Out for Blood Page 44

Jason shut the door behind him and flicked the light on. We blinked at each other for a moment, waiting for our eyes to adjust. The room looked like any other room—two beds, two desks, two chairs. There was no roommate. There were also no posters on the wall, no books on the shelves, no clothes on the floor.

It was empty.

Will had only just turned. Half the staff wouldn’t even know about it yet. None of the students would either.

“Okay, that’s weird.” Jenna turned a circle on her heel.

“Are you sure this is the right room?” I asked.

Jason frowned. “Yeah. I came down here to give him back a video game I borrowed at the end of last year. He was already unpacked and everything.”

“So his roommate hadn’t arrived yet?”

“No, not yet.”

“All right, so maybe they didn’t put anyone in this room because he was in the infirmary and it’d be weird.” I looked under the bed, which was swept clean. “But that doesn’t explain why they’d get all his stuff out before he was even out of quarantine.” I rubbed my arms, suddenly chilled. “Unless they knew he wouldn’t recover?”

“Educated guess,” Chloe said. “It’s possible. We all know Hel-Blar venom is nasty stuff.”

“So what do we do now?” Jason asked, perplexed. “What were you looking for?”

“I’m not even sure,” I admitted. “It’s just that the Hel-Blar who got him mysteriously turned to ash. And Will mysteriously mentioned something about a vitamin. That’s too many mysteries.” I wouldn’t look at Chloe even when she hissed out a disgruntled breath. I went over to the desk and opened all the drawers. “Nothing.”

“Closets are empty,” Jenna confirmed.

I did finally look at Chloe.

She narrowed her eyes. “Why are you looking at me like that?”

She was going to be pissed at me for asking. No help for it. “You’ve been hiding your vitamins, haven’t you?”

She frowned. “What?” She backed up a step. “You saw me take one like an hour ago.”

Jenna and Jason watched us as if we were a tennis match.

“Why would she hide vitamins?” Jason wondered.

“Because I’ve been bugging her about them,” I said, not glancing away from Chloe. She shifted from foot to foot. It was her nervous tic so I knew my guess had been right. “So if you were Will, where would you hide your vitamins in this room?”

“I don’t know.” She shrugged.

“Chloe, please. This is important.”

She gave a long, suffering sigh. “Okay, but you have to get off my case.”

Not a chance.

She surveyed the room thoughtfully. The first place she looked was the desk drawers, feeling for a false bottom. Nothing. We helped her check under the mattress, but there was nothing there but dust.

“This is stupid,” she muttered.

But I really felt like we were onto something.

She sat on the edge of the bed and checked under the lip of the night table.

Nothing.

Jenna and Jason were starting to shoot me weird looks.

Chloe lifted the lamp and stuck her finger inside the iron stand. She pulled out a small plastic bag with little white pills.

“Damn,” Jason whistled.

Chloe and I met each other’s grim gaze.

“These don’t look anything like my vitamins,” she said quietly.

Chapter 18

Quinn

I hit the ground just as the stake sliced past me. I grabbed for Nicholas’s ankle and he slammed into the dirt, kicking me off before he’d even landed. The second stake landed in a willow tree. The Hel-Blar paused. Lucy didn’t move.

“Lucy!” Nicholas was back on his feet before I could grab him again. I went for the nearest Hel-Blar, cracking my fist across his face, taking care not to get too close to his mouth. His answering punch nearly dislocated my shoulder.

So the Hel-Blar from earlier tonight had been tired because Solange had been kicking their asses.

Small consolation.

I broke a kneecap and used my last stake until there was dust on my boots. Nicholas flipped into the air, somersaulting over an attacking Hel-Blar, and landed in the river, blood-tinted water arcing up around him and splashing us. A human wouldn’t have noticed it in the darkness but it had the rest of us distracted, thirsty. One of the Hel-Blar licked his lips, studded with puncture marks from his fangs.

And then the frenzy hit.

The hissing was nearly loud enough to ripple the surface of the slow-moving river. Lucy became the focus of such gut-burning hunger, I wondered why it didn’t wake her up. She still wasn’t moving. I didn’t know how badly she was hurt. And there wasn’t time to wonder about it. I ran downstream and leaped over the water, coming back around to block access to Lucy from the other side. Solange, Nicholas, and I formed a ring around her, like petals to her blood-soaked center. Then Nicholas fell to his knees, shouting her name. She stirred once, faintly.

“Incoming!” I yelled at him. He knew better than to stay there, distracted and vulnerable. He finally rose to his feet, his eyes searing hot enough to have one Hel-Blar stumbling in his tracks. The rest just laughed.

“If she’s dead, you’re dead,” he promised darkly. He smiled. “Wait, you’re dead anyway.”

I’d worry about that smile later. Right now I had two crazed siblings to deal with. And no more stakes.

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