Katie's Hope (Chapter Six, page 3 of 21)

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It looked like a crypt. The altar in the center was empty while seven statues kept watch over it. The air was heavy and her attention was drawn to the life-like statues. The tallest looked a great deal like Andre, the deceased Immortal she'd met a short time before he was killed. The second looked like Kris might've in his younger days, when his face still glowed with hope. Sasha's wore a genuine smile. She vaguely recognized the other three and knelt beside the statue of Rhyn, who was no older than Toby had been the day before.

Even at such a young age, Rhyn's features were troubled and somber, as if he knew what kind of a life awaited him. She sat back with a frown, unable to feel anything but pity for the half- demon child who knew no acceptance anywhere in life. She touched her stomach with a flutter of panic. The idea of bringing a new life into such a horrific world made her feel sick. No child of hers would end up like Rhyn-- tormented, rejected, and abused!

"What're you doing here?"

She whipped around to see Kris standing in the doorway, holding the door open as if debating whether to enter.

"Is that really you?" she asked suspiciously. She rose to keep the altar between them.

"What kind of stupid question is that?"

"Tell me something only you and I would know," she ordered. "I slept with your sister."

"God, Kris, did you have to go there?"

"You delusional or do you have a reason to think I'm someone else?" he asked and entered fully.

"I ran into someone I thought was Ully in the lab. Turned out to be a demon. I didn't know they could shapeshift into someone else's form."

"Only a very few of them can assume the form of another human. Demons are born with predetermined forms that are unique to the demon. A few can assume forms, but they're rare," he said. "You say there was one in Ully's lab?" "Yes."

"We'll have to scrub this place from top to bottom to make sure no one else pops up somewhere they shouldn't be. Like you being here."

"I was more concerned with hiding than with where I went," she said, agitated by his accusing look. "What is this place?"

"It was our father's crypt, until yesterday, when Sasha stole our father's body."

Her gaze went to the altar, and she shivered. The Council That Was Seven had been immortalized safeguarding their father in death. It was creepy. Who kept a dead man on a shrine in the basement?

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