"I have to go see Maester Wright," I told Sebastian. We had to figure out how to get Hunter and Carl back from Kieran. I couldn't lose any time. I tried to leave my room, but Sebastian was blocking the door.

"No, it is way too dangerous out there. There are still vampires all over the place looking for you."

"I don't care!" I yelled at him. "He can't have Hunter and Carl!" I tried to push past him. Sebastian held me by my arms, his hands still gloved.

"My duty is to protect you. If I have to lock you in the safe room until sunrise to keep you safe, I will. Those two gave themselves up to keep you safe. You are not putting that into jeopardy." I knew there was no getting around him. I would have to plan on my own.

"Fine. I'll see him in the morning then," I told him firmly. I had no intention of staying here until morning, though. Sebastian looked at me as though he didn't believe me.

"I'll be keeping guard downstairs," he told me. He finally left my room and I closed and locked my door behind him. I couldn't be distracted. I had to come up with a plan. I knew the horrors that Kieran could inflict on them. I couldn't leave them with him. They'd already been with him too long, and they'd only been with him for an hour or two.

Unfortunately, there was only one chip I had to play to get them freed. We couldn't kill all of the vampires. There were too many and Kieran was too strong. Maester Wright would probably just leave them there to be tortured or worse by Kieran. He would know we couldn't fight against all of those vampires. Hunter and Carl were also going to be in the most secure part of Kieran's mansion. There would be no way to sneak and, get them, and sneak out undetected.

There was only one option. I had to go back there and get them back myself. I was the only thing Kieran would trade them for. Maester Wright would never let me do it, so I had to now while he thought I was safely locked in the house.

I tried not to think too much about what I was about to do. It was stupid and suicidal, but it needed to be done, and it had to be done now. So I used magic to change my clothes so I was wearing a slip that looked identical to the one I had worn the night I escaped. I hoped I still looked injured and frail enough to make the rest of my act look convincing. I unbandaged my arm and made sure I left all traces of my new life behind. I unlocked my window and slipped out of it onto the porch roof. I walked around the porch and found an unguarded spot to jump down to the ground. The campus was on lockdown, so there was no one to see me as I snuck from the campus and started walking in the direction of Kieran's mansion.

Under the burn marks, the purple glyph on my arm was glowing. I knew the vampires would find me soon. I waited for them once I was safely outside the confines of the campus boundaries. I wandered aimlessly, trying to look lost and confused.

It wasn't long before two vampires came up to me. "Look, it's Kieran's lost pet," one of them said. I purposely turned away from them, trying to look like I was going to run. "No, pet, don't run. You got lost, didn't you?"

I looked at the vampires and tried to be convincing. "Master Kieran's house got lost," I told them, trying to sound lost and confused. "I don't know where it went. Master Kieran is going to be so mad at me for letting the house get lost." I whined the last words, trying to be convincing.

"Come with us. We'll help you find the house again," one of them told me. "We have a car right over there." He pointed to the street.

"Let's use her before we give her back," the other one said. The first snarled.

"No way. This one's Kieran's. We take it back and get the reward. That is it. And we don't touch it. You know how Kieran is." He turned to me then. "C'mon sweetling, let's go find that house,"

I knew I was making a huge mistake when I made this stupid plan in the first place, but I also knew this was the only way to save my friends. So I meekly agreed to go with the vampires, back to the place I had spent four awful years of my life.