“And Rose?”

“I haven’t found her yet.”

As Aiden rushed off, I looked around the vessel for Sofia. I spotted her in the far corner of the room, struggling beneath the weight of a large male vampire.

I gripped his neck between my arms and with one sharp motion I disjointed it. I held out my hand and pulled Sofia off the floor, her face shining with sweat. “I found Ben,” I said. “But Rose isn’t here.”

“What?”

“I searched this whole vessel. She’s not here.”

I began to fear the worst—that the reason Stellan had fled so quickly was that he held Rose separately from Ben just in case we attempted to pull a stunt. He probably thought that we wouldn’t risk an ambush or anything that could put our precious twins’ lives in danger. He thought that we would rather just hand over our immune. But just in case we tried an ambush, he kept Rose separately. Thinking now with hindsight, I was kicking myself for not having considered he might do this. He would have been a fool not to.

“But where could she be?”

“We need to find out where it is these vampires reside.”

Leaving Sofia’s side, I raced over to Xavier, who was just about to inject a vampire with a tranquilizer. I knocked it out of his hands and pulled the vampire away from him. She had a youthful face, possibly in her twenties when she was turned, and short blonde hair.

I outstretched my claws and positioned them over her heart while my other hand gripped her neck. “You are going to take us to your base,” I hissed.

I pulled her up and dragged her into the control room. “Where do you vampires come from?”

When she remained silent, I pressed my claws against her throat. She gasped but still didn’t speak.

“There are plenty of other vampires I can ask. So I suggest you speak, unless you prefer that I rip your heart out.”

“All right,” she croaked, gasping. I released the pressure from her neck. “We live on an island, about an hour away from here.”

“What island?”

“Stellan rules over it. It’s protected by a witch’s spell.”

“A spell? Will we be able to enter it?”

Trembling, she nodded. “Yes, because you are accompanied by us.”

I pushed her into the control seat and said, “Do you know how to operate this thing?”

“Y-yes.”

“Then you’ll take us there. You said it takes about an hour. I’ll be watching the timer. I suggest you don’t mess with me.”

She eyed my claws as I sat down next to her, ready to strike if I sensed even the slightest bit of disobedience from her.

I turned to Sofia.

“Are all the vampires tied down now?”

“Yes, it looks like it.”

“Then instruct the others to return to their subs. They must follow this submarine closely. And you should return to our submarine and follow us there too.”

Sofia nodded and rushed off. Once I was sure that everyone who was due to leave this vessel had left—leaving me with Vivienne, Xavier, and a few others to help make sure the sedated vampires remained in their docile state—I ordered the blonde vampire to start our journey.

Chapter 36: Rose

I stared at the vampire, barely daring to believe his words.

Home.

He’s taking me home.

“B-but,” I stammered, “what about Stellan? Won’t he tell the witch everything as soon as he wakes up?”

Caleb shook his head.

“He shouldn’t wake up for some time after the blow I dealt him. But it doesn’t matter even if he does. I’ve locked him up in one of the storage rooms in the lower deck of this submarine. He’ll be weak after he wakes up and won’t have the strength to smash the reinforced door down.”

“What will you say when the witch asks what happened to me?”

“That’s not your concern.”

“But what will happen when Stellan wakes up?”

Caleb looked at me darkly. “I’ll deal with him when the time comes. But you’ll be gone by then.”

I breathed out and sat back in my chair. Escape had been on my mind for so long, now that it was finally happening, I could barely believe it.

“ I can’t tell you when or how it will happen, but you have my word: I will be waiting and watching for that time.”

Caleb had been waiting. All that time, he’d been waiting for the opportunity to help me escape. I guessed that he hadn’t had much time to plan any of this. He’d likely figured out this whole scheme on the spot.

Strapping himself into the control seat, Caleb fiddled with buttons and we began speeding away from the island.

“Do you even know where The Shade is?” I asked.

“No.”

“Then how are we going to get there? I have no idea how to navigate there.”

“Your parents aren’t in The Shade.”

“What?”

“They’re in Stellan’s island. They’re storming the place, looking for you.”

I gasped.

“Have they found Ben? And what about Kristal and Jake? How on earth did they find it?”

“I don’t know all the details. But yes, they have Ben now. I don’t know about the other two humans. Stellan struck a deal with your parents. You and your brother, in exchange for your immune.”

I stared at him, my mouth agape.

“Our immune? Why would—”

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