I shake my head to lose the heavy feeling in my body. I want to get it over with. What’s done is done and he can’t unsee what he saw and neither can I. “Whatever. What’s next? What do I do?” I ask him.
“Before I create a portal, I need to know where we have to go. We step into what I call the void, but we need to get out somewhere, obviously, and I have no idea where that needs to be.” I tap my finger against my chin, thinking about what he said but I can’t come up with anything for now.
“Let me talk to Gideon. See if he knows where his sister is being held. I know it’s outside New York, but we didn’t talk about the exact place. How close do we need to get?” He thinks about it for a minute. “As close as possible. It takes a lot of energy so I need to know an exact location and I can go from there. Other than that, we need to come up with a plan of attack. I have a feeling it won’t be that easy to get her out of there and for now, we don’t have eyes on the inside. That is where you come in though.” Yeah, that doesn’t surprise me.
“I trust you.” is all I say to him. He nods and turns away from me, and starts to tap on a keyboard that's in the middle of the desk. The pictures on the screen changes to another building that I’m really familiar with. It’s the lowest part of the house I grew up in. Carefully hidden between all the doors in the house, there's a large basement with shackles on the wall, designed to hold people who crossed my father or when he needed information from them. A lot of people were killed there, even if they couldn’t tell him anything because they simply didn’t know what my father asked for. Some were innocent, the ‘wrong place, wrong time' kind of people. That reminds me of something.
“Hey, Julian, can I ask you something else? Something that has nothing to do with all this?” I whisper. “Sure, what is it?” “What if I know someone who died when I was still alive. Is there a way to find out where she is?” “You mean your mom?”
I shake my head, biting my lip and suddenly I'm not sure this is a good idea. I have zero doubt that my mom is in heaven. I don’t know how I know that, but I don’t question it anymore, stranger things have happened in the last couple of days. Every time I think about my mom, my golden strand warms and a weird, fuzzy feeling fills my body. Like it knows that she’s alright. No matter how much pain her loss has caused me, she’s exactly where she needs to be and I can only hope that I’ll see her again when this is over.
“I uh, met someone a few years ago. She sold drugs for my father and died when it all went to shit. Is there any way I can find out if she’s okay here?” My leg is bouncing, suddenly I regret I even asked it. What if it turns out that she’s not okay. What if she’s trapped like I am? I have a plan and I know really well what I want, but what if she doesn’t? What if she’s all alone in here and has no idea where to go? Or worse, she's just as lonely as Julian was.
For a minute I think he didn't hear me, staring at the wall at my back with a blank look on his face. “I think you need to ask the guys because I have no idea. I was alone for a long time in here, trapped inside this house.”
He nudges my shoulder and turns his attention back to the screens. “Come on, we need to get started. I’ll ask you again, do you trust me?” No even thinking about it, I nod. “Yes, I trust you. But if I find out you’re not worthy of my trust, I will kill you.” I wink. “Fair enough.” He takes my hands again en says: “I want you to close your eyes and focus on every building you know that belongs to your father. Something that you might have heard of or maybe you saw a picture laying around somewhere. Anything you can think of might help.”
I do as I’m told and close my eyes. I’m not sure what he wants with this but I decided to trust him, so I'll let him take the lead.
He already knows about my childhood house and the building I was killed in, so I quickly dismiss these two from my mind. I try to focus on everything else I can think of. Nightclub 27, the one where Gideon was shot, the warehouse where I know wooden crates filled with weapons are stored, the other buildings where they hide their drugs. It’s quiet for a long time and somewhere in the distance, a door opens before it's closed again. Faintly I hear someone walking over to where we’re sitting and I flinch when someone touches my shoulder.
“It’s just me, Jaleena.” I hear Roan’s heavy voice mumble in my ear and instantly my body relaxes. For a few minutes, I think back to all the buildings I can think of, not sure if it's even helpful.
When I can’t come up with anything else, I open my eyes and blink at the brightness of the room. Roan and Julian are looking cautiously at me, trying to figure out my mood. I could scare them a little by releasing some of my own power, but that wouldn't be wise. Actually, I do feel like I need to come up with a prank of some sort, we definitely could use a little bit more laughter in this place. My life was sad enough, my afterlife doesn’t have to be. I’ll talk to Gideon about it, I’m sure he would help me.
“Are you okay?” Roan asks while he gently rubs his hand on my lower back. I nod, not sure if my voice works, and look away from his peering eyes. “Are we done?” I ask Julian. He doesn’t even look at me, too lost in his own thoughts. Or in my thoughts. Fuck, this shit is confusing as hell.
I don’t know how much it affected him, so without making any sound I get up from my chair en jerk my head towards the door. “Let’s go,” I mouth to Roan. We silently walk out of the room and he snatches my waist to pull me against him. My back is firmly against his chest. He nudges my neck and breaths in my scent.
“I have an idea, come with me?” he whispers. I let him lead me towards my bedroom, passing Gideon on our way. With a heated look, he shifts his gaze between us. There’s movement at the back of my head and it must be Roan who nods, because Gideon snaps his eyes to mine and takes my hand, walking backward to my room. Sighing in anticipation I let them guide me and step inside. With one deep breath, Roan steps away from me and I’m feeling cold without his touch. He slowly walks around me until he stands next to Gideon. They share a look before turning their attention back to me. Wetness is already gathered between my thighs and I can’t help but feel excited about what I think is going to happen. Although I pictured my first time being sandwiched to be with Gideon en Cass, there’s no way I will send Roan away. If they’re as good between the sheets as Cass is, I have nothing to complain about.