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Tracker(Rylee Adamson #6)(9) by Shannon Mayer

You will love another.

A shiver ran through me and I wrapped my arms tightly around my middle. He was bound and determined to carry this on his own, whatever it was. So we were not the team I’d thought we were.

So be it.

Chapter 5

Sometime around two in the morning, Liam slipped into the room and lay beside me, his hand icy cold from the snow slipping over my hip. Within minutes, he conked out, twitching every now and then as he slept. Alex and Pamela slept on the floor, curled up together. Milly was in the room across the hall—her old bedroom. No one would admit they didn’t want to be alone after what had happened to Dox, Sla, the Triplets, and the Coven—all powerful supernaturals in their own right, and they had been wiped out like they were human and unable to defend themselves.

Sleep came to me after a long while, but not kindly.

Oh, I knew what I saw in my sleep was just a dream, but it still bit at me, tearing my heart as if a test to see how much more I had in me.

Berget sat with me on the swings in Deerborn Park where she’d been taken so many years ago. The air smelled like early spring, fresh growing things and new life, and the wind drew on her golden locks, teasing them around her face.

“Rylee, you won’t give up on me, will you?” The shake in her voice and tremor in her lips tugged at me. Her blue eyes were full of her soul, not like the Berget I’d seen below Venice. The one who’d try to kill all those I loved. These were the eyes of the little girl I knew as my sister.

“How am I supposed to help you, if this is even the real you?” I pushed myself on the swing with a bare toe in the soft sand, my loose skirt blowing around my knees.

Berget shrugged. “I don’t know all the answers, I only know you will save me from this. If you don’t, I will never be free. I will forever be in limbo. I know it will be hard. I know my body will fight you, because I don’t have control of it anymore.”

I closed my eyes and tipped my head back, breathing the air deeply into my lungs. “Can you tell me anything that might help?”

She stepped off her swing and moved behind me, pushing me higher. I let my head fall back to look at her, balancing on my seat. Without warning, her hands were around my neck, squeezing, just hard enough to stop me from breathing, her fingers digging into my skin.

“Whatever you do, don’t let me bite you; it will bind you to me.”

My eyes flew open, sweat soaking the pillow beneath me, my heart pounding like an oversized drum in my chest. I leaned over and checked the clock. Just after three. I’d been asleep for maybe an hour if I was lucky. Fuck, I was exhausted.

Yet, I lay in my bed unable to sleep. To have Berget beg me not to give up on her, her words dug into my brain and wouldn’t let my eyes close again. How did I know it wasn’t Berget the vampire, the one who was mad with the power her parents bestowed on her? It made no sense, other than to say when Berget came to me in my sleep, I saw her as if it were her soul. And if her soul still cried out to be saved, how could I deny her that?

I slipped out of bed, stepped over Pamela and Alex and to my weapons. I scooped up my two blades, whip, and hesitated over the crossbow. I was just going downstairs to think, what the hell did I need any of this for? Yeah, good question. I took my weapons anyway, left the crossbow behind a hend then went out the door. My jeans and t-shirt weren’t warm enough without Liam’s body heat beside me and I ran my hands over my arms. In the hallway, I stood silently, staring at Milly’s door.

I wanted to talk to her about everything that had happened. Not as enemies, but as the friends we had been for so long. I wanted to discuss with her all the things going through my head, the worries, the concerns at one time she would have listened to. She would’ve been the one I’d turn to. Especially with Liam blocking me from him … .

She’ll use you again, break your heart with her lies. In the process, you could lose those who truly love you. Shit, that was the truth. I bypassed her door and headed downstairs, avoiding the steps I knew creaked without even thinking, sliding on my weapons in a rhythm as natural as breathing.

The living room was dark, but I didn’t need light to find what I was looking for. In the old Victorian desk Giselle had so loved was a stub of a pencil and a few blank sheets of paper.

“Okay, get your brain wrapped around this,” I muttered. I lit two candles, placing one on both sides of the desk.

I paused, the pencil hovering over the paper for a split second before writing.

Oath bound to Faris—leaving in six days. Must help him gain throne.

Guns that are accurate around supernaturals?

Orion is on the hunt for my allies and is going to try and take over the world. Fucking peachy.

Berget.

My sister’s name stilled my pencil. What the hell was I supposed to do about her? I’d sworn an oath to Faris that I would kill her, despite the fact I didn’t know who she was at the time. An oath was an oath, and he was holding me to it. I looked at my list and knew, while they were all important, no way could I deal with them all. Not on my own. In helping Faris, I would try and secure the vampires as allies. That would help with Orion and was about the only damn good thing coming out of helping the bastard vampire.

I closed my eyes, tried not to think about Orion for a second, because while he was the biggest threat, I didn’t know how to stop him … so at the moment, trying to figure him out was a waste of time. My train of thought skittered sideways. Maybe not so wasteful … I had the demon book of prophecies tucked away that could have information in it, information that would give me what I needed to wipe out Orion. Mind you, it was in New Mexico in a safe in The Landing Pad. My heart constricted as I thought about Dox, about how much he would have suffered to have his skin removed while he still lived. I clenched my hands; no time, there was no time for this grief, and that hurt.

Later, the tears could come later.

I let out a tight breath, and tapped my pencil on the desk. Doran was near Roswell too. Doran could potentially have information, or know where to go for information on Orion. Or maybe even one of the other Shamans there. A few of them still owed me favors. What the hell was I thinking? No one knew how to deal with a demon like Orion. If someone did, they would have dealt with him by now.

My mind flicked back to Doran and his connection with Berget. Again, there was a possibility he could help me. It looked like everything pointed to New Mexico. The thing was, I knew I was going to dires goingeal with Berget, probably sooner rather than later. Saving her would have to be before I went to “work” for Faris. There was no way he would go along with saving his sworn enemy.