Read Malina's Revenge Online

Authors: Dara J Nelson

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BOOK: Malina's Revenge
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As we neared our rooms, he finally mumbled, “Yours or mine?”
“Yours,” I said.
“Do you need anything from your room first?” he said.
I shook my head – everything in my room would smell like Matt. I needed to sleep, not to cry all night. I walked slowly, my head hanging down, into his bedroom. He looked at me. “Are you sleeping in your clothes?” he asked.
I looked down then back up at Carlos. “Do you have a tshirt I could borrow?” He nodded and walked to his dresser. He handed me the shirt and I walked into the bathroom. I felt the sadness coming at me as I changed, like a huge ocean wave coming towards me. I turned to try to walk out before it hit, but I was too late. I collapsed to the floor, sobbing. Like the angel that he was, Carlos was there. Without saying a word, he scooped me into his arms and carried me to the bed. He pulled me tight to him as he wrapped his arms around me. “Shhhh, it"ll be okay Sarah.”
“What am I going to do if we can"t find him Carlos?” I sobbed.
“No, Sarah, don"t think like that,” he said. “We will find him, we have to. You know we have to.”
“But she"s been around for centuries. She"s knows so much more than we do. She"s so much stronger than we are.”
“Her? Please. I can take her. Easily,” he said.
“But…” I said.
“Shhhh… not now Sarah,” he said as he began caressing my forehead. “Sleep now.”
It took a while, but I finally drifted off into a fitful sleep. Violently thrashing, tossing and turning and crying out as images of Malina kept permeating my dreams. I woke the first time at around two a.m. I rolled over and saw Carlos rubbing his chin. “That"s a wicked right you"ve got there Sarah,” he said as he grinned at me.
“Oh my God,” I gasped. “I didn"t! Oh Carlos, I"m so sorry.” I rested my hand on his chin.
“Don"t sweat it, kiddo,” he said.
I leaned my head back and stared at him.
“What?” he said.
“You always call me kiddo,” I said. “How old are you?”
“Much older than you,” he grinned.
I rolled my eyes. “Well, I knew that, goofball. But seriously, how old are you?”
He thought for a second. “I stopped keeping track a long time ago. Ummm, I was born in 1741, so I"m 270I guess.”
“Wow,” I said.
“Wow what, Miss smarty-pants?”
“Wow, you look pretty good for an old fart,” I grinned then I jumped out of bed before he could smack me.
“Very funny, Sarah. Very funny. Old fart, my ass. I"ll show you. There is absolutely nothing old about me. Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Now, it"s the middle of the night. You aregoing back to sleep.”
“I, I don"t know if I can, Carlos.”
He held his arms out to me and I suddenly felt completely safe as I melted into them. I turned my back to him and snuggled my head onto his shoulder. His fingers caressed my forehead again, and I soon drifted off into another dreamless sleep. At least it was dreamless for a while…
Oh, this was an amazingly real dream, and I was enjoying the heck out of it. The face in it wasn"t clear, but it had to be Matt. I"d know his touch anywhere, at least I thought I did. His fingers lightly caressed over my stomach and I felt goose bumps. I moaned and moved closer to him in my sleep. My heart was pounding now. I groaned and turned my face towards him, locking my mouth onto his. I was on fire now, and obviously so was he. His hand moved down my left leg and began a slow climb up my inner thigh. Just before he reached the top of my leg and the part of me that was aching for his touch, my mind began to wake me up from the dream. Something wasn"t right. His mouth felt different. His tongue tasted different. All incredibly good, but still different. My eyes popped open and I instantly realized what was happening. In one fell swoop, my legs clamped shut, my hands pushed against his chest and I gasped, “Shit! No! Carlos, stop!” I pushed myself off the bed. I landed on my butt on the floor, crossed my legs and held my head in my hands as I tried to calm down. My heart was pounding and between my legs, well, everything was throbbing.
Carlos wrestled with the sheets and tried to hide his obvious bulge. “Oh hell, Sarah. What just happened?”
“I don"t know, Carlos. Were you, ummm, were you just having a really erotic dream? One that had me in it?”
“Well, kind of. Okay, yes. But I have no control over dreams, Sarah. You"re not going to get mad at me for that, are you?”
“No. But what I"m saying is that I saw it too. I think we linked in our sleep.”
He just stared at me for a second then finally he whispered, “No. That"s not possible.”
I lifted my head up and looked at him. I blushed as I began to tell him the dream. “You were caressing my stomach. I leaned over and began kissing you as your hand moved down my left leg and up my inner thigh. Sound familiar?”
His mouth fell open. “Oh my God. But how? How did that happen?”
“Have you ever heard of vampires linking in their sleep? Have you ever done it?”
“Sarah. You have to be conscious to link, at least, one of you does. You know that. You have to actively seek out another. Linking when you"re both asleep just isn"t possible.”
“Well. Did you wake up and link with me when I was dreaming, then? „Cause I know I didn"t wake up and link with you. So it had to have been you.”
He shook his head. “No, Sarah. I didn"t. I was out cold. I promise.”
“So, what you"re saying is that you and I are somehow able to link in our sleep? Something that no other vampires have been able to do, ever?”
“Yes. I guess we are,” he said.
I jumped up. “Stop. This is too much. I can"t deal with this anymore right now. I"m going to shower. I"ll be out in a few minutes.”
I closed the door, threw my t-shirt on the ground, and started a colder than usual shower. I leaned my head and hand against the shower wall as the cold water cascaded down my back. It took a few minutes, but my heart finally began to slow down and the throbbing went away, but I was still completely wigged out. “Calm down, Sarah. It was just a dream. Nothing happened,” I told myself. Yeah, right. What if I didn"t wake up when I did? What would have happened then? How far would it have gone? “Crap,” I whispered, because I knew the answer to that. All the way. It felt so damn good, it would have gone all the way. I turned the hot water up a little, tilted my head back and washed my hair. I finished, then tried to avoid eye contact with Carlos as I walked out, blushing. I waited while he showered, trying, unsuccessfully, to not think about what he was doing in there, or what he looked like as the water cascaded down his sculpted body, glistening off of his olive skin. We ate silently until he couldn"t hold back the smirk any longer. “Stop it, Carlos,” I said, grinning myself. “It"s not funny.”
“Funny, kind of. But you have to admit that was one hot dream, Sarah.”
“No I don"t.”
“Yes you do, Sarah. I know you were worked up too. That was a longer than normal shower you took.”
I stood up, trying to act mad, but still not able to wipe the smile from my face. “It was not a long shower. Stop reading things into this. It was a dream, Carlos. Just a dream. And a dream is all it ever will be, allit ever can be, okay?”
“Whatever you say, Sarah,” he said as he reluctantly nodded his head then we headed to my office to begin the days" meetings. I hoped it was going to be a full and busy day, because that was exactly what I needed. There was no way I was going to talk about what how I really felt after that dream. About how confused I was by the feelings I was having, feelings like: I kind of wished that I hadn"t woken up when I did. Feelings like: If I had kept my eyes closed just a little bit longer, things would have gone far enough that we wouldn"t have been able to stop, and I sort of felt like I
it that way. No, I didn"t want to talk about that, not yet. And probably not ever.

Chapter Three

When we walked into my outer office, we were shocked to see that it was packed with people. I worked my way through the crowd to Missy"s desk. “Ummm, Missy?” I said. “Who are all these people?”

Missy grinned. “They"re from the village. Word of what happened is spreading quickly. Everyone around here just loves Matt. They"re here to try and help.”

I smile and nodded. “Join the club,” I mumbled. “Do you have that picture of Malina, Missy?”
“Sure thing,” she said as she handed it to me. I turned to the villagers and spoke in Spanish. “Thank you for coming friends,” I began and they all stopped talking and turned to face me. I held the picture up, “Have any of you seen her around here during the last month?” Several started talking at once. I held my hand up. “Please, one at a time.” I pointed to one. “Hector, right?” I said and he nodded. “You first.”
“My son thought he saw her in the jungle behind the chicken coop when he was gathering eggs last Saturday morning,” he said.
I nodded then pointed to another. “Juanita?”
“My cousin… my cousin disappeared when he was visiting three weeks ago. He went for a hike along the river. Do you… do you think it could be her, Miss Sarah?” she said.
I nodded. “I"m afraid so Juanita, I"m so sorry. Do you have a picture of your cousin?”
She nodded and reached into her purse. As I took it, I placed my hand over hers. “We"ll do everything we can to find him, I promise.”
We worked our way through the room, listening to the stories from those who thought they"d seen her. From what everyone was saying it seemed that she never left the area. She had been hiding around here the entire time. Finally, we had heard from the last person in the room. I held up my hand to quiet everyone again. “Now, how many of you have seen me around the village during the last month?”
I gasped as every hand in the room went up. I turned to Carlos. “I haven"t been outside these walls at all,” I whispered. We took statements from all of them. There was a common theme among them– I didn"t seem like my usual friendly self.
I nodded to them. “Thank you all for coming,” I said, “all of this information will really help. We will do our best to protect you, but please be very careful out there. Please don"t go out at night, and lock your doors and windows, okay?”
I sat down at my desk after the last of them had left. “She"s been here the whole time Carlos,” I groaned, “watching us and waiting. How did we miss this?”
“What if he didn"t Sarah?” he whispered then he took a step back when my glare met his. “He was head of security, Sarah. What if he saw signs that this was going to happen, but until he figured out how to stop it, he didn"t tell anybody. He"d want to protect you Sarah. He"d want to protect all of us. That"s his nature. You know that as well as I do. It"s what he does. He can"t help himself.” Shock filled my face and I jumped up from behind my desk and raced at full speed out of my office, down the halls, out the door to the courtyard and toward the front gate. Carlos was right behind me. We reached the villagers right before they walked out.
“One more question friends?” I said and they all stopped and turned around. “How many of you saw Mr. Matthew in the village over the last month?” I groaned when a dozen hands went up. Carlos steadied me as my knees threatened to give out. “Did you?… Did you?” I choked and looked desperately at Carlos.
He knew immediately what I was trying to ask. “Did any of you see Mr. Matthew with Miss Sarah?” he said. One hand went up. “Yes, Roberto?” he said.
“Well, not exactly with you,” he whispered, “more like
you. I thought you were playing a game or something. He saw me watching him and he put his finger up to his lips and said „shhhh."”
I froze again. Frozen solid. Couldn"t move a muscle, couldn"t speak, couldn"t cry, couldn"t collapse, just couldn"t. Carlos blocked me from their view. “Thanks again, everyone, for your help. Have a safe journey home.”
He turned and looked at me. “Sarah?” he whispered. His hands closed on my shoulders and he gently shook me. Nothing, I thought, there"s nothing there. “Okay,” he said as he looked around the courtyard. His eyes stopped in the back corner of the yard. “That"ll have to do,” he mumbled to himself. “Honey, this is going to be unpleasant, but I need you to snap out of this, we have too much work to do,” he said. He picked me up and flew across the yard, toward the waterfall. He hovered over the deep pool, the pool full of ice blue glacier water,
glacier water. Then we fell, plunging deep, the shock of hitting the cold better than any slap in the face. I heard myself scream underwater. Carlos grabbed my hand and pushed off the rocky bottom. He let out a whoop when he broke the surface. “THAT is some frickin" cold,” he yelled. I didn"t make a sound. Not even a peep. I quietly started swimming toward the edge. “Sarah?” he said as he started to swim next to me. “I"m sorry, it"s the only thing I could think of to bring you back.”
I pulled myself up on the edge and sat with my feet in the water for a moment. I tried to smile at him. “I"m not mad at you Carlos, you did the right thing,” I said. “I just don"t want to be mad at him, but how could he do this? How could he know she was here and not tell anyone? How could he not tell
“I don"t know Sarah,” he said as he stood up and held his hand out to me. “He had to have had a good reason. We need to look at his files, okay?”
I sighed then I nodded as I took his hand and stood up. We headed toward the main door, but the guard blocked our path. I smiled at him. “It"s okay, Charles,” I said as I held up my scarred hand. “It"s really me.”
“Okay, Miss Sarah, I just had to check. I"m sorry,” he mumbled.
“Don"t be,” I said. “You were absolutely right to check.”
We raced to the control room and burst inside. Ramon"s eyes went wide as he took in our appearance. It took me a second, but I finally realized why he looked so shocked. I looked at our dripping clothes and said, “I slipped by the waterfall.”
He opened his mouth, but Carlos stopped him. “Don"t ask, man,” he said.
“Ramon,” I said, “we need to see Matt"s case files right away.”
“No,” he said, shaking his head.
“You have to dry off first,” he said.
“Oh,” I said. “Of course.” I pushed Carlos towards the door, calling over my shoulder,“We"ll be back in five minutes. Please have them waiting on his desk.”
We raced down the hall, stopping at Carlos" room first, because I was dreading going to mine. He ran out of his bedroom wearing dry pants and a shirt and rubbing a towel on his head. “You ready?” he said. I looked up into his eyes, forced down the panic that was creeping into my chest then slowly nodded. We ran to my room and stopped just outside the door. He opened the door. I took a deep breath, took ten steps in, and stopped.
“Sarah,” he said. “Oh no, not again.”
“Shhhh,” I whispered as my eyes darted around the room. “It"s not that. Something"s wrong, something"s… off.”
“What?” he said.
“Remember in the video,” I said as I headed toward the corner, where I had all my pictures on the wall, “she came over here, but it was dark and you couldn"t really tell what she was doing.” I was looking over all of the pictures. Nothing was missing, but I could feel that something was out of place.
“Sarah,” Carlos said, “it looks like they"re all here.”
“Damn it! I know it does, Carlos,” I snapped. “Sorry, I didn"t mean to bite your head off.”
“I know you didn"t, hun,” he said.
My eyes frantically searched. “Maybe it"s noth” I stopped as my eyes landed on a picture in the corner.
I grabbed it off the wall and stared at it. “Carlos,” I whispered, “I think I know where she"s taken him.”
“What?!? Where? How?” he said.
I held the picture out to him. “Neither one of us took this picture of Matt"s house in Washington. And I didn"t put it on the wall.”
He stared at the picture for a minute, then looked up at me. “You"re sure?” he said. “But she said „Don"t look for him, you"ll never find him." Why would she say that and then leave clues?”
“I"m positive. And she"s leaving a clue because she can"t stand not playing a game, Carlos, a game that she"s certain that she will win. She can"t help it,” I grinned. I turned and ran toward the bedroom, unbuttoning my wet blouse as I ran. “What time does Musetta get here tomorrow?” I yelled as I changed.
“I think around eleven a.m.,” he said.
I ran out wearing a dry t-shirt and jeans and grabbed his hand. “Come on,” I said, “we"ve got work to do.”
We ran back to the security room. “Okay Ramon, we"re ready,” I said.
“They"re in on Matthew"s desk,” he said. I glanced at the clock as we sat down. “It"s one o"clock, Matt"s two o"clock will be here soon, let"s try to get through these before he or she shows up, okay?”
I divided the stack in half and handed some to Carlos.
“What, exactly, am I looking for?” he said.
“Something generic, non-descript. He wouldn"t make it obvious,” I said as I started tossing files aside, they all had names on them and detailed notes on surveillance. One by one, my pile kept shrinking. I reached the bottom and looked at Carlos. “Anything?” I said. He shook his head. I stood up and looked at the shelves behind us. The book titles were all related to security and surveillance, I was beginning to give up hope.
“I don"t know Sarah,” Carlos said from behind me. “Maybe he didn"t keep a file on her.”
“But he keeps files on everything, Carlos,” I said as I kept searching. “There has to be some…” I stopped. “You"ve got to be kidding me,” I said and I started
Carlos was by my side in a flash. “What did you find?” he said.
I slowly pulled the book I was looking at off of the shelf. “You remember what you said to Malina the last time you tackled her?”
“Hell, yeah,” he said. “I told her it was time for me and her to da…” he stopped as he saw the title. The book was called
Time to Dance
. Carlos grinned his infectious grin. “He really is the best, isn"t he?” he said.
I nodded as I opened the book and thumbed through the pages. Sure enough, towards the middle, I found a CD. I popped it into the computer. It had four files on it. Two were videos – surveillance videos from the village. They were grainy, he must have used a hidden camera as he followed her. Not much to use there. The next file had notes and addresses. A name and location in Romania (possibly her Gypsy witch?), two addresses in San Francisco and an address here in Peru. This would definitely help. I printed out several copies. The last item was a Word document. The title stopped me cold. I looked at Carlos, then back at the screen. “Carlos,” I whispered, “why would he have a file with my nameon here?”
“I don"t know, but there"s only one way to find out,” he said.
I nodded and clicked on the file, groaning when I saw it was a letter to me.
“Oh my God,” I moaned as I sank into Carlos. We read it together:
My dearest love,
If you’re reading this, then one of my fears has come true. I’ve been trying for weeks to determine what Malina was up to, and one thing I suspected was that she was going to kidnap me. Obviously she has succeeded with that. Please be careful though. She blames you, and only you, for ruining her life. And she will stop at nothing to ruin yours. If she has kidnapped me, then it is only the beginning. You are still in grave danger, as are Carlos, Stacy and everyone else you care about. She’s out to cause you as much pain as possible until you crumble or surrender. This has become her sole purpose and she aims to do it quietly. We were wrong when we assumed she would go off and amass an army. She is doing this on her own, or with very little help as far as I can tell.
I’m so very sorry that I’m not there to tell you this myself. Please know that it was never my intention to hide anything from you. I was trying to figure out her full intentions first. I had to keep you from getting hurt. I need you to understand that I was doing the only thing I could do, the only thing I know how to do. I was protecting you. Now that job falls to the goofball. I know without a doubt that, just like me, Carlos will do anything for you and he would die to protect you. Promise me you’ll keep him by your side always. And I promise you, that no matter what you see, no matter what you think has happened, I will always, always, find my way back to you. You have my heart Sarah Pearl, and all of my love. I will see you soon.
Love, Matthew
My head fell to the desk and I felt Carlos" hand rubbing my back. Suddenly there was a knock at the door. I took a deep breath, sat up, looked at Carlos and nodded my head.
“Come in,” he said. Ramon stuck his head in. “Matt"s two o"clock is here.”
“Send them in,” I said as Carlos rubbed my shoulders. We both stared at the door, anxious to see who was coming in. Imagine my surprise when in walked our accountant, Tom.
“Mrs. Pearl,” he said, with his surprise clearly on his face. “I was expecting Mr. Pearl today; perhaps I should come back another time?”
I shook my head as I shook his hand. “Mr. Pearl is… traveling, and he doesn"t have a return date right now. Is this something I can help you with?”
He hesitated, looking from me to Carlos and back. “Well,” he stammered, “I"m only here to deliver some documents, but I don"t want Mr. Pearl to be angry with me for spoiling the surprise.”
I raised my eyebrows. “The surprise?”
“Are you sure I can"t come back another time when Mr. Pearl is here?” he said.
Carlos looked at me. I nodded slightly then Carlos put his hand on Tom"s arm and said, “Tom, we really don"t know… when he"s going to be back. He"s been kidnapped.”
Tom stared at him for a few seconds, then his eyes got huge as it sunk in. “OH! Oh NO!” he said. “Oh my, Oh no.” He sank down into the chair behind him, clasping his head in his hands. We sat silently, watching him, waiting. He finally looked up at me. “Has there been a ransom demand? Is there anything I can do to help?”
“No ransom,” I said. “There probably won"t be. But Carlos and I will be traveling a lot, chasing leads, trying to find him, so please watch the cash supply closely. Please make sure there"s always a large amount available to me.”
He nodded his head. “Absolutely, of course I will.” He reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out a businesscard. “Can I borrow a pen?” he said. I handed him one and he turned the card over. “This is my private cell number and my home phone,” he said as he handed it to me. “Please call, anytime day or night, if you need anything, anything at all.”
I nodded. “Thank you, Tom. I really appreciate this.”
Tom stood to leave. “Ummm, Tom?” I said. He looked at me and I nodded at the large envelope in his hand. “Oh,” he said, “I completely forgot.” He handed me the envelope. “This is supposed to be your birthday present, he was going to hold on to it until September. I"ll give it to you and let you decide whether or not to open it.”

BOOK: Malina's Revenge
8.04Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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