Home > Cryptic Cravings (Vampire Kisses #8)(8)

Cryptic Cravings (Vampire Kisses #8)(8)
Author: Ellen Schreiber

I didn't have muchtime to riffle throughthe mess.

I spotted a tube of papers. I unscrolled them and discovered they were a stack of diagrams. Sticky notes labeled each one individually, the first, THE CRYPT, the second THE COVENANT, and the third, which was worn and appeared to be an original copy labeled SINCLAIR MILL. I was looking at the blueprints for Jagger's club.

I examined the one marked THE CRYPT. I wasn't in the habit of reading blueprints and they weren't as detailed as I would have imagined. Instead of pictures there were boxes and lines, dotted and thick ones representing different things. Icould make out one mainroom witha large boxmarked "stage."

So, was "the Covenant" the mysterious underground vampire club, like the Dungeonwas inthe CoffinClub? I knew Jagger had mentioned to Sebastian his dream to open the club to vampires. These could be the plans to prove that it was more than a dream.

I was intent on scouring it when I realized the light was no longer streaming in through the cracked window.

This meant one thing: The sun had set and the sleeping vampires in the next room were about to rise.

Alexander had to see these plans. He was smart and would know better how to read them. But Icouldn't take them all with me. If Jagger discovered they were missing, who knows what he would do. I pulled out my cell phone to take a picture of them when I heard a rustling coming from the next room.

I would have to use my flash to take the picture, and I knew it would bring immediate attention to the room I was rifling through.

I only had seconds to decide. Ticktock. Ticktock. It was then I heard a creaking opening of coffin lid doors.

I decided against the photo. Idefinitelycouldn't take all the plans, but maybe Jagger wouldn't notice if one was missing. I pulled away the one on top and rolled the others back up and bound them with the rubber band. My heart was pounding and the blueprints in my hands were shaking.

I rolled up the Crypt plans and stuck them in my backpack and replaced the other two exactly where they had been. I grabbed my flashlight and quietly closed the door behind me. I bolted out of the room and tore up the rickety spiral staircase before the vampires had a chance to reach the hall way.

Breathless, I hopped on my bike and pedaled straight for the Mansion.

"Youdid what?"Alexander exclaimed whenIexplained the last hours' events.

Alexander didn't greet me withthe usual hug and sensual kiss. Irealized Ishouldn't have spokenso soon.

"Ithought this waywe could have leverage ontheir plans," Isaid. "Once yousee this--maybe we'll know what he's reallyup to."

"Whydidn't youwait for me?" he asked, shaking his head.

"It was the onlywayfor me to find out info. Under the cloak of sunlight. Otherwise they'd be up and Icouldn't have investigated. We need to know what theyare trulyplanning."

I took out the blueprint and unrolled it on the antique dining-room table. I moved it far enough away from the several lit candelabras that waxwouldn't drip onthe paper.

"I don't see anything unusual here,"Alexander said, examining it like a professional. "It is the blueprint for the club.

There's the stage, there's the bar. This is the dance floor. Over here is a door. Not sure where it goes."

"It seems reallycool," Isaid, pining for the club that Iwanted to have inDullsville.

"But there was another set of blueprints," Iconfessed. "It said `The Covenant,' but Icouldn't get a photo of it intime.

I think theyare the plans for his secret vampire club. Would Jagger share everything withSebastian?" I speculated, like Sherlock Holmes. "Idon't think so."

"There was another set?"Alexander asked.

"Yes. Iwanted to look it over--eventake it--but I couldn't. The sunwas setting and Ididn't want to get caught."

"You shouldn't have taken these--you shouldn't have been in there in the first place."

"I know. But can we leave this to chance? Just wait until Jagger opens the club, when we both heard he plans to open it to vampires, too?"

"I wouldn't put it past him to do something. The Coffin Club was so successful, I can see why he'd want to open another one. But here? It's too dangerous."

"That's why we have to see those plans."

Alexander reluctantly agreed.

"Iwant to partyat the Crypt so badly," Icontinued witha dreamytone. "But we must stop this underground club and stop him from inviting more vampires to Dullsville."

"Raven, we must returnthese immediately, before Jagger realizes theyare missing. He and Ihave a truce. I don't want anything to disrupt that."

I could see how important it was toAlexander to finallyhave the weight of the Maxwells off his back. I didn't mean to start trouble again. Iwas just trying to make sure that Jagger wasn't up to anything nefarious. But maybe I was misjudging Jagger's intentions, like people inDullsville misjudged mine.

"And we have to examine the Covenant," I said to Alexander as I carefully stuffed the Crypt blueprints in my backpack, "just to be sure. Ithink it holds the real keyto Jagger's plans."

Alexander shook his head again. He grabbed the keys to the Mercedes off the antique end table and we headed straight back to the factory.

Chapter 5 - Sneaking In

Alexander and I parked the Mercedes at a distance and traipsed through the darkness toward the factory. I would have felt like a scolded child, with Alexander dragging me back to return my stolen goods, but Alexander knew,too, that we had to double check Jagger's intentions to make sure the club he was building was safe for Alexander's life intownand for the mortal residents of Dullsville.

We had three options. One, we could boldly go into the factory and face Jagger and Luna with my questions and admit I had their plans. Two, we could hang out and act natural, and while Alexander was chatting with the guys I could returnthe blueprint. Or three, bothAlexander and Icould sneak inand, withAlexander's nocturnal vampire vision, find our way to the office. The third was the riskiest, and thus, the most appealing to me. We both agreed that admitting that I'd takenthe plans might be a cause for a brokentruce, so we decided to attempt the full sneak-in.

It was a cool, windy night, and the leaves rustled in the trees as we passed by them. When we reached the gravel road we both sighed with relief. The road was empty of all familiar vehicles.

I showed Alexander the door I'd used to enter the factoryand we quickly snuck in.

The empty, hollow factoryrooms were just as I'd seenthem a few hours earlier.

I illuminated the way with my flashlight, though Alexander could make out objects better than I could in the dark depths of the factory.

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