Mercy Thompson

 
 

Mercy Thompson Book 2 - Page 74


"Oh. Not too far from our apartment," she said. "Down on Second or Third, just a couple of blocks from Washington." Not far from the police department either. "I went over to take pictures of it. It isn't a church anymore. The church people built a new building and sold the old one to another church about twenty years ago. Then it sold to some other people who tried to run a private school. They went bankrupt, there was a divorce, and one of them, I can't remember if it was the husband or the wife, killed themselves. The church was empty the last time I went by there."

"Thank you, Rosalinda," I said. "That's exactly what I needed to know."

"Do you believe in ghosts?" she asked. "My mother says they are nonsense."

"Perhaps they are," I said, not wanting to contradict her mother. "But there are a lot of people who believe all sorts of nonsense. Take care."

She laughed. "You too. Goodbye, Mercy."

I hit the end button and looked at the darkening sky. There was one way to tell if the vampires were up. I pulled Andre's card out of my back pocket and called him.

"Hello, Mercy," he answered. "What are we doing tonight?"

As soon as Andre answered the phone, I knew that my chance at finding the sorcerer in a daytime stupor was gone. I could wait until the next morning. Then we could go after him with Bran. Bran was, in my mind, exempt from the effects of the demon. I just couldn't imagine the thing that could break his icy calmness.

But if we waited for help, waited for the morning, I was almost certain that both Adam and Samuel would be dead.

"I know where he is," I told Andre. "Meet me at my shop."

"Marvelous. I will be there as soon as I can," he said. "I have some preparations to do first, but I won't be long."

I drove there to wait for him. I called Bran's cell phone and got a voice mail request. I took it as a sign that he would be too late to help. I told him to look in the safe in my shop and gave him the combination. Then I sat down at the computer and typed out everything pertinent about what I was doing and where I was going. I wasn't going to leave everyone wondering what happened to me the way everyone else who had gone after Littleton had.

When I finished, Andre still wasn't there, so I checked my home e-mail. My mother had sent me two e-mails, but the third was from an unfamiliar address with attached files. I was about to delete it when I saw that the subject line read

CORY LITTLETON.

Beckworth, true to his word, had gotten information about Littleton for me. His e-mail was short and to the point.

Ms. Thompson,

Here is all the information I could find. It comes from a friend of mine who is with the Chicago police and owes me some favors. Littleton disappeared from Chicago about a year ago where he was being investigated as a murder suspect. My friend told me that if I knew where this guy was, he'd appreciate hearing about it-and the FBI are looking for him as well.

Thanks again,

Beckworth

There were four pdf files and a couple of jpgs. I opened the jpgs. The first picture was a full color shot of Littleton standing on the corner of a city street. On the bottom right-hand corner the photo was date-stamped April of last year.

He was a good forty pounds heavier than when I'd last seen him. There was no way to be certain, but something about the way he was standing made me believe that he'd been human then.

I opened up the second picture. Littleton in a nightclub talking to another man. Littleton 's face was animated, as I'd never seen it in real life. The man he was talking to was turned so all I could see was his profile. But that was enough: it was Andre.

Andre pulled up just as I finished printing out a second letter to Bran. I tossed it into the safe, grabbed Zee's vampire-slaying backpack and went out to meet my fate.

Andre drove us out of my parking lot in his black BMW Z8. It suited him in the same way that Stefan's version of the Mystery Machine had suited him. It surprised me a little because Andre had never impressed me as elegant and powerful. I gave him a quick look under my lashes and realized that tonight he was both, reminding me that he was one of the six most powerful vampires in the seethe.

He'd turned a sorcerer into a vampire so that he could be the most powerful. And I was betting my life that he had lost control of the sorcerer the night Stefan and I met Littleton.

Andre was something of an enigma to me, so I was trusting Stefan's judgement, and the judgement of Stefan's menagerie that he was loyal to Marsilia and jealous of Stefan.

Daniel had been a trial, to see what Littleton could do against a new-made vampire. If matters had not worked out well, Andre could have dealt with it-Daniel was his, after all. But Littleton had proven himself, so Andre had set him up against Stefan. But if Andre were still Marsilia's man, then he would not have condoned the bloodbath at the hotel. It was too likely to have drawn attention to the vampire. But the one thing that made me believe that Littleton was not following orders that night was that Stefan survived. Andre, I thought, would have killed Stefan. Not because of Marsilia's affection-but because Stefan was always, so clearly, the better man.

So I got in a car with the vampire who'd created Littleton because I believed he wanted the sorcerer as much as I did-he couldn't afford for Littleton to continue to run free, making more and more trouble for him. And I got in that car because I knew that Andre was my only chance to keep Adam and Samuel alive.

"A church is holy ground," Andre informed me when I told him where we were going. "He can't be in a church: he's a vampire."

I rubbed my face, ignored the little voice that kept repeating "we have to find them," and tried to think. I was so tired. I'd been up, I realized, for over forty hours without sleep.