Dark Carousel (Dark Carpathian #29)(3)By: Christine Feehan
Charlotte looked into Genevieve’s green eyes and saw the same pain she was feeling reflected there. Who knew that something they’d done on a whim would have such horrific consequences? It was like that with them. They both thought along the same lines, knew what the other was thinking.
“Ever since going there, I feel like we’re being watched,” Genevieve said. “And not in a good way. When we were still in France, before Grand-mère was murdered, a couple of men asked me out and I got this really creepy vibe from them. When they talked I just kept having the image of the testing center crop up in my mind and I couldn’t help associating them with it.”
Charlotte nodded her understanding. The same thing had happened to her more than once. And then the murders happened. Since then, they’d been much more careful. No dates. No fun. No strangers in their lives. Charlotte ran her brother’s cabinetmaking business, and she did a little art restoration on the side, but she hadn’t really been working at her own business for months. Not since she’d returned to the United States.
“What are we going to do, Charlie?” Genevieve asked. “I can’t live like this for much longer. I know I should be grateful I’m alive, that we’re alive, and I don’t want to do anything that might endanger Lourdes, but I feel like I’m suffocating.”
Charlotte knew how she felt. “We’ve taken the first step by coming here. We weren’t all that quiet about it, either, Vi. We’ve attracted a lot of attention. Those men, the ones who keep asking us to dance – they give off that creepy testing vibe to me. What about you? And do they look familiar to you? I swear I’ve seen them before. I think in France.”
Genevieve followed Charlotte’s gaze to the three men who had continuously asked them to dance and sent drinks to their table. They’d winked and flirted and stayed close all night. They were good dancers; they’d asked other women and Charlotte had watched them. All three men knew what they were doing on the dance floor. All three were exceptionally good-looking. They seemed like men who frequented the dance club and picked up their share of women there. Still, there was something off about them.
“Same here. The one named Vince, Vince Tidwell, touches me with one finger every time he gets close enough. He just runs it over my skin. Instead of giving me any kind of cool shiver, it gives me the creeps, and the image of the testing center is right there in my mind. I keep telling myself we tested in France, so would they really follow us here? But I’m fairly certain they did.”
“So maybe we should leave and then wait for them outside and try to follow them,” Charlotte suggested. “Lourdes is safe for tonight. I’ve called half a dozen times, and Grace assures me all is quiet on the home front. We could track them tonight and find out where they’re staying and who they really are. Maybe we’ll find out what they want from us.”
Genevieve’s vivid green eyes lit up. “Absolutely. I need to do something to make me feel like I’m not sitting on my hands, just waiting for someone to murder me. I have to do something positive to help myself.”
Charlotte nodded. She knew better. She had Lourdes. Responsibilities. One huge responsibility. She’d always been adventuresome. She pursued her dreams with wide-open arms, rushing headlong where others were afraid to go. She hadn’t stayed home with her brother. She worked hard from the time she was very young so she could finance her trip to France, where she’d always wanted to go. She learned French early and worked hard at it until she could speak like a native. She’d left behind her brother and come back only to help him when his wife died. And then she left again.