Home > Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy #6)(25)

Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy #6)(25)
Author: Richelle Mead

"I don't think I know Esmond,' said Christian.

"Moron,' she said matter-of-factly. "Him, I mean. Not you. Someone's got to talk sense into our family before they embarrass themselves.'

Christian grinned. "And let me guess: you're just the one to do it?'

"Of course,' she said, a mischievous gleam in her eye. "I've already drawn up a list of ideal candidates. Our family just needs some persuasion to see how ideal they are.' "I'd feel bad for them if they weren't still being ass**les to us,' Christian remarked, watching his aunt walk away. The stigma of his parents turning Strigoi still lingered after all these years. Tasha accepted it more gracefully--despite her complaining--if only to be able to participate in the Ozera family's larger decisions. Christian made no such attempts at civility. It was terrible enough to be treated as less than other Moroi, to be denied guardians and other things royals were entitled to. But from his own family? It was especially harsh. He refused to pretend it was acceptable.

"They'll come around eventually,' said Lissa, sounding more optimistic than she felt.

Any response of Christian's was swallowed when a new companion fell into step with them: my father. His abrupt appearance startled both of my friends, but I wasn't surprised. He probably knew about Lissa's interrogation and had been skulking outside the building, waiting to talk to her.

"It's nice out,' said Abe amiably, looking around at the trees and flowers as though the three of them were on a nature walk through Court. "But it's going to be scorching when the sun comes up.'

The darkness that was giving me so much trouble in the woods of West Virginia made for pleasant, "midday' conditions for those on a vampiric schedule. Lissa gave Abe a sidelong glance. With eyes well-tuned to low light, she had no difficulty taking in the brilliant teal dress shirt under his beige sports jacket. A blind person could have probably seen him in that color.

Lissa scoffed at Abe's faked casualness. It was a habit of his, opening with small talk before moving on to more sinister topics. "You're not here to talk about the weather.'

"Trying to be civilized, that's all.' He fell silent as a couple of Moroi girls passed them. Once they were well out of ear-shot, he asked in a low voice, "I assume everything went well at your little meeting?'

"Fine,' she said, not bothering to fill him in about "irrational affection.' She knew all he'd care about was that none of their associates had been implicated.

"The guardians have Eddie now,' said Christian. "And want me later, but I think that'll be it for all of us.'

Lissa sighed. "Honestly, I have a feeling the interrogation was the easy part, compared to what's coming.' She meant figuring out who had really killed Tatiana.

"One step at a time,' murmured Abe. "No point in letting the larger picture overwhelm us. We'll just start at the beginning.'

"That's the problem,' said Lissa, kicking irritably at a branch lying across the cobblestone path in front of her. "I have no idea where to start. Whoever killed Tatiana did a good job covering their tracks and shifting it all to Rose.'

"One step at a time,' repeated Abe.

He spoke in that sly tone of his that annoyed me sometimes, but to Lissa today, it was grating. Until now, all of her energy had been focused on getting me out of jail and somewhere safe. That was the goal that had driven her and kept her going in my escape's aftermath.

Now, after some of the intensity had faded, the pressure of it all was beginning to crash down on her. Christian put an arm around her shoulders, sensing her dismay. He turned to Abe, unusually serious. "Do you have any ideas?' Christian asked Abe. "We certainly don't have any real evidence.'

"We have reasonable assumptions,' Abe replied. "Like that whoever killed Tatiana would have had access to her private rooms. That's not a long list.'

"Its not short either.' Lissa ticked off people on her fingers. "The royal guards, her friends and family ... and that's assuming no one altered the guardians' records of her visitors. And for all we know, some visits were never logged at all. She probably had secret business meetings all the time.'

"Unlikely she'd have business meetings in her bedroom, in her nightgown,' mused Abe. "Of course, it depends on the type of business, I suppose.'

Lissa stumbled, realization stunning her. "Ambrose.'


"Hes a dhampir ... really good-looking ... He and Tatiana were, um ...'

"Involved?' said Christian with a smile, echoing the interrogation.

Now Abe came to a stop. Lissa did the same, and his dark eyes met hers. "I've seen him. Sort of a pool boy type.'

"He'd have access to her bedroom,' said Lissa. "But I just can't--I don't know. I can't see him doing this.'

"Appearances are deceiving,' said Abe. "He was terribly interested in Rose back in the courtroom.'

More surprise for Lissa. "What are you talking about?'

Abe stroked his chin in an evil-villain sort of way. "He spoke to her ... or gave her some signal. I'm not really sure, but there was some kind of interaction between them.'

Clever, watchful Abe. He'd noticed Ambrose giving me the note but hadn't fully realized what had happened.

"We should talk to him then,' said Christian.

Lissa nodded. Conflicting feelings churned inside of her. She was excited by a lead-- but upset that it meant kind, gentle Ambrose might be a suspect.

"I'll take care of it,' said Abe breezily.

I felt her gaze fall heavily on him. I couldn't see her expression, but I did see Abe take an involuntary step back, the faintest glimmer of surprise in his eyes. Even Christian flinched. "And I'm going to be there when you do,' she said, steel in her voice. "Do not attempt some crazy torture-style interrogation without me.'

Hot Series
» Unfinished Hero series
» Colorado Mountain series
» Chaos series
» The Sinclairs series
» The Young Elites series
» Billionaires and Bridesmaids series
» Just One Day series
» Sinners on Tour series
» Manwhore series
» This Man series
» One Night series
» Fixed series
Most Popular
» A Thousand Letters
» Wasted Words
» My Not So Perfect Life
» Caraval (Caraval #1)
» The Sun Is Also a Star
» Everything, Everything
» Devil in Spring (The Ravenels #3)
» Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels #2)
» Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels #1)
» Norse Mythology