(Wednesday, Sept. 14th -- 26 days remain)
Holden eventually makes his way to the library to make good on his promise
to help Kisoka,
and he finds her already at work. She doesn't mention Vincent or her conversation with him,
only tosses him some books and library call numbers for him to peruse, mostly concerning vampire
lore, and tells him to get to work. Holden goes along with it, but as Kisoka keeps most of her
books out of sight, he suspects she's researching something else entirely.
Azriel fails to show up for school the next day. When asked about it later,
she says that she stayed
home because her sister Coral had been waking her up all through the night, complaining of frequent
nightmares, and so neither of them got much sleep. This is taken in stride by the others, as Coral was
always prone to frightening nightmares and tended to be awake most of the night. Holden is a little
unnerved by the severity of Coral's dreams this time, but soon lets it slip to the back of his mind as he
concentrates on his work with Kisoka.
(Tuesday, Sept. 20th -- 20 days remain)
At first skeptical, Holden becomes consumed by his research and is becoming
increasingly convinced that
there must be a way to help Vincent. He spends most of his free time in the library now, with or without
Kisoka. He's reluctant to involve his friends, but Sloane discovers Holden in the midst of his work one
evening and insists on helping, as he's already involved anyway.
Vincent, meanwhile, whiles away his days in his apartment in solitude, dwelling
on his rather abrupt
conversation with Kisoka, and the eerie resemblance he saw between she and Holden. He has stopped
feeding again, and thinks with a singleminded fixation of the day he will turn Holden, and put an end to his lonliness.
Hounded by their curiosity, Kisoka finally informs Holden and Sloane that while
they're looking for the
key to unlocking Adonis' mind, she is continuing her search for Arcana in another way. When Arcana
was captured, her power was transfered to various forms of life, and would return to her only when those
lifeforms were destroyed. Since this meant plant life was as likely to receive her power as animals or humans,
Kisoka is looking through old newspapers for reports of vast forest fires or wildlife destruction, deliberately
set by someone hunting for the remnants of that power. Evidence of such events could give a clue as to
where she was taken.
(Thursday, Sept. 22nd -- 18 days remain)
Sloane takes it upon himself to visit Julie in the hospital, who should still
be recovering from being attacked
by Lilith two
weeks earlier, but finds that she's already been released. He goes to her house to find out why. She informs him that she healed
quickly after the attack -- she always has been able to do that. She also knew that her friend Lilith was a vampire, but never
thought she would attack her. Sloane deduces that the healing power is very likely a remnant of Arcana's power, and that the
mysterious man who wanted Julie dead was in all probability Arcana's captor. He asks for any locations she can think she may
have been when she started noticing her healing abilities, and she gives him a few.
Over the last few days, since he started working with Kisoka, Holden keeps
waking up with the vague impression that he has
seen and talked with Yoshiki again in his dreams, but he is sure to keep this information to himself, and chalks it up to his mind's
way of dealing with the strange nature of Kisoka's search for Arcana.
(Friday, Sept. 23rd -- 17 days remain)
Holden and Sloane are exhausted and skipping classes, and Caine is feeling
ignored, as Holden is missing all day and Sloane is
gone all night. Azriel suggests a party to get everyone's minds off what's troubling them. That evening, Holden notes that reading
books about vampires written by humans likely won't help them very much, and goes to see if Tobias has anything that could help
them (under the excuse of wanting to use the books for a term paper). Tobias happily lends him some books of vampire lore written
by actual vampires, accidentally dropping a few on Holden's foot in the process. Tobias receieves the sympathy pain, but doesn't
call attention to it, and Holden excuses himself and leaves.
Holden runs into Dominick on the way out, who seems surprised to see him. Holden
tells him that he's more than welcome to come
to Azriel's house with them the next day for the party, but in a sudden personality switch, Dominick totally ignores him and angrily
demands that Holden leave. He disappears into Tobias' apartment without another word. Confused and a little hurt at his dismissal,
Holden wanders away.
Dominick is furious and demands that Tobias tell him why Holden was there,
clearly concerned that he had been in danger. Tobias
tells him to get ahold of himself, that he must be falling under Holden's spell if he's that concerned about the boy being left in Tobias'
presence. He then recounts what happened when he had dropped the books, and ponders aloud that Holden is likely another container
of Arcana's power. Dominick calms down, but doesn't say anything to this. Tobias then commands Dom to continue keeping a close
watch on Holden, to which Dom does not object.
(Saturday, Sept. 24th -- 16 days remain)
Holden finally tells Azriel and Caine what he, Sloane, and Kisoka have been
up to (but leaving out the part about him only
having 16 days left to do it). Sloane fills them in on what Julie told him, the places that could possibly be where Arcana had
been captured and dispersed her power. Azriel notices that her parents had once been to one of those places to visit her
grandparents years ago, a small village on the outskirts of the city. She promises to try to ask her parents about their visit
in as discreet a manner as possible.
At the party later that night at Az's house, Holden is upstairs looking through
pictures of Az's parents on that trip, and
notices that her mother had been pregnant with Az's sister at the time. He puts the pictures away, but when he stands,
he falls over, overcome with nausea and a strange sense of contentment. He sees a vision of a girl with red hair laying
in a pool of blood, and when he rises, he is not himself. Holden walks slowly, deliberately to Coral's room, where the
girl has been watching him. Holden asks her why she isn't asleep, and she replies that she's been having bad dreams --
dreams of a beautiful man with yellow eyes and dark wings. Dreams that aren't her own -- Holden's dreams. Holden
smiles, satisfied, and tells her it's time to go. Coral suddenly bolts out of her room and downstairs, and Holden follows
her without haste.
Coral runs past through the kitchen full of people and out the back door; Holden
follows, surreptitiously pulling a knife
from the counter as he goes by. At the door, he is stopped by Azriel, who says that Coral just ran off into the woods,
but she too retreats when she realizes that something's wrong with him. She tries to talk him out of it, but makes a run
for it when she can't, yelling for help. Holden catches her and sinks the knife into her abdomen, and tosses her aside as
he continues to stalk after Coral.
Suddenly, Holden is thrown to the ground -- Dominick appears and tackles him.
Azriel is silent and immobile. Dominick
has Holden pinned, but the hard fall left him in a dazed state, and he isn't fighting back anymore. Caine comes outside,
drawn by Azriel's screaming, and Dom orders him to call an ambulance. While he ducks back into the house to do so,
Dom carries Holden to his car and drives away.
(Sunday, Sept. 25th -- 15 days remain)
Holden wakes up the next day in Dominick's bed, alone and confused. He instantly
remembers what he did to Azriel,
however, and is physically sick with horror. He's too terrified and hysterical to even scream. Dom notices he is awake,
and comes into the room to try and calm him. He tells Holden that Az has been taken to the hospital, and Caine and
Sloane are watching over her. Holden is overcome with regret and dreads having to face his friends again, but Dominick
insists that he'll take care of Holden, that no one has to know where he is, and that Holden could stay as long as he wished.
When asked why he was doing this when Holden was potentially dangerous, Dominick simply tells him not to worry, that
Holden's not really a bad person despite what's been happening.
Next ---> Sept. 30th - Oct. 10th