Caitlin sat on her bed, staring down at the open container in surprise. Inside it lay a delicate scroll, curled up, and sealed in wax. On the wax was an insignia of a small, ancient cross, one which Caitlin immediately recognized as identical to the design of the small silver cross that she wore around her neck. Caitlin reached down and felt her necklace now as she looked at the symbol, and felt comforted to know that it was still there.She reached out and took hold of the scroll. It was brittle, written on a hard parchment, and yellowing. It looked ancient.She gingerly broke the seal, and unrolled it.The first thing she noticed was that the scroll ended abruptly as she was halfway through unrolling it. She looked at the bottom, and saw the torn ridges, and she could tell right away that this was an incomplete scroll, apparently torn in half. She only held the top half.She looked at the scroll, and observed the elegant handwriting. It reminded her of the script she had once see
After what felt like hours getting ready—far longer than Caitlin would have liked—Polly was finally satisfied with the way that the two of them looked. Because they couldn’t see themselves in mirrors, they had to rely on each other. According to Polly, Caitlin looked ravishing. Caitlin wasn’t so sure. She had never thought of herself as ravishing, in any outfit.But she had spent more time putting on makeup, and getting into this outfit, than she had in any outfit of her life. There had been layers and layers of fabric, each more uncomfortable than the next, and in this July heat, she felt her body temperature rise with each added later. She had no idea how they did it.If that were not enough, Polly had caked her face with layer after layer of thick, white powder. Caitlin didn’t understand why this generation thought this to be attractive. And even if for some reason they did, wasn’t one layer enough? She was pale to begin with, but now, she was sure she looked ridiculous.As if al
Polly stormed back into the room, pushing her way through the crowd, eager to be by Sergei’s side. She could not believe how rude and jealous Caitlin had been. She had thought she was a close friend. Now she saw that Caitlin, like everybody else, was just jealous. She had probably taken a liking to Sergei, too, and probably just wanted to steal him away.Either that, or Caitlin just couldn’t stand the fact that Polly had such a great man in her life. Whatever her reasons, Polly certainly didn’t need any advice from her. She knew, deep down, that Sergei was the one for her.Polly pushed her way through, and got close to Sergei. He was surrounded by a dozen admiring girls, and Polly felt her jealousy rise. She shoved her way in, right in front of his face, forcing him to look at her.Finally, he did. He looked somewhat resentful, though, as if she were interrupting him.But Polly felt that she knew the real Sergei, deep down, and that he was just putting on a show, for other people,
Sam couldn’t get over the concert. He had never heard classical music before, and he couldn’t get over that guy’s voice. The guy seemed like kind of a jerk, but he had to hand it to him: he really could sing.More importantly, his night with Kendra had been amazing. She hadn’t stopped cuddling up to him the whole night. He never knew what to expect with her: she was hot and cold. It seemed that once she’d gotten sight of Caitlin, she’d become super territorial and possessive. She barely left his side since.He didn’t mind. He felt like she was totally into him, and nothing made him happier. He felt completely glued to her side.As soon as the concert ended, she’d taken his hand and led him out the room, away from all the people—and he hadn’t resisted. She didn’t want to stick around and talk to the singer. She wanted him to herself. And she clearly had plans for them for the night. With a mischievous smile, she led him away, and he had been thrilled.She led him down a back hallway
Polly lay in bed, besides Sergei, both of them naked, beneath the sheets. She rested her cheek on his shoulder, and looked up at him, studying his face. He lay there, eyes open, staring at the ceiling, expressionless.His features were so perfect, so chiseled. She wondered how she had gotten so lucky.She thought back to what a wonderful experience it had been, sleeping with him. Now, more than ever, she knew that they were meant to be together forever. She would do anything for him at this moment.She reached up, and ran her hand along his chest. Finally, he turned to her.“Tell me about your friend,” he finally said.Polly was confused.“The one that stormed out after my concert.”Caitlin. Polly was annoyed. Why did he have to bring her up now? Why did she have to ruin a moment like this?“That was nobody,” Polly said. “I’m sorry she ran out.”“What’s her name?” he pressed.“Caitlin,” Polly said.Polly saw what looked like recognition in Sergei’s eyes. It made her think, m
Sam lay there, in Kendra’s huge bed, sprawled naked on top of the most luxurious covers he had ever seen. She lay in his arms, and they both reclined in a huge mound of silk pillows. He felt like he had died and gone to heaven. He’d never been with anyone remotely like Kendra, and he hoped they could stay together forever.His mind reeled, as he thought of the implications of what he had just done. He had really turned her. She lay there, sleeping with her head on his chest, peacefully enough, and for all the world to see, she was just as she had been before. But he knew that when she woke, she would be different. Changed forever. Turned. One of his race. Just as Samantha had turned him.He recalled how difficult it was for him when he first woke, and came to the realization. But then again, it wasn’t something he had asked for. It had been thrust upon him. In her case, she had asked for it, had begged him to turn her. And she had received her wish.He wondered what she would be lik
As Caitlin flew across the French countryside, far away from Versailles, the silver cross and her dad’s scroll in her pocket, clutching Ruth in her arms, she finally, for the first time in this place, felt as if she were on the right track. She felt deep in her bones that she was finally doing exactly what she was supposed to be doing. Searching for her father. Searching for the Shield. Following the clues, doing what she was destined to do.As she flew and flew, her head cleared even more as she got further away Versailles. She was mad at herself for not doing this sooner. She knew all along what her mission was: why couldn’t she just embark from the beginning?She thought of Caleb. Her heart pulled as she remembered how much she loved him, at how bad she’d felt when he’d left. At the same time, now that she was on her mission, she realized that if he hadn’t left, maybe she would have just settled down, and never sought out her father. She realized once again that, no matter how pai
As Sam stood there, in the entryway of Versailles, watching hordes of masses storm the steps, he broke into action. He ran to help all the guards, who were scrambling to restore the huge double doors. But the human guards weren’t strong enough to lift them back up in time. Sam leapt forward, and, using his strength, pulled them up by himself, restoring them back into place. He quickly scanned the room, and spotted a huge, wooden beam mounted above the fireplace. It looked like the size of an ancient tree trunk, and like it would take twenty men to lift.Sam ran over to it, and to the shocked look of the guards, he hoisted it alone, carried it across the room, and slammed it in front of the doors, barring them.Just in time. Moments later, there came the pounding of hundreds of fists at the door, as the masses tried to get in.Thanks to Sam, the door seemed to be holding. At least for now.As Sam stood there, he was soon joined by Aiden, the twins, and all the other coven members.