CHAPTER 15

"Jusher Circle," the bus driver announced.

Tori silently got up, and the boy stood up also. She thought it was to let her pass, but instead, he walked down the aisle once more and left the vehicle. She followed as if attached to strings.

When Tori got off the bus, she automatically looked around for the teenager, but he was nowhere to be found. That's strange…

Shaking all thoughts from her head, Tori started on her way to the library. Jusher Circle was only two blocks away from it, so she would arrive in about 10 minutes. Even though she tried, she just couldn't get that guy out of her head. She wondered where he came from, why he looked so ragged, and what he really did to her hand.

Before she knew it, Tori came to the library, which looked even more foreboding than usual. She made her way around to the back of the building and went straight to the birdbath. Glancing around to see if anyone was watching, she moved the tile again and opened the trapdoor. And she descended into the dark hole.

Just like last time, she went into a trance, and also like last time, she ran into the wall. She opened the door and entered the room, and realized how much information she had to sort through. Even though there were only about ten books on the table, each one was about six hundred pages long. She had no idea where to start. Or how she would carry around such a big load.

Tori decided she would start with the titles. She even lined them up in alphabetical order (she had OCD with some things). Out of all the books, she had narrowed it down to these: Elements: Locations, A Guide To the Wiyout Region, and All You Need To Know About Handling the Elements. She had been worried about them fitting in her bag, but there was just enough room.

She lingered for a moment longer, then realizing there was nothing left to do, she looked over at the trapdoor again. Luckily, she had not shut it, or she would've had to go through the basement steps up into the library, and she still would be locked in. Tori had to jump to get back up on the stairs. As she started back on her way up, she finally took in what had to be done. She would be leaving and going on a dangerous mission. Up until then, she hadn't actually understood that she could die during this. Death was a fantasy to her, only something in her life that would eventually happen, but she never really thought it could be in her near future. Wow. I must be more depressed than I thought

Tori reached the top of the stairs, and started to the front of the library once more. She waited at the bus stop for a while, but then she realized it wouldn't be back for quite a while. It was a long way to the subway station. Should I wait for the bus… or try to walk to the subway?

She was still debating about this when a long black limousine pulled up in front of the library. It slowly came to a stop, and one of its many windows rolled down. Inside it was… the teenage boy. "Need a ride?" the guy asked her with the politeness when they first met.

Tori's Pre-K instincts kicked in, which was Don't get into cars with strangers. But all of her doubt was blown away and replaced by suspicion when he said, "I know what you're after, and if I'm correct, then I will be a major help to you."

Great. This guy could be my savior, or he could be a demon. Either way, he wants to help me, and I could use some help right now.

"You still doubt me?" he inquired with false shock. "Lean closer," he whispered, and she did. "Closer. Closer." His lips were touching her ear now. "You can't know this," he said in a voice so low Tori had to strain to hear it, "but I'm in the Insko Society. Now will you come?"

Tori didn't really know much about the Society, except for that they come to the library to obtain information. And if Mrs. Aulie lets them, they must be good guys.

Still, she was hesitant. "Please, Tori, I need you to cooperate here. I'm on this entire mission for the Society, and part of my mission is to get you in this car. Nobody's going to hurt you, but it would be easier for you to just get in."

"…Fine." With that, Tori hopped in and the limo sped off.