“Alice?” Milo opened my bedroom door before I could even get to it. He had a bewildered, frantic look on his face. “Is everything okay?” He pushed the door open wider and stepped inside. “What’s going on?”
“Nothing. Why? What’s going on with you?” I narrowed my eyes at him.
“Nothing! I just… I thought something was wrong,” Milo floundered.
I realized what had happened. Just like I was tuned into his heart, he was tuned into mine. It had been beating in a panic for the last few minutes, so Milo was concerned. He probably would’ve come in right away, but he misread it at first as being part of me and Jack fooling around.
“Jane’s in trouble.” I chewed my lip, looking at him, and Jack gave me a weird look. Milo was my little brother, and I’d do almost anything to protect him. But he was a vampire, more powerful than me, and from the sounds of it, Jane had more than one attacker. We needed all the help we could get. “She’s in the park. I don’t know who has her, but I think they want to kill her, and they want us to hurry.”
“What are you talking about?” Milo tensed up, and I could see his muscles flexing under his shirt. Someday, he’d probably even be more powerful than Jack, especially since he had so much control.
“I don’t know. And I don’t have time to explain. If you want to come with, we have to go now.” I looked insistently at him, and I knew my invitation surprised Jack. He’d expected me to demand Milo stay here, and maybe I should’ve. But Jane might die. I didn’t think I had much of a choice.
“I’m in,” Milo nodded once. “Let’s go.”
We’d barely made it out the bedroom door when we ran into another snag. Bobby was in the process of pulling a sweater on over his head when he came out of his room. He saw us in a hurry, so he caught up with us.
“What’s going on?” Bobby asked.
“Nothing. Go back to the room.” Milo tried to make it down the stairs, but Bobby wouldn’t stop following him. Jack and I paused at the bottom, but I wouldn’t be able to wait long for either of them.
“Where are you going? Why do you all look so freaked?” Bobby’s hair had been mussed when he pulled on the sweater, and he tried to smooth it out while keeping his eyes fixed on Milo. “What happened?”
“Look, just go back upstairs,” Milo said. “You can’t come with!”
“Why?” Bobby was only getting more and more freaked out. “What are you doing?”
“It’s too dangerous for a human. Just go!” Milo pointed up to the top of the stairs like Bobby was a disobedient dog.
“Dangerous?” Bobby blanched. “No! If you can get hurt, I’m going with you!”
“We don’t have time for this! We’re going now!” I waved my hands of it and walked to the garage. Jack was a step of ahead of me, but Milo trailed behind us with Bobby at his heels.
“Bobby!” Milo snapped at him when we reached the garage. “You can’t come with!”
“No!” Bobby grabbed onto Milo’s arm and looked as if he might cry. I wondered if this is what I had looked like when I was mortal. “I’m not gonna stay here while you go off -”
“Get in the car,” Jack said, looking over the Lexus at Bobby.
“What? No!” Milo protested. Jack refused to meet my gaze, and I knew he was thinking something, but I couldn’t tell what it was.
“Just do it,” Jack said and got in the driver’s seat.
Milo and Bobby did as they were told, although that didn’t stop Milo from arguing about how idiotic it was for Bobby to come along. I agreed with him, but I kept my mouth shut. Jack started the car, and we sped out of the garage, on the way to the park.
It wasn’t until I was trapped in the enclosed space of the car with Bobby that I realized how hungry I was. He was afraid, so his heart beat even faster, and my mouth started to water. I had to grip onto the door handle to keep my hand from shaking. Jack noticed, and he frowned at me and rolled down the window. The cold night air helped some, but there was nothing more that either of us could do.
Thanks to the ridiculous weather, the roads were slick, and Jack wasn’t keen on slowing down. When we came to a stop in front of the park, the car skidded sideways, and Jack jerked the wheel. The Lexus lurched over the curb, and slid across the slush covered grass before finally coming to a stop two inches away from hitting a tree.
“Is everyone okay?” Jack asked, looking around. Bobby had hit his head on the back of my seat, but otherwise everyone was okay.
“You’re a really terrible driver,” I muttered. I opened the door and stepped out of the car, instantly slipping in the grass. I grabbed onto the door just before I fell to the ground, but I wasn’t boding well for how I would do in battle.
“Careful,” Bobby said as he got out of the car.
“No!” Jack shouted. He’d already gotten out, and he pointed at Bobby. “You. Get back in the car.”
“No, if you come with, you’ll only hinder us,” Jack said. “Stay here so you don’t get us killed.” Bobby wanted to argue, but he had to realize that Jack had a valid point.
“I’ll be back as soon as I can,” Milo promised. Grudgingly, Bobby climbed back in the car, and Milo leaned in to give him a quick kiss.
“I love you!” Bobby said, but Milo was already hurrying after Jack and me. We went down a winding pathway through the center of the park. It had been salted and sanded so it was much less treacherous than walking on the grass.
“Where is she?” Milo asked when he jogged up to us.
“We don’t know,” Jack glanced over at me, hoping I’d have more information.
Milo was about to ask something logical, like how did we plan on finding her, but I shushed him. I was trying to get a read on her, but it was hard. Even late at night in bad weather, downtown Minneapolis still had tons of activity. It was hard to separate sounds.
On top of that, I was getting really hungry. I kept getting focused in on the wrong smells and sounds because they were far more appetizing than what I was looking for.
“Ugh.” I wrinkled my nose, catching onto something. It smelled dirty and not quite right.
“What?” Jack froze and looked at me.
“I don’t know. I just smell something.” A cold wind came up, blowing it away, and I shook my head. “It was probably the dog park. But it definitely wasn’t Jane.”