Dark Carousel (Dark Carpathian #29)(7)By: Christine Feehan
They were staying in the restroom far too long. “We don’t run. That’s what we promised each other,” Charlotte reminded her. “We’re never going to be free if we don’t find out who murdered the ones we loved. Lourdes won’t ever be free. You were right, Genevieve. I was the one trying to hide. Being responsible for a child threw me, but we’re strong. We’ve stuck together through everything so far, and we can do this.”
“They aren’t going to get away with it, are they?” Genevieve said, trying to pour steel into her voice. “We’ll find out who took our families, and we’ll do it together.”
Charlotte looked up at her friend’s beautiful face. There was determination there. Fear, but courage. She nodded. “Damn right we will. Let’s get out there and take back control. They think they have it, but we’re good at what we do.”
Genevieve glanced at herself in the mirror. “Charlie?” She hesitated. Long lashes veiled her eyes. “What if there is such a thing as a vampire? What if these men are killing them?”
Charlotte opened her mouth and then closed it. Genevieve didn’t deserve a derisive response. She needed to think about what she said carefully. Logically. “First, honey, if there were vampires, after all this time, wouldn’t the world know about them? And secondly, the man they killed was no vampire. I saw his death. I saw him. I felt him. He was just as human as the two of us. Maybe they believe they’re killing vampires, but I don’t see how. And driving a stake through someone’s heart, vampire or human, while they’re alive and conscious, is just plain sadistic. We can’t take any chances with these men. We have to find out what they want, and we need to be very careful. If they’ve targeted us, we need to know why.”
Genevieve took a deep breath and then nodded. She’d been the one to insist they come out of hiding and act like they were alive again, but it was Charlotte who was more the warrior woman. When it came down to facing danger, it was Charlotte who stood in front of her.
The two of them made their way back to the table, threading through the crowd. All three men waited for them, eyes examining them carefully as they approached.
“Why is there always a line for the ladies’ room and not for the men’s?” Charlotte asked, and threw herself into the chair beside Daniel. “Every time. It’s crazy and makes me tempted to march into the men’s room and do a takeover with a bunch of like-minded women.”
“What happened to you?” Daniel asked. He sounded charming. Solicitous. Worried, even. But he couldn’t hide the cold alertness in his eyes. The suspicion.
She had to touch that glass again without a reaction. Charlotte flashed an embarrassed smile. Deliberately she inched her fingers toward the glass from which he’d drunk. “I’m violently allergic to something they put in some of the alcohols. I should have been more careful.” She wrapped her palm around the glass right where she thought his prints were and began to slowly push it away from her, making a show out of it.
Much more prepared this time, when the jolt came, she rode it out, seeking to go deeper into the tunnel to find more memories. To see if these men had murdered her brother. She caught images of Daniel following Genevieve and Grace from a store. That was how he found their home. The three men had changed places frequently while following the two women so that no one car had been close to them for any length of time, which explained how Genevieve, always so careful, hadn’t spotted a tail. It also explained how they had come to follow Grace.
There, in the tunnel, Charlotte found that there were two older murders, both committed by driving a stake through a man’s heart. All three men were present. She didn’t feel anything but a grim hatred emanating from them. Her brother wasn’t one of the victims. Still, one of the murders took place in France. She recognized the gardens where Daniel had staked his victim.