Written in Red Page 92

“You’re sick?” Should he call Heather to find out what medicine humans used for stomach sickness? Or maybe Elizabeth Bennefeld. Wouldn’t she need to know about the human body for her massage work?

“No,” Meg replied. “I’m . . .” Tears spilled down her face. She shook her head.

“Sam?”

“Home.”

He knew that much. “You done here?”

She nodded. She flushed the toilet once more and closed the lid. When he helped her up, he saw the other side of her face.

“What’s that?”

She shook her head. When he continued to block her way out of the bathroom, she whispered, “Please. Don’t make this harder.”

Make what harder? Vlad thought.

“I’d really like to be alone now,” Meg said.

Not knowing what else to do, he left her apartment, closing the front door behind him. He hesitated at the top of the stairs, then went down and knocked on Simon’s door.

He heard a crash, followed by Elliot’s angry shout. He knocked again, harder. Elliot finally opened the door enough to look out, his body blocking the space.

Vlad smelled blood. “Problem?”

“A family matter,” Elliot replied darkly.

He leaned closer to Elliot. “If Meg ends up with another unexplained bruise or is frightened into sickness again, that, too, will be a family matter. But the family involved won’t be the Wolfgard’s.”

Threat delivered, Vlad went to his own apartment. He would inform Grandfather Erebus tomorrow. That would give Simon time to settle things in his own way.

* * *

Flanked by Nathan and Marie, Simon stepped off the train, walked through the station, and out the door that opened onto the parking lot. There had been bands of snow all along the way, but once the train reached Lake Etu, the snow had turned into serious weather. By the time they reached the train station at Lakeside, Simon figured the snow was going to make all but the main roads impassable.

He breathed out a sigh of relief when he saw Blair brushing off the van’s windows—and he felt his muscles tense when he spotted the police car idling in the parking lot.

After handing his carryall to Nathan, who climbed into the back with Marie, Simon took the passenger’s seat in the front of the van. Blair got in on the driver’s side a moment later, turned on the wipers, and put the van in gear.

Simon tipped his head toward the police car. “Is there some trouble I should know about?”

Blair shook his head. “I think that lieutenant who comes sniffing around wanted to know when you returned.”

The tire tracks from the cars that had arrived to pick up passengers were already filling in with fresh snow. Blair pulled out of the parking space and slowly drove toward the lot’s exit.

“You think we’ll get home tonight?” Nathan asked, leaning forward.

For a moment, Blair didn’t answer. Looking at the other Wolf’s face, Simon had the strong impression the Courtyard’s enforcer wasn’t easy about something. Maybe more than one something.

“Tess called while I was waiting for the train to get in,” Blair said. “Apparently, the Liaison expressed the same concern about you being able to get home. The girl at the lake assured her that you would get home tonight.” He paused, then added, “Vlad called too, but not about the weather.”

A plow had come by recently, filling the entrance to the parking lot with a wall of snow. Blair revved the van’s engine and rammed through the snow. The van lost traction for a moment, its tires spinning. Then it muscled through the rest of the white barricade and reached the road.

“Of course,” Blair said dryly, “the girl at the lake didn’t say getting home would be easy.”

No, it wasn’t easy, but most of the streets they needed were plowed to some extent, and the ones that weren’t plowed had snow drifted in unnatural patterns that gave them one passable, if serpentine, lane.

Simon stayed quiet until they reached the Courtyard, letting Blair focus on driving. When they pulled in at the Utilities entrance, the gates were open enough for the van to squeeze through.

“That’s not good security, leaving the gates open,” Nathan growled.

“We’re not going to get them closed until we shift some of that snow,” Blair replied. He wasn’t pleased about that.

“I don’t think a potential intruder will get far,” Simon said. It looked like someone had cleared the part of the Courtyard’s main road that headed for the Green Complex. In the other direction, the road was completely hidden under fresh snow.

He twisted in his seat to look at Nathan and Marie. “Doesn’t look like you’ll get back to your own homes tonight.”

“Julia’s apartment is in the Green Complex. I can stay with her tonight,” Marie said.

“Nathan?”

Before answering, Nathan glanced at Blair. “I guess I’ll bed down in one of the apartments above the Liaison’s Office?”

Blair nodded. “And I’ll come back to the Utilities Complex and bed down there to keep an eye on things. The Crows will take care of the Corvine gate.”

<Did something happen?> Simon demanded.

<Some things we can’t discuss yet,> Blair replied.

A chill went through Simon as Blair slowly drove toward the Green Complex.

<Is Sam all right?>

Blair’s lips twitched. <Sam is fine.>

He hesitated. <And Meg?>

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