Thanks so much to Workaday Reads for having me back a third time! It’s always nice to be in a familiar place and see a familiar face. Luckily for me, this is one I enjoy seeing. But sometimes… well, sometimes a familiar face is not great at all.
“You know who Jack is.”
Williams froze for a moment, and then shook his head. “No.”
Celia spoke before I could, although her words were exactly what I would have said. With a little profanity thrown in. “Liar. You know who has Lizzy.”
Williams shook his head again. “There was no one in that attic by the name of Jack.”
“Fine, who’d you put in the attic thirty years ago?”
“Lying to me is only going to piss me off.” The heat starting to fill me up had nothing to do with Theo or the fire and everything to do with rage. “You told me you put your monsters in the attic. Now tell me who you put there.”
“I can’t.” Improvement. “We were sworn to secrecy. Every vampire in New Orleans who served my maker took a blood oath we would never speak the name of anyone on the third floor.” Williams leaned forward, his elbows on his knees. He let his head drop down to his hands, covering his face. It jolted me, that act of shame. I’d never seen him ashamed of anything, not even Hart’s actions, heinous as they were. “They were outlawed, imprisoned for the good of living and dead alike.”
I couldn’t make him break a blood oath. Literally. To do so could cause any number of reactions, including his death, from what I understood. Although with his maker dead I didn’t know if the blood oath still stood. And as much as I hated him, I needed him up and moving right now. I took another deep breath, worked to force the rage down. To think of some other way to find Jack. “What about where he operated out of?”
Williams shook his head, the movement odd with his face still hidden by his hands. “We ran to ground in public and he refused to say anything. No matter how…thoroughly, we questioned him.”
I was betting even Celia knew what Williams had tried so delicately to hint at. For people who survived by feeding off of others, the idea that they’d resorted to the torture of one of their own in an effort to curb his actions, told me how scared Jack had made them. They’d tortured him, then locked him in a wooden box and placed him in the attic of a convent.
Jack was like a wounded lion now. With the physical strength of a beast, the mental awareness of a man, and the killer tendencies of a psychopath.
We were fucked. Absolutely, totally fucked.
“Any other tidbits of information you’re holding back?” My voice was caught somewhere between reasonable, to fight the terror back, and breathy, as the terror worked its way through. Williams lifted his face and I found it hard to draw any breath at all when I saw the look of sorrow and guilt on his face.
“Yes. He’s my brother.”