5 Chapter 5

I remembered hearing my sister cry a few moments ago. Had she done something to hurt Drew? Was it on purpose, or an accident, like my dad said? I couldn't imagine Cadence hurting anyone. Even though we were siblings, we never roughhoused the way that some kids did. She'd never done more than throw a pillow at me. My insides felt all tangled up. So many more questions burned in my mind, but I didn't feel safe asking any of them right now for fear I'd give my sister's secret away. As it was, I may have already said too much. Would my parents wonder who the man was that was in my sister's room? What had Cadence told them about the woman with the purple hair?

Holding back all of the questions that threatened to bubble to the surface, I nodded my head. "Will you tell me if you hear anything more about Drew? Or if Cadence calls?"

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"Of course, honey," my mom said. "But don't worry. You're perfectly safe. Any noises you heard have a logical explanation." She was smiling in reassurance, and I wanted to believe her, but she hadn't seen what I did.

Nevertheless, I pulled myself up off of the bed and headed toward the door. My parents' smiles were straightened, tight with anxiety, and they both watched me like they were waiting for me to step outside of the door so that they could breathe again.

I acquiesced and walked out into the hallway, pulling their door closed behind me. As expected, I heard two loud exhales as soon as it clicked. I considered lingering for a moment to see if they said anything I needed to know, but then, my parents were smarter than I was giving them credit for, and they waited for me to walk away before either of them said a word.

As I passed through the living room on the way to the stairs, I noticed the chain on the front door was unlocked. There was no way Cadence could've locked it behind herself when she left, so I slid it into place before heading up the stairs, satisfied that the door was secure.

I didn't go straight to my room, though. Instead, I went to hers. I carefully pushed the door open, afraid that man, or someone else, might be in there, waiting for me to become the curious cat. Nothing stirred, and nothing appeared to be out of place. Even the bedroom window appeared to be locked from the inside. I opened a few drawers and Cadence's closet, noticing some of her favorite clothes were gone. An inspection of her bathroom proved she'd managed to grab some of her favorite products and little more. I noticed she'd forgotten her phone charger and wondered if her new friends would have one she could borrow since I was pretty sure the only phone my grandma had likely used a rotary dial. The fact that I know what that is should prove I'm not kidding.

I stepped back into the hallway, looking around to make sure I was alone before I headed back to my bedroom. I closed and locked the door behind me and even took my chair out from under my desk and propped it under the handle. I realized that if these people could come in and out of locked windows, jumping up and down from the second story, my flimsy desk chair probably wasn't going to do much, but it made me feel marginally safer.

Out the window, the street looked just as sleepy as it usually did that time of morning. The sun wasn't up yet, although I imagined it would be beginning to climb the sky soon enough. The neighbors' roofs all looked as they should, and I heard nothing else above me.

Blowing out a breath through my mouth, I climbed back under the covers, thinking there was no way I could go back to sleep. I prayed that Drew would be okay and that whatever was going on with Cadence, she wouldn't be in any trouble. I saw my own phone next to me on the nightstand and thought about calling her, but whatever was going on with her, the last thing she needed was to think that she'd involved me somehow. My sister was overly protective, and I knew I'd be doing her a solid by not letting her know I'd seen or heard anything. For all she knew, I'd slept through the whole thing, and that's the way it needed to stay until I could figure out what in the world was going on.

I also considered calling Lucy or Emma but quickly pushed those ideas away, too. Lucy likely wouldn't be up until closer to noon, despite the fact that it was a holiday. And Em had a very strict rule that people shouldn't be out of bed until the sun was up. Once it climbed above the horizon, then, by all means, start your day, but if the sun was down, so was Em, at least in the morning. Sometimes her rules were a little hard for us to understand, but we did our best to abide by them, which meant I'd have to wait a few more hours to call her, too. It wasn't likely she would know anything anyway. She didn't care much for any people other than me or Lucy, so it wasn't like she would've heard anything. Lucy on the other hand had quite a social network. As soon as she was conscious, Lucy Burk would know what was going on. She'd probably hear what had happened to my own sister before I did.

I slumped down into the bed, pulling the covers up over my shoulders, wishing I could just forget the last half hour or so of my existence. Drew was hurt; Cadence was in trouble; and there were some sort of weird beings invading our lives. Whatever had happened at that Eidolon Festival, I needed to find out because, if Cadence's life would never be the same, neither would mine, and I wasn't sure I was ready for the kind of drastic changes that brought sports cars to your house in the middle of the night.

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