duck behind the closest object, an old wooden desk, as my eyes sweep back and forth. The room looks so sterile. White counters stand out in stark contrast against the dark walls, the blinding white overhead light swings a little in the breeze from the door.

Across all of the counters are vials and tubes and equipment. It almost looks a little like our science lab back at school, except way more creepy. Blood pumps slowly through some of the mechanisms, bubbling from this one, steaming from that one.

Voices grow closer and I recognize them.

The man with the sagging gray skin and coal black eyes wanders in slowly, a slight limp in his right leg. The wind blows his white and brown hair forward, exposing balding spots.

Behind him, the eerily gorgeous woman with glowing blue green eyes and ruby red hair closes the door with a metallic bang.

The two from my first vision of Castrum. The ones who drag away Pedro.

Of course they are connected to this too.

"When is this going to work?" the woman snaps, crossing her bell sleeved clad arms over her chest. "They're growing restless. We can't keep this up much longer. These two sides don't mix, Sir."

"You think you tell me something I don't already know?" He brushes her off, leaning in to look into a microscope slide. "You worry about your end, and I will worry over mine. I have to find the right balance here, and you need to find the right balance out there."

The woman looks annoyed, rolling her eyes until they fall on me.

"You." She whispers, the man doesn't even bother looking up from his slide. "I know your face. Who are you? Why are you hiding here?"

I look behind me, thinking surely she sees someone else but she is definitely talking to me.

"Are you with the force?"

"No." I whisper, unsure if she'll hear me.

Her eyes narrow. "Then who are you?" She asks again. "Name your reason for lurking in here or be ended painfully."

I've never been so thankful to feel the tingling in my toes.

I blink hard, throwing off my covers and rushing across the hall into the suite.

I'm thrown off of my mission when I see Fallon sitting on the couch.

"You're here!" I say excitedly, my heart full as I toss my arms around her and nearly tackle her on the couch. "I was so worried about you."

"Me?" She laughs, sitting up. "I was so worried about you."

I glance up and notice that everyone is here.

Lance, Dalton, and Pedro all watch me from the other side of the room, Dalton and Lance standing while Pedro sits cross-legged in his recliner. "She just got here." Pedro says softly, explaining why he hadn't called for me yet. "She was just telling us about her experience."

I nod, turning back to her, tucking my legs up under me and holding her hand.

She looks down in discomfort. "I remember seeing the attacker, but then it's like the world went black. I heard Rose scream, and then nothing but silence. I was drowning in it. And it was like I couldn't breathe, a weight on my chest keeping me pinned down into my own body. I couldn't think of much more than the pressure and the silence. It burned my ears." She shakes her head.

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