“So where was the last crime scene?” Landis asked.

“Cancún. A bunch of humans went missing along the beach all on the same evening, leaving no trace of any struggle. According to the reporters, they just vanished.”

“Cancún,” Sofia repeated, alarmed. “Mexico.”

Eli nodded.

“All right,” I said. “For now, I suggest just a handful of us go. It’ll be easier to appear and then make a hasty exit if need be. Myself, Sofia, Eli and Shadow I think will be a good idea to start with… and a witch.”

“I’ll come,” Ibrahim said.

“That’s settled then,” I said.

Eli, Sofia and Ibrahim all nodded.

I dismissed everybody. Sofia and I remained seated until the dome was empty. She was breathing deeply and I didn’t miss the slight tremble in her hand. I pulled her against my chest. Kissing the top of her head, I said, “I know what you’re feeling. But Rose and Ben will learn the truth sooner or later. They’ve got these last two months of oblivion on their little island. When they come back, we tell them.”

Sofia nodded. “I know. And we’ll make use of their time away to work on this problem. I-I just…” She stopped short, choking up. “I just don’t want anything to happen to them again.”

I brushed my thumbs against her cheeks and kissed her forehead.

I wanted to promise her that nothing would ever happen to our twins. I wanted to reassure her that they would never be put in harm’s way or threatened ever again.

But I couldn’t.

Because I didn’t know what the future held. Neither of us did.

Everyone had been expecting Ben and Rose to grow up with some kind of supernatural ability—given my fire powers and Sofia being an immune when they were conceived—but so far they’d shown no sign of it. I knew that this made Sofia more nervous for them. They were just normal, fragile humans.

“Now that they’re almost adults,” I said, “the best thing we can do for them is arm them with knowledge and train them to stay out of danger.”

“I know.” She inhaled, her voice deep with resignation. “And to do this, we first need to figure out what kind of danger is surrounding us.”

Chapter 4: Rose

The journey went smoother than either of us was expecting.

Corrine left us at the Scottish island without much fuss and we stayed the night there. The next morning, we checked out and took the ferry back to the mainland where we travelled by a combination of bus and train to Glasgow airport. Direct flights weren’t available for when we wanted them, so the journey took longer than we had expected, but finally we touched down in Honolulu.

As we passed through arrivals, I spotted Kristal and Jake waiting for us. Kristal was eighteen, while Jake was nineteen. They were both tall, like us—though Ben was still the tallest among us. Being almost six foot already, he was well on track to reach our dad’s height. Kristal and Jake both shared the same blond hair and blue eyes.

I looked at Ben for a reaction on seeing Kristal. He scowled and shoved me in the shoulder. “Stop it,” he whispered, as we approached.

I rolled my eyes.

“Hey, you guys!” Kristal squealed. She ducked beneath the barrier and wrapped her arms around me, kissing either cheek. Ben’s cheeks flushed ever so slightly as she did the same to him.

“Hi, Rose.”

I looked up to see Jake staring down at me.

“Hi, Jake,” I said.

I gave him a quick hug and kissed either cheek politely. He smelled of expensive aftershave.

They led us out of the airport toward a parking lot where we stopped in front of a shiny black limousine. I looked up at Kristal.


She beamed. “Hop in.”

We all climbed into the back and the car moved forward.

“So this is yours?” I asked.

“Nah, we rented this especially for you as a surprise.” Kristal smiled. “Though Andre in the front there is my dad’s driver.”

“You really shouldn’t have,” Ben said.

“It’s our pleasure,” she replied, touching Ben on the shoulder.

Kristal and Jake’s parents were divorced. Their mother lived in New York, while their father—a wealthy businessman—split his time between Hawaii and San Francisco. Kristal had explained that their father often allowed them to stay in his condo by themselves during the summer.

After about an hour of driving, we pulled up in the underground parking area of a towering block of apartments. We exited the car, heaved our luggage out and took the elevator up to their condo.

I breathed out slowly as Jake pushed the door open and we walked inside. Everything about the place exuded luxury and class. The external walls of the apartment consisted almost entirely of tinted windows. The floors were white marble and looked clean enough to eat off, beige carpets sprawling out at strategic positions. There was a massive flatscreen TV in the sitting room and a black leather couch. It didn’t have the homely feel of our penthouse in The Shade, but it was certainly more flashy.

Kristal showed me to my spacious room next door to hers, while Jake led Ben further along the corridor. Once we’d settled in, Kristal ordered some pizza and French fries. We all sat down around the kitchen table to eat.

“So,” she said. “Is there anything in particular you’d like to do while you’re here?”

“Party,” I blurted out, through a mouthful of Pizza Margherita.


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