Mercy Thompson

 
 

Mercy Thompson Book 2 - Page 72


"Samuel didn't have a chance to say anything to whoever called. They called, said a few sentences, and hung up. Samuel grabbed Adam and said, ' Let's go. "

I gave him a rueful look. "They ignored you, too."

He smiled at me this time, a tired smile. "I'm not used to being ignored."

"Irks me when they do it to me, too." I shifted my gaze back to Warren. "Did you hear what the caller said?"

I didn't expect he had, so his stillness took me by surprise.

His battered mouth tried to shape a word. I listened carefully but it was Kyle, leaning over the bed, who caught it.

"Trap?"

" Warren, I know the werewolves have to stay away from Littleton," I told him. "Did he call them and get them to come to him?"

He moved his head just enough for an affirmative.

"Did you hear where?" He lay unmoving. " Warren, I won't let any of the wolves go near him. Neither Kyle nor I will tell the pack where they are, not until Bran gets here. I'll just tell the vampires-it's their problem in the first place."

He tried but neither Kyle nor I could tell what he said. Finally Kyle said, "Look, it's obviously not a yes or a no. Warren, my dear, did you hear part of it?"

Clearly exhausted by his efforts, Warren nodded. He relaxed and said one thing more.

"Church?" I said and saw by Warren 's face I'd gotten it right. "That's all?" I touched his face as he relaxed. "Go back to sleep, Warren. We'll make sure Bran knows everything."

He gave a shuddering sigh and relaxed fully into unconsciousness.

"Kyle, would you make sure to tell Bran this much when he gets here? He should be here late tonight or early tomorrow morning." I got out of Warren 's bed as carefully as I could.

"All right. What are you going to be doing?"

I rubbed my face. It had taken a lot of willpower to crawl out of that bed when my whole body wanted to curl up with Warren and sleep. "If I can find out where Littleton is before nightfall, I might be able to kill him." With the handy-dandy vampire-killing kit in the trunk of my car.

"Can I help?"

"Only by staying here with Warren. See if you can get him to eat when he stirs again."

Kyle looked at Warren and his face held none of its usual sardonic humor when he said, "When you find the bastard who did this, kill him and make it hurt."

I made him get up and come out of the cell with me. I didn't think Warren would hurt him, but I wasn't willing to take the chance.

My cell phone rang. It was Tony.

"You won't believe this," he said. "And I don't know if it helps."

"What?" I asked.

"The daytime incidents-with a few outliers-are in Kennewick. There's a broad pattern that seems to be centered around the KPD."

"The police station?" I asked.

"That's right. Although I suppose it could just as easily be centered around Kennewick High or your place, for that matter. But the police station's right in the middle."

"How broad's the pattern?" I asked.

"About three, three and a half miles. Some of the incidents are across the river in Paseo. There are outliers-our specialist tells me that there are enough to be significant. A few in Richland, Benton City and Burbank. Does this help?"

"I don't know," I told him. "Maybe. Thanks, Tony. I owe you a few favors for this."

"Just stop this thing."

"I'll do my best."

I met Darryl at the top of the stairs.

"You were right," he told me. "Food helped."

" Mmm," I said. "Samuel got a call last night. Warren doesn't know where they went, though."

" Warren 's awake and talking?"

I shook my head. "I wouldn't call it talking, and he's asleep again. It was Kyle who heard the phone call. As he apparently tried to tell you." I watched it sink in. "You might think about listening to Kyle," I told him gently, then to let him off the hook, I asked, "Do you know why my being able to talk to ghosts would scare the vampires?"

He grunted a negative. "I don't see how that would help. Last I heard, ghosts avoid evil." He walked past me without touching me.

I don't think he even realized what he'd given me.

Ghosts are not people. No matter how well Mrs. Hanna conversed, she was still just a memory of the person she had been.

I was so stupid.

She'd told me that she changed her routine and all I'd thought was how sad it was, because without her usual habits she'd probably fade quickly. I hadn't wondered why she'd changed her routine. Ghosts, pattern ghosts, just don't do that. Someone had told her to, she'd said-I couldn't remember who, just that it was a man's name. Her route wandered all over Kennewick. If the sorcerer was in Kennewick, she might have run into him.

Jesse looked up from the kitchen table as I ran down the stairs. "Mercy? Did you find out something."

"Maybe," I told her as I kept going to the door. "I have to find someone though." I looked at my watch. Eight twenty-seven. I had an hour and a half before dark-if the sorcerer had to wait for full dark to awaken.

Chapter 12

For most of the time that I'd lived in the Tri-Cities, Mrs. Hanna had pushed her grocery cart along the same path from dawn to dusk. I'd never actually followed her, but I'd seen her any number of places so I had a pretty good idea about most of her route. I didn't have any idea about how she'd changed it, so I had to look everywhere.

When I passed the first church, I pulled over to the side of the road and pulled out a notebook I kept in the car and wrote down the name of the church and its address. After an hour I had a list of eleven churches, reasonably near the KPD, none of which had flaming signs that said sorcerer sleeping here. The sun was noticeably low in the sky and my stomach was tight with dread.