The Shadow Prince Page 59

“What is this?” I ask.

“Those are all girls who left Olympus Hills High under mysterious circumstances in the last fifty years. The first one dates back to the early 1960s—when the school was founded. The most recent is my sister, Abbie, six years ago.”

“Okay, this is definitely strange, but what does it all mean?”

“It means that in fifty years, fifteen girls have gone missing from this school. That’s just enough to be out of the ordinary, but not enough to draw someone’s attention. Unless you’re someone like me, who’s looking.”

“What exactly do you mean by ‘gone missing’?” I ask, pointing to the file that’s pulled up on the phone. “This Kendare Petrovich, it says that she left OHH because she transferred to Juilliard in 2001.” I swipe the screen. “And this Adele Berger got pregnant and moved to San Diego in 1982.” I swipe through more of the files. “None of these reasons for leaving seem all that mysterious to me. Abbie running away from home is the weirdest. I mean, I left Ellis High before graduating, but you can hardly call that circumstances mysterious.” Well, only a little. The mystery being why Joe even wanted me around.

“Yeah, but Juilliard has no record of a student named Kendare Petrovich, and there were no Adele Bergers living in San Diego in 1982. I talked to the aunt she supposedly moved in with, and she hasn’t seen Adele since she was a kid. Yeah, a lot of people have come and gone from Olympus Hills without graduating, but these fifteen people all have stories that don’t check out. Like someone was trying to cover up the reason they went missing.”

“Who even made these files? Where did you get these?”

“I made them,” Tobin says. “It’s something I’ve been working on for a couple of years.”

I look at him, realizing that I don’t really know him at all. Underneath his sweetness and friendly tone lies the heart of a fullblown conspiracy theorist.

“I got all these names from my mother’s files. I was trying to show you the master list when she walked in last night.”

“Have you asked her about this?”

“Yeah, right. And tell my mom I went through her private government files? You have no idea the grounding I would get.” Tobin smirks. “My mom is kind of a scary lady.”

“Tell me about it,” I say, thinking of the icy reception I got from her after we were caught snooping. “I guess it makes sense, though, that, as mayor, she would probably be aware of people who’ve gone missing in her town. And it makes even more sense that a ritzy place like this would want to keep this sort of thing covered up. Bad PR, you know.”

Tobin nods.

“But this still doesn’t prove that any of these missing people are connected,” I say, putting my hands on my hips. “How does this prove anything about the Lord family?”

“Look at the dates,” Tobin says, pointing at the phone. “There’s a pattern. One girl has gone missing every three years. There’s only one deviation. It’s been six years since Abbie disappeared and no others since then.”

“Okay, that’s definitely eerie.” I rub my arms, suddenly feeling cold.

“I thought maybe the pattern had stopped … that maybe whatever was going on had stopped. Until I saw Haden Lord. Which made me remember my sister’s friend. Which got me thinking … I’ve only lived here for six and a half years, so I don’t really know, but what if there were people from the Lord family in Olympus Hills all those other times people went missing?”

“Bridgette said that the Lord family sends kids here from time to time.”

“She did?” Tobin almost sounds giddy at the prospect.

“Yeah, her dad’s on the school board. She said they come every few years.”

“Like, every three years?”

“I don’t know.” There’s a look in his eye that makes me worry he’s drawing way too many conclusions. “Tobin, none of this is proof. This is still just a theory. And it doesn’t mean Haden knows anything about it.”

“That’s why I’m going to get some proof. There has to be a way to figure out if any more Lords were here the same years these girls disappeared.”

“What are you going to do, hack the school server?”

Tobin doesn’t answer.

“Tobin?”

“I bet records aren’t even computerized before the nineties,” he mumbles to himself.

“Tobin! You’re going to get yourself into trouble.”

“I need your help,” he says.

“Excuse me?”

“I’m going to look into this records theory for the rest of the day. Which means I need you to follow Haden. Find out where he goes. Who he talks to. What he’s doing here.”

“Seriously?”

“You’ve already got an in with him after this Lexie thing. Let’s use it to find out as much about him as we can.”

I’m about to tell Tobin he’s a couple of tubas short of an orchestra, but I notice the swirling, lifting notes in his voice as he asks, “Please, Daphne, help me.” It’s the sound of hope.

Hope that he’ll find his sister.

“Okay,” I say. “I’ll help.”

Chapter thirty-three

HADEN

Kopros.

This Tobin boy is getting too close to the truth.

Champions use Persephone’s Gate, which always leads to the grove, to enter the mortal realm, but in order not to draw too much attention to any one town, they spread out and alternate quest locations around the world—usually going three years before revisiting a city. Except for Olympus Hills. It has been six years since a Champion had been assigned here.

Dax.

I hear Tobin and Daphne leave the alcove and start up the hall, so I take off before the two round the corner. I head straight for the counselor’s office and ask for Mr. Drol.

“He’s on his break,” the woman with the cat’s-eye glasses says. “You’re not scheduled to meet with him until tomorrow afternoon.”

“This is urgent.”

“You can see Mrs. Dunfree instead if you’d like.”

“No, thank you,” I say, and open the door to Dax’s office anyway.

“You can’t do that!”

“It’s okay,” Dax says. “Let him in.”

Prev Next
Free Novels Read Online | Read Wuxia Novel | Read Xianxia Novel