After dropping Sam off at his office, Todd drove to the Oasis Hotel to confront Judy, Gregg, and Ryan. He was determined to find out why the human vampires hadn’t bothered to attend Diane’s party this year and why they’d conveniently disappeared every time there was trouble in town.
The hotel seemed to be deserted. People must have heard about the strange events in town and decided to keep away. If things didn’t return to normal soon, then the hotel wouldn’t be the only business closing its doors. He was afraid that he’d be living in a ghost town before everything could be resolved.
He located the three human vampires, sitting huddled together at the bar, whispering animatedly to each other. This did not look promising. He interrupted their little meeting. “I was afraid that something might have happened to you. None of you have ever missed a meeting before. A lot of important things have gone down that you needed to hear,” Todd said as he approached them.
“We’re sorry. Since the number of tragic incidents in town has increased so dramatically over the past week, we’ve become more afraid and much more careful,” said Gregg.
Gregg had never before admitted to being sorry for anything he’d ever done in the past. This sudden change in behavior had Todd concerned. He answered carefully, not wanting to antagonize them any further. “If you were worried about your safety, you could have approached me about your fears, as you’ve done in the past.”
“We didn’t know who to trust any longer, so we decided to lay low,” Judy said. Todd knew that Judy had just admitted that they’d even begun to doubt his own loyalty. This made him angry—considering the number of times that he’d saved their measly lives. Sam wouldn’t be too happy about this turn of events either.
“What have we missed at the party?” Ryan asked.
“Wolf joined the meeting of the elders as usual, but this
time I confronted him about his personal involvement with End House. We discovered that he sat on the Board of Directors of the company that owned the house. He admitted that he’d been the one who’d created The Dead. There were other clues that led us to believe that Wolf was the one responsible for all the disappearances and deaths in town.”
“What clues?” asked Judy.
“In the past, the gruesome events at End House usually involved shape-shifting and illusions, which had led us early on to suspect demons as the culprits, and not humans. However, after the party, we searched the house and found computer controls and monitors in the attic, leading us to believe that humans might be involved. This just added to our confusion.
“Now we believe that the computers were most probably designed to throw us off the scent of the real perpetrators. They wanted us to believe that the whole game was being orchestrated by humans, while in reality it was actually vampire-driven. Only vampires—utilizing their own special powers—could have laid out such elaborate traps in the basement. Humans can’t make water appear and disappear on a whim, or have dangerous cages and saws materialize and vanish in an empty basement.
“There were clues in the house pointing to Wolf as their leader. Wolves were portrayed all through End House: in all the paintings on the walls and in the elaborate, engraved design on the ceiling of the library. Wolf, being such a vain creature, hadn’t been able to stop himself from leaving a stamp of his own on the house. We still don’t know how long he’d been terrorizing and killing humans, since End House has a very long and sordid history.”
Todd didn’t bother to inform them about Hayden and his indecision over which side to be on.
“You’ve always been our true leader, boss.” Todd suspected that Gregg’s statement was most probably made from fear. Now that Wolf’s role had been uncovered, anyone who’d sided with him in the past would also be under suspicion. Todd still couldn’t figure out whose side they were really on, so he accepted Gregg’s declaration of support with just as much honesty as it had been given.
Todd left the three sitting at the hotel’s bar while he returned to town. He didn’t want to leave Linda alone for too long: she and her friends had a habit of getting into too much trouble on their own.
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