Her parents might live somewhere else, might not remember any- thing about Morganville except a vague sense of unease, but if her family history came from here, she didn’t think she could have run, either.

Face it, the sensible part of her said. You can’t run because you don’t run. You’re stubborn. That’s always be n your biggest problem. If you weren’t so stubborn, you’d have run away from this town the day Monica Morrell and her Monicket es pushed you down the stairs at the dorm.

And if she’d done the reasonable thing and run home to Mommy and Daddy, what would she have missed?

Everything. Including Shane.

Mrs. Grant stood up and stepped into the aisle, facing back toward the rest of the people in the bus. “All right,” she said. “Remember: we’re not fighting for Morganville, we’re fighting for our own families. No matter what happens, you keep them in mind.

Things are going to get ugly.”

There were solemn nods from everyone from Blacke. From where he lay on the front seat, Morley said, “And if you lack for motivation, remember that you hate vampires for what they’ve done to you.”

“Well,” Mrs. Grant said, very reasonably, “we do, so that isn’t much of a stretch, Morley.”

“You wound me, sweet lady.”

“You annoy me, troublemaker.”


It had the well- worn feel of familiarity, and Claire wondered just how close Mrs. Grant (a widow, she remembered) and Morley had actually gotten. Not that it was any of her business, but it was more fun to speculate on that than on what Fallon was going to do next.

“Speak of the devil,” Mrs. Grant said, turning to look out the windshield. The billboard of Morganville was looming, but so were the flashing lights of two police cars. There were also three solid black SUVs— new- looking SUVs (unusual for Morganville)— with the rising sun logo on the doors. At least ten armed men and women were braced for a fight out there.

“Showtime,” Morley said.

“Shut up,” she told him. “You’re dead, remember?”

“Will you miss me when I’m gone?”


“Liar.” Morley’s dry chuckle faded into silence, and the driver of the bus brought them to a rolling stop several feet from the roadblock.

Claire heard an amplified voice— Hannah Moses’s voice, she was sure— ring even through the closed windows of the bus. “Out of the bus,” she said. “Do it slowly, hands raised, one at a time.

When you come out, form a line and get down on your knees, hands on top of your head. You have ten seconds to comply.”

Mrs. Grant nodded to the driver, who turned off the engine and opened the bus’s doors. “One at a time,” she told the rest of them. “The vampires and the prisoners stay in here. Michael, Eve, you’re getting off with me.” She was the first off the bus, and demonstrated the perfect technique of moving away, kneeling down, and putting her hands on top of her head.

Michael and Eve got up from the seat in front of Claire and Shane. Eve looked anguished. Michael was hiding it, but he was feeling terrible about it, too.

“Go.” Shane nodded to them. “You’re our aces in the hole.

Don’t let us down.”

“Never,” Eve said, and leaned over to give him a quick kiss on the cheek. Then she gave Claire one, too. “Love you guys.”

“Love you, too,” Claire said, and managed a smile. “Both of you. Be careful.”

Michael nodded and ruffled Claire’s hair, like a big brother, then led his wife off the bus.

The rest followed in a slow, methodical procession, disembark- ing and kneeling. Claire heard Mrs. Grant explaining things to Hannah. Hannah was no fool; she would probably get the sub- texts. She knew the history of Blacke well, and she wasn’t going to believe the story as much as newcomers to town like the Daylighters would.

Claire’s instincts were that Hannah didn’t want to help Fallon, but she was forced to, and they were proven right as Hannah heard Mrs. Grant out, and said, “You’ve done the right thing turning them over, and Mr. Fallon will thank you for that. But I have to ask, why did you bring so many with you?”

“These are the humans from Blacke,” Mrs. Grant said. “I fig- ure when you’re done ridding Morganville of the vampires, you can take care of the nest in our town, too. Until then, it’s safer for them here, with you. They’re eager to learn about the Daylight Foundation. Bring a little light into our lives, too.” Her tone turned dark. “And we deserve a chance to kick some vampire ass for a change. They destroyed us. Tore our town apart.”

It sounded good, especially the angry way Mrs. Grant referred to the vampires. Claire had no doubt that she was being honest about that. Bishop’s nasty, gratuitous feeding in that town had brought disaster down on it, divided families and killed friends.

Of course she hated the vampires, on some level, even if none of that was their own fault. Who wouldn’t?

What if this is all just a scam to get us to go along with it? What if those Daylighter silver stakes are loaded with liquid silver? She got them to agree to be staked.

How genius would that be? It was just plausible enough that Claire caught her breath in real alarm, but it was too late, way too late, and Hannah Moses was now mounting the steps into the bus and surveying the situation. It wasn’t much of one, by this point. Just her and Shane, zip- tied, and the three staked vampires.

Hannah knew that it was some kind of trick; Claire read that in the way she looked over the bodies. But instead of raising the alarm, she nodded slightly and stepped aside as Fallon’s Daylight- ers moved in behind her. “Take them all to Fallon,” she said. “He’ll want to see this.”

She meant Fallon would want to enjoy it . . . enjoy the sight of Amelie dead at his feet.

Claire sincerely hoped that Mrs. Grant hadn’t brilliantly played them all.

Morganville was having some kind of celebration today; there were new, bright red- white- and- blue banners hung across the streets that flapped in the wind, and Daylight Foundation flags on the lawns of most of the houses, and in the windows of the shops and businesses.

The banners read, welcome to the new morganville! you’ll never need to leave!

Right sentiment, wrong reasons. Claire shuddered, because it was a play on the town’s original motto: You’ll never want to leave.

And it was a lie. She knew Fallon now. He might have started out with good intentions a long time ago; he might have sincerely wanted to protect humans from vampires and save the vampires from themselves. But he’d gone wrong somewhere, probably when he’d decided it was okay to kill a lot to save a few. What was the old saying her mom used to love? The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Now, all these years later, Fallon saw anybody who didn’t agree with him as a traitor to humanity, worthy of punishment and death. And she knew that she and Shane, by their actions, had def- initely earned that label. They’d helped vampires over humans. He wouldn’t forget, or forgive.

“What do we do with them?” one of the men asked Hannah, and nodded toward Claire and Shane as the three silent, limp vam- pires were carried out. The self- control required for them to look that dead was beyond Claire’s comprehension, but none of them— not even Morley— so much as flickered an eyelid at the jostling, even when they were carelessly knocked against metal rails or bounced off of steps.

Hannah raised her eyebrows for a second, considering, and then said, “I think they go with the vampires. They’ve obviously thrown in their lot with Amelie. They should stay with her. Fallon will want to show everyone they’ve been caught and the situation is under control.”

“How many people died last night when he let the vampires out, Hannah?” Claire asked. She kept her voice quiet, but she knew the question would cut. “How many?”

“Two,” Hannah replied. “And six vampires. The rest were re- captured and confined. They’re awaiting trial.”

“You know he engineered that attack. He wanted it to happen.

He’s probably disappointed that his body count was so low.”

“Shut up,” the Daylighter next to her said, and he sounded an- gry. “You don’t know anything about Mr. Fallon. He saved this town, and everybody in it. We don’t have to live in fear anymore.

Not now that we’re getting rid of the vampires.”

Shane raised his head for the first time. “Getting rid of, how?”

“The only way to be sure. We’ve tried to be kind and give them a place to live in peace. They couldn’t follow the rules. They never could. You should know that, Collins. The rules of Morganville, the rules they made up to control us . . . they never applied to them.”

The man wasn’t actually all that old, Claire realized; maybe the age of Monica’s deceased brother, Richard Morrell, mid- to late twenties. He knew Shane, clearly.

Just as clearly, Shane knew him. “You’ve always been a cow- ardly little whiner, Sully. I didn’t see you or your family stepping up to defend people. You just kept your heads down like good little citizens. Hell, you didn’t even have the guts to stand up with Captain Obvious when you had the chance.”

He’d struck gold with that one, Claire saw from the red flush that spread across Sully’s broad face. “Collaborator,” Sully spat back. “Traitor. You’ll get what’s coming to you, and I’m going to enjoy seeing it.” He literally spat the words out; Claire got flecks of saliva on her face. Ugh. She felt filthier than ever, which was saying something, considering she was wearing someone else’s underwear.

“Sully,” Hannah said, with the snap of command in her voice.

“As long as you’re working with me, you’ll treat my prisoners with respect and keep quiet. Shane’s no danger to you, and all he can do is needle you. Don’t let him score points.”

“Did I?” Shane asked, and smiled the most casually bitter smile Claire had ever seen on his face. “Score points?”

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