Chapter Twenty-One

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Assignments for Mr Tanner's class generally meant one thing: several lessons spent in the library, where they were supposed to be researching whatever topic he had assigned to them—in this case, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

But the only people who ever did what they were supposed to were Benjamin Winters and April Conroy, both of whom liked to preach that their good grades and studious attitudes were going to be their tickets out of Granton Ridge. Both of them were planning on going to the University of Sydney, to study engineering and medicine respectively, while working part time to afford their own house—together. They had their entire lives planned out.

Zoe had never bothered planning so far ahead—not when all that she could ever focus on was how many days were left before her latest victim finally succumbed to their fate.

She had spent some of these library-bound classes researching those very people, either trying to locate them or trying to figure out the best way to word her warning messages to them. Now that her father had regained his memories and taught her the proper way to deal with her nightmares, she was hopeful that she would never have to spend another lesson searching again.

But there was still one thing he had told her that bothered her.

They were all acts of vengeance.

Zoe run a hand through her hair. She'd looked up a lot of her old victims already. On and on the list had gone, every name that she could remember correlating with some other person who had ultimately been the cause of their death. But there was one victim she hadn't bothered to look up on Google—and to her, she was the most important victim of all. So today was the day Zoe was going to get to the bottom of things. She flexed her fingers, cracking her knuckles before setting her fingers on the keyboard and punching in the name.

Satine Halsman.

There was only one article reporting on her mother's death—a tiny little thing from the Granton Ridge Weekly, stating that the Halsman residence had burned down with the woman trapped inside of it; that her seven-year-old daughter had been found on the front lawn, screaming for her mother.

The fire had been deemed the result of faulty wiring.

Zoe knew that her father had been suspected at first, simply because he hadn't been home at the time that the place had gone up in flames, but that had lasted for all of an hour before the police had checked out his alibi and found it to be sound. She also knew that had the Granton Ridge Police Department continued to suspect foul play, her father would have told her—would have told her if there was even the slightest chance that her mother might have been murdered all those years ago. They didn't keep secrets from each other. They couldn't afford to.

But he'd had no idea. Not until Gabriel had given him his memories back, and he had remembered the nature of his gift—her gift.

Zoe scrolled back to the top of the article, where the only picture she now had left of her mother sat.

The woman smiled back at her—brunette and golden-eyed, with clear skin and a playful tilt to her mouth. The original photo had showed Zoe's father by her side, but he had been cropped out for the purpose of the article. Zoe could still see the top of his hand as it had come around her mother's shoulders.

She wished that she still had the original photograph of the pair of them, but it would have burned up just over a week ago. The thought made her eyes prickle and burn.

"Zoe?"

Zoe looked up in surprise. Paris stared back at her from the other side of the monitor, his blue eyes full of concern.

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