Chapter 27: Ghosts from the Past

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Sanaya's P.O.V:

"Tell me about how your father died." It was Ace who asked that question while Lance sat beside me on the couch.

We were still at Chloe and the shop has been temporarily closed to other customers for 'emergency repairing' purpose. Ace had arrived within half an hour along with a whole bunch of people, both human and Incubi, who were now looking all around the store, trying to figure out what happened. If my dead father suddenly giving me a visit wasn't reason enough, Lance was also worried about the fact that someone had actually locked me inside the trial room and their purpose had yet to be determined.

"He died in a car crash, ten years ago. He'd gone to Long Island for a company meeting but he never came back." I told him calmly. Whatever Lance had done to me when he'd taken me out of that trial room, either he was still doing it, or its affects lasted longer than I knew about. All I knew for sure was that, it was the same thing he had done to those women in his office the day I'd finally found out about his true identity.

"What company did he work for?" Lance asked, his brow furrowed in thought.

"Somatic Inc. It's a software company, my father was an Engineer." I told them.

"I'll look into it," Ace told Lance before he got up from his seat beside us and went to inspect the trial room.

"Sire!" called out one of the men from the trials.

"Stay here," Lance told me as he got up to join Acelin.

I wrapped Lance's jacket tighter around me. It wasn't because the temperature was cold or the air conditioner too high, but after what I'd seen today, I felt the chill in my bones. How could it be possible? Was I hallucinating? But it had felt so real, like if he had really reached out, he could have touched me.

What would have happened if I hadn't screamed? Was daddy really alive? I remember how devastated mom had been after she found out about it. We had been unable to cremate the body because it had already been burned down to nothing. Both my father's car and the car that had crashed into him had flipped over a couple times before lighting on fire and no one had survived it.

Just remembering the incident made my whole body freeze up. Who was he? And why did he appear in front of me after ten long years?

Lancelin's P.O.V:

"What is it?" Ace asked Alec, one of our human guards who'd just called out to us.

The only reason I'd left Sana's side and rushed over with Ace was because Alec had called from the trial room, the same one Sana had been inside when she'd seen her dead father. I had no doubt in my mind that someone had done this on purpose, but whom exactly, that was the question.

Two names instantly popped into mind when I think of this incident, my mother and Melinda. But none of them had the power to induce hallucinations nor could they make life-like illusions. As far as I knew, only one Incubus had the power to induce hallucinations and he is long dead.

"Sire, I think you should see this." Alec led us inside the trial and walked towards the mirror at the back, and pushed it back with both hands to reveal a secret passage. But the door closed as soon as Alec let go of the wall, leaving no trace of the fact that there was anything at the behind the wall.

"Why won't it stay open?" Ace asked him.

"My guess is that I didn't press the proper buttons or I'm not strong enough to open it on my own." He said moving to one side so that Ace and I could squeeze inside the tiny stall to investigate.

"Let me try," I pushed past Ace and placed my hands palms down on the wall. "Move back." I warned Alec as I pressed on the wall with all my strength.

Within a few seconds, the wall crumbled and the hidden passage behind it came into view. The passage was dark and filled with dust and cobwebs, but some of those cobwebs were now torn off and hanging loose, like someone had used this tunnel recently.

Alec lit a torch and handed it to me and sure enough, there were fresh footsteps on the ground, even though it was pretty obvious that the person had tried to cover their tracks. "Let's go," I turned to motion at Ace and we both entered the tunnel to investigate.

"Looks like there was someone inside the stall after all, but if it's really Sana's father or not, that's a matter of concern." Ace told me as we went further into the tunnel. It wasn't that high so we had to slouch a bit to get through and there were cobwebs everywhere.

"When Sana was inside the stall, a middle aged woman stopped me to ask if she knew me from a long time ago. Even if she was a donor, I've never been stupid enough to let them go before erasing their memories." I told Ace. "So I knew she was lying, but when I asked her, she couldn't answer. But I heard Sana scream at that moment so I ran to her. The woman was gone when we came out of the stall."

"She was most probably as set up to keep you distracted." Ace mused. "Don't worry, I've told Mike to check all the security footage. We'll find out soon enough."

"We have to." I said before coming to a stop as the tunnel narrowed down suddenly into a pipe that led to the sewer system. "Shit!"

"Damnit! This messes up everything!" Ace cursed. "That man could've gone anywhere from here!."

"What did the staff had to say about this tunnel?" I asked as Ace and I returned to the stall.

"Everyone here is relatively new," Alex informed us. "We are trying to get hold of the manager so we can get a blueprint, but-"

"No need." I stopped him. "What's important is that you find that woman I was talking to when Sanaya was inside. And get a dog to sniff out the scent and check if that woman is somehow involved. I need all those details by tonight." I ordered my men before heading to where Sana was sitting still as a statue.

"Hey," I crouched down in front of her and rubbed her hands together to warm them up. "You're freezing. Come on, let's get back to the hotel where you can get some rest."

She nodded numbly as I stood up with her wrapped in my arms and went for the exit. But I stopped just before we reached the door and turned to Ace. "Give me your keys and check the car." I told him. "And make sure you pay for damage control."

"Good thinking," Ace said while tossing me his keys. "I'll see you at the hotel tonight."

"Yes."

With that, I walked out of Chloe with Sana in my arms, eagerly waiting for my guards to find the culprit. But I had a strong gut feeling that today was just the beginning, a sneak peek into what was about to come next. What exactly that was? Well, I'll have to wait and find out.

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