CHAPTER ELEVEN: INFERNO

742 87 109

I settled back into the cold seat as we drove through Roosevelt Road

Oops! This image does not follow our content guidelines. To continue publishing, please remove it or upload a different image.

I settled back into the cold seat as we drove through Roosevelt Road.

Buildings, trees, and people were all blending into a swirling blur. We weren't even going past the speed limit, but surely it felt like it. Maybe the world was catching up to us. Perhaps the time that got lost when Roy and I spoke in the hallway had to be repaid somehow, so now everything appeared to be moving at a higher speed.

I could also sense Hunter's unease, which didn't help me calm down at all. I'd never seen him tense up the way he did when he heard Roy's name coming out of my mouth, not even back at the party when he witnessed Sally getting pushed off the balcony.

It was a different kind of tense—more edgy and angry but keeping it together at the same time.

I didn't blame him, though. I was struggling not to have a breakdown myself, but my body worked against me. My pulse wouldn't slow down and my blood wouldn't stop buzzing through my head. And, if I did not focus hard enough, Hunter would have to clean fresh vomit from his windshield as soon as we got home.

Luckily for both of us, I managed to keep it inside until he pulled up in the already familiar driveway and I could settle down calmly.

I had only seen the house out-front. The closest I'd been to entering the house was the time she called Jared and me over so that she could give us some freshly baked cheesecake she made, but even then, she made Jared wait patiently at the doorstep, closing the door behind her and not letting us see anything past the dark oakwood door. It led Jared to believe she had weird scientific equipment provided by the government inside, or something horribly sinister like a pile of bodies lying around in her basement.

Regardless of his extravagant theories, everyone knew Mrs. Norton only cultivated 'Smile-at-each-other-while-taking-the-trash-out' kinds of relationships in the neighborhood. She gave court nods, people gave them back, and that was about it.

Now God only knew where she was—possibly in a grave—and I was walking onto what used to be her porch, knowing that the things I would find out about were things I wouldn't be able to take back once I knew them.

"Hey." Hunter's fingers gently curled around my arm for a moment when I stopped before the door. His eyes were gloomy, his voice thick when he asked, "Are you sure you're okay?"

A string of words crept into my mind in that moment, and my limbs threatened to turn into jelly again. Finding a Keeper is rare.

I needed answers. I wouldn't be okay until I got them. "Let's just get inside," I said, looking around to make sure no one had followed us. The idea of Roy sneaking into the house made me shiver, and thank God Hunter got the hint. Stepping forward, he led us both inside.

And boy, I would have never imagined that old lady living in a place like this.

I expected a full-on Downton Abbey kind of look, but quite the opposite greeted me. The walls were either painted with a rich cream color or covered by granite stones, and the floors were made of polished cement.

The Missing Link (Book 1: Outcast) [CURRENTLY EDITING]Where stories live. Discover now