“Dica and Steele are coming right now, Reign.” Vienna’s voice is shaky, but my eyes don’t lift from the body. I’m too frozen, petrified, afraid to even breathe.
The lifeless body stained crimson in the ocean waves, my ears still echo from my scream. Dusted dreams and fresh nightmares pound into my mind.
I haven’t even read his book yet.
Reid floats peacefully, his body ever so often coming to the shore. I’m freezing, the teal bikini shivers to my skin. He didn’t deserve to die—nobody deserves to die this way.
Silver snow falls for you, my moon. Once the chains around me have fallen, I’ll claim what is mine, and the world will live hollow and broken. -Circulus
I flinch as the roar of a motorcycle finds it’s way off of the cliffs. My fingers flinch around each other as my name is being called. My eyes don’t stray away from Reid.
He didn’t deserve to die.
My fingers trace over the faint bruises on my stomach, on my collarbone, on my thighs. I swallow the dry sea air imagining the pain of being waterboarded to death—of drowning. The dark purple bruises on his tan skin, his hazel lifeless eyes. He was innocent in every way, and now he’s dead—dead because of me.
I didn’t realize I was crying for the perfect stranger until I wiped my cheeks. I didn’t realize I was trembling until a sweatshirt draped over my shoulders.
The scent of pine invades my nose, I slip my arms into the large gray open sweater and pull the sleeves around my hands without hesitation. A pathetic sob escapes me as arms meander their way around my waist.
“Angel, don’t look.”
Steele turns me away, my eyes stay straight ahead. His muscled chest indented in his black t-shirt. I hear Steele suck in a breath, muttering curses about his restraint as he zips up the sweatshirt.
My eyes find his, the ice cornflower blue rings deep in his orbs, flecks of darker blue edge around the center. I find myself intranced in the insane tragedy of Steele Winters.
“Steele,” I whisper, his eyes dipped to my lips as I tug at them uncertain. “They-they left another note.”
His jaw is clenched so tight I’m certain stone could break underneath it’s power. His fingers brush against my wrists so lightly, it’s as if he isn’t even there at all.
Steele blinks away any anger in his eyes, the comfort in his smile as he nods away my pain. “I know, angel.” Steele let’s go of my wrist and opens his arms, “Come here.”
It’s sad that I don’t think twice upon diving into his arms. Gripping his shirt so tight, I’m afraid I’ll rip it. An arm goes behind my back, resting respectfully around me. Warm fingers cross over the back of my neck, I sigh in his embrace, trying to get the watery body of Reid out of my mind.
It’s all my fault.
“I love holding you angel, but we have to hide the body.” Steele murmurs through the crashing waves minutes later, I look up at him appalled.
“H-hide it?” I yelp, “We have to report it—what do you mean, hide it?”
My arms slack against my sides as I step back. Hurt is evidently flashing across his winter chilled eyes. “Angel—”
“He has family, friends—people who need to mourn him, Steele. We can’t—I won’t take that away from him. The police need to investigate, they said they had people trying to help me—”
“They don’t give two flying fucks about you, Reign!” Steele interrupts me, my feet step away and deeper into the sand.
He didn’t call me angel.
“I know nobody cares—I k-know that! But that doesn’t mean I’ll stop trying. I am going to figure out who this person is Steele, and I swear to god when I do. I am going to kill them.” I scream, fists trembling in my wake. I’m not a killer, but Circulus is, and if I want justice for Reid—my father.
This person is going to meet my fucking rath, because I am independent. I am my own person, because Reign Moonbreker doesn’t bow down to anyone.
Not even Steele Winters.
I didn’t drive with Steele, I didn’t talk to Steele, I didn’t even look at Steele when he said the body was hidden. I walked like a sloth up to my room with fear clear in my eyes. I had to remind myself that the Hunters aren’t the good guys, they’re illegal fighters, killers.
They’re my friends.
After showering, I locked my door with a scowl. I sit in small white bay window in the left corner of the room. With Reid’s book in one hand and the notes from Circulus in the other.
My eyes drift to Steele’s sweatshirt, it’s folded neatly on my bed. Shifting my thoughts away, I look back to what “clues” I have with a sigh. My fingers skim over the cover of The Mystery on Clockwork Hill.
I flip over the first couple of pages until something catches my eye. My eyes skim over Reid’s neat writing until I jolt in my chair.
Dear Perfect Stranger,
I have read many mysteries in my life, but one is still unsolved. Ever since I met you, something has took a turn for the worst, and it’s clear it is because of you.
I may be suspicious or I just may be paranoid, but just in case I had to tell you in a subtle way.
If you’re reading this it means my thoughts have turned true. I’m sorry that it had to be this way but I’m not an ordinary twenty year old nerd who has taken a liking to you. But a man who takes strange jobs—odd jobs. Someone hired me to follow you, get to know you—know who is close to you. They told me that you were dangerous, but anyone can see you could barely beat up a child. And it’s sad to say that I didn’t fail at my job, I know what my employer wanted me to find out—but it doesn’t mean I’ll tell them.
I have morals, I’m not a murderer. All of those books—all of those words I said were not from me.
But from him.
Whoever he is, and whatever he wants, I won’t be a part of it. You’re life is endanger Perfect Stranger, and it’s only a matter of time till something happens to you too.
He wanted me to give you this book, but he doesn’t know about the note. He told me to tell you to, “Solve the mystery.” The ending of this book is ripped out, you need to solve this.
It has to be you Perfect Stranger. Only you, because whoever he is, he knows.
He knows how this will play out, he knows how the mystery ends—he will spoil your ending, Reign.
So don’t let him.
-Reid Lacriox (Odd Ones Co.)
The thundering booms of my heart don’t subside, my fingers tremble over the crumpled paper. Reid was not who I thought he was—who I assumed he was.
He was hired to know more about me, and it’s clear whatever he wanted, Reid found. And that got Reid killed.
He is Circulus. It’s obvious.
I have to solve the mystery, I have to complete the book. But at the same time I can’t, because that will mean I’m doing exactly what Circulus wants.
I close the book, not daring to read it. A strangled sob escapes me. My head is pounding in the words of Reid. We were safe—I was safe, from Khol, from the rival gang called the Blood Bones. I was suppose to live out the rest of my life in a boring and mediocre way, and I was okay with that.
But this isn’t the Blood Bones. This isn’t Khol.
This is way worse.
Oh my oh my! It seems Reid isn’t who we thought he was.
Circulus is still out there...
Tell me! Thoughts, questions, guesses on who our villain may be!
The story is only starting and it’s going to get crazier.