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The police acquired found Stefan’s abandoned car by Old Creek Highway. That meant he’d still left it somewhere within Drowning Creek and the forest. Elena came across the overgrown path through the graveyard, but she retained moving, head down, biceps and triceps hugging her light sweater to her.

The lady had known this graveyard every her life, and the lady could find her way through it blind.

By the time the girl crossed the bridge, her shivering came into existence painful. It wasn’t it is snowing as hard now, however the wind was even worse. This cut through her clothes as if these people were made of tissue paper, and took her breath aside.

Stefan, the girl thought, and turned onto Old Creek Road, trudging northward. The girl didn’t believe what Damon had said. If Stefan were useless she wouldknow. He was alive, somewhere, and she was required to find him. He could be anywhere out in this kind of swirling whiteness, he could be hurt, freezing. Dimly, Elena inquired about that the girl was no much longer rational. All her thoughts had narrowed down to one single idea. Stefan. Find Stefan.

It was obtaining harder to keep to the road. On her proper were maple trees, on her left, the swift marine environments of Too much water Creek. Your woman staggered and slowed. Wind didn’t appear quite so poor any more, but she would feel very exhausted. She had to sit down and rest, just for a minute.

Since she sank down beside the road, the girl suddenly understood how foolish she have been to go out searching for Stefan. Stefan would arrive to her. Most she had to do was sit here and hold out. He was almost certainly coming now.

Elena closed her eyes and leaned her brain against her drawn-up knees. She believed much drier now. Her mind drifted and the girl saw Stefan, saw him smile at her. His arms about her had been strong and secure, and she calm against him, glad to leave go of fear and tension. The lady was home. She-was where she belonged. Stefan would not let whatever hurt her.

But then, instead of holding her, Stefan was shaking her. He was ruining the beautiful peace of her rest. The girl saw his face, paler and immediate, his green eyes dark with pain. Your woman tried to tell him to be still, but he wouldn’t pay attention. Elena, stand up, he said, and your woman felt the compelling force of those green eyes inclined her to do it. Elena, stand up now

“Elena, get up! ” The voice was high and thin and frightened. “Come on, Elena! Get up! All of us can’t hold you! inches

Blinking, Elena brought a face into focus. It absolutely was small and heart-shaped, with reasonable, almost clear skin, presented by many soft crimson curls. Extensive brown eye, with snowflakes caught in the lashes, looked worriedly into hers.

“Bonnie, ” the girl said slowly. “What will you be doing here? “

“Helping me seek out you, ” said a second, lower words on Elena’s other part. She switched slightly to determine elegantly curved eyebrows and an olive complexion. Meredith’s dark sight, usually and so ironic, had been worried today, too. “Stand up, Elena, unless you desire to become a great ice queen for genuine. “

It will have been drier inside the car, but Elena’s nerve endings were returning life, making her shake, telling her how cool she really was. Winter is an unforgiving season, your woman thought as Meredith drove.

“What’s taking place, Elena? inch said Bonnie from the back again seat. “What did you believe you had been doing, jogging away from school like that? And just how could you come out here? inches

Elena hesitated, then shook her head. She desired nothing more than to see Bonnie and Meredith every thing. To tell them the whole terrifying story about Stefan and Damon and what had actually happened you get to Mr. Tanner , and about following. But she couldn’t.

Even if they would believe her, that wasn’t her secret to share with.

“Everyone’s out looking for you, ” Meredith said. “The whole school’s upset, along with your aunt was nearly concerned. “

“Sorry, ” stated Elena dully, trying to stop her chaotic shivering. That they turned upon Maple Avenue and opened up to her home.

Aunt Judith was holding out inside with heated blankets. “I understood if that they found you, you’d be half-frozen, ” your woman said within a determinedly pleasant voice because she reached for Elena. “Snow when needed after Halloween! I can hardly believe that. Where performed you young ladies find her? “

“On Old Creek Road, beyond the bridge, inches said Meredith.

Aunt Judith’s thin confront lost color. “Near the graveyard? Where attacks had been? Elena, howcould you? , ” Her voice trailed off since she looked at Elena. “We won’t state anything more about it right now, inches she stated, trying to gain back her cheerful manner. “Let’s get you out of those wet garments. “

“I have to go backside once I am just dry, inches said Elena. Her mind was working again, and one thing was clear: she hadn’t genuinely seen Stefan out there, it was a dream. Stefan was still lacking.

“You should do nothing with the kind, inches said Robert, Aunt Judith’s fianc? &brvbar,. Elena got scarcely discovered him standing off to just one side until then. But his strengthen brooked no argument. “The police are searching for Stefan, you leave them with their job, inch he said.

“The law enforcement think he killed Mr. Tanner. But he did not. You know that, don’t you? ” As Aunt Judith pulled her sodden exterior sweater away, Elena seemed from one encounter to another for help, but they were the same. “Youknow he didn’t undertake it, ” the lady repeated, almost desperately.

There was clearly a stop. “Elena, inches Meredith explained at last, “no one would like to think this individual did. Yet , very well, it looks negative, his jogging away similar to this. “

“He didn’t back off. He didn’t! Hedidn’t , “

“Elena, hush, ” said Great aunt Judith. “Don’t get yourself worked up. I think you should be getting ill. It was so cold out there, and you received only a few several hours of rest last night, ” The lady laid a hand upon Elena’s quarter.

“I’m certainly not sick, ” she cried, pulling aside.

“And I am just not crazy, either , whatever you believe. Stefan don’t run away and he didn’t kill Mr. Tanner, and i also don’t treatment if non-e of you believes me, ” She stopped, choking. Aunt Judith was fussing around her, hurrying her upstairs, and she let herself always be hurried. Yet she more than likely go to bed when ever Aunt Judith suggested the lady must be worn out. Instead, when she experienced warmed up, the lady sat for the living space couch by the fireplace, with blankets placed around her. The phone phoned all evening, and the girl heard Aunt Judith speaking with friends, neighbors, the school. Your woman assured all of them that Elena was excellent. The, the tragedy last night had pending her a little, that was all, and she seemed a little feverish. But she’d be good because new after a rest.

Meredith and Bonnie sat alongside her. “Do you want to talk? ” Meredith said in a low tone of voice. Elena shook her mind, staring in the fire. They were all against her. And Aunt Judith was incorrect, she was not fine. The lady wouldn’t end up being fine right up until Stefan was found.

Ellen stopped simply by, snow dusting his blond hair wonderful dark green parka. As he entered the room, Elena researched at him hopefully. Last night Matt got helped conserve Stefan, if the rest of the institution had wanted to lynch him. But today he returned her hopeful seem with one of sober feel dissapointed, and the concern in his green eyes was only for her.

The letdown was unbearable. “What will you be doing below? ” Elena demanded. “Keeping your assurance to , take care of me’? “

There were a sparkle of harm in his eye. But Matt’s voice was level. “That’s part of this, maybe. But I’d try to take care of you anyway, regardless of what I promised. I’ve been worried about you. Listen closely, Elena , “

The lady was in not any mood to become anyone. “Well, I’m all right, thank you. Inquire anybody here. So you can end worrying. Besides, I avoid see why you should keep a promise to amurderer. “

Startled, Shiny looked at Meredith and Bonnie. Then this individual shook his head helplessly. “You’re if she is not fair. “

Elena was at no mood to be reasonable either. “I told you, you may stop considering me, regarding my organization. I’m good, thanks. inches

The implication was obvious. Matt considered the door in the same way Aunt Judith appeared with sandwiches.

“Sorry, I’ve have got to go, inch he muttered, hurrying for the door. He left devoid of looking back again.

Meredith and Bonnie and Aunt Judith and Robert tried to generate conversation while they consumed an early dinner by the open fire. Elena could hardly eat and wouldn’t talk. The only one who have wasn’t unpleasant was Elena’s little sister, Margaret. With four-year-old positive outlook, she cuddled up to Elena and offered her a number of her Halloween candy.

Elena hugged her sister hard, her deal with pressed into Margaret’s white-blond hair for a moment. In the event that Stefan could have called her or obtained a message to her, he would have done it right now. Nothing in the world would have ceased him, except if he were badly hurt, or stuck somewhere, or

But Stefan was in difficulties, and the girl had to find him somehow. She concerned with it all throughout the evening, desperately trying to create a plan. The one thing was obvious, she was on her personal. She could hardly trust any person.

It grew dark. Elena shifted within the couch and compelled a yawn.

“I’m exhausted, ” the girl said silently. “Maybe I actually am ill after all. I think I’ll go to bed. “

Meredith was taking a look at her keenly. “I was just considering, Miss Gilbert, ” the lady said, turning to Aunt Judith, “that maybe Bonnie and I should stay the night. To hold Elena company. “

“What a good idea, ” said Aunt Judith, delighted. “As lengthy as your father and mother don’t brain, I’d become glad to have you. “

“It’s a lengthy drive back to Herron. I think I’ll stay, too, inches Robert explained. “I can just extend on the sofa here. ” Aunt Judith protested that there were plenty of guest sleeping rooms upstairs, nevertheless Robert was adamant. The lounger would work just fine for him, he said.

After seeking once through the couch for the hall where front door was plainly in view, Elena sat stonily. That they had planned this between them, at least they were all in on it now. They were ensuring she don’t leave the house.

When she emerged in the bathroom a little while later, wrapped in her red silk kimono, your woman found Meredith and Bonnie sitting onto her bed.

“Well, hello, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, ” your woman said bitterly.

Bonnie, who was simply looking frustrated, now appeared alarmed. The girl glanced for Meredith doubtfully.

“She understands who our company is. She means she thinks we’re agents for her cousin, ” Meredith interpreted. “Elena, you should realize that isn’t and so. Can’t you trust see all? “

“I can’t say for sure. Can I? inches

“Yes, mainly because we’re yourfriends. ” Ahead of Elena may move, Meredith jumped from the bed and shut the door. Then she turned to deal with Elena. “Now, for once within your life, tune in to me, you little fool. It’s accurate we can’t say for sure what to think about Stefan. But , don’t you see, that’s the own fault. Ever since both you and he got together, you’ve been shutting all of us out. Things have been going on that you haven’t told us about. By least you haven’t advised us the whole story. But in spite of this, in spite of anything, we still trust you. We still care about you. We’re still behind you, Elena, and we desire to help. And if you can’t see that, then youare an idiot. “

Little by little, Elena looked from Meredith’s dark, extreme face to Bonnie’s soft one. Bonnie nodded.

“It’s true, inches she explained, blinking hard as if to hold back holes. “Even understand what like all of us, we even now like you. inch

Elena sensed her individual eyes fill and her stern manifestation crumple. Then simply Bonnie was off the pickup bed, and they were all hugging, and Elena found your woman couldn’t help the tears that slid down her confront.

“Yangtze? ” Bonnie’s eye widened. “But why will he wish to eliminate a dog? inch

“I how to start, but having been there in the evening, in your house. And he was, angry. I’m sorry, Bonnie. inches

Bonnie shook her head dazedly. Meredith said, “Why don’t you notify the police? “

Elena’s laugh was a bit hysterical. “I can’t. It’s not anything they can handle. And that’s something else I can’t explain. You said you still trusted me personally, well, you’ll just have to trust me about that. inches

Bonnie and Meredith checked out each other, then at the bedspread, where Elena’s nervous hands were picking a thread out of the embroidery. Finally Meredith stated, “All correct. What do we do to aid? “

“I don’t know. Nothing, unless, ” Elena ended and viewed Bonnie. “Unless, ” the lady said, in a changed tone of voice, “you can assist me get Stefan. inches

Bonnie’s darkish eyes were genuinely bewildered. “Me? But you may be wondering what can I do? ” Then simply, at Meredith’s indrawn breath, she said, “Oh. Oh yea. “

“You knew exactly where I was that day We went to the cemetery, inches said Elena. “And you even believed Stefan’s arriving at school. “

“I believed you didn’t believe in everything psychic products, ” explained Bonnie weakly.

“I’ve discovered a thing or two since that time. Anyway, Now i’m willing to believeanything if they’ll help find Stefan. If there’s any opportunity at all it can help. “

Bonnie was hunching up, like trying to generate her currently tiny form as small as conceivable. “Elena, you don’t understand, ” she explained wretchedly. “I’m not educated, it’s not really something I am able to control. And , and it’s really not a video game, not any even more. The more you utilize those powers, the more they will useyou. Eventually they can finish up using you all the time, whether you need it or not. It’sdangerous. inches

Elena received up and walked for the cherry wood dresser, searching down in it without seeing that. At last the girl turned.

“You’re right, really not a game. And I believe that you about how precisely dangerous it is usually. But is actually not a game for Stefan, either. Bonnie, I think he’s out there, someplace, terribly hurt. And will be certainly nobody to assist him, nobody’s even looking for him, besides his adversaries. He may be dying at the moment. He , he may possibly be, ” Her neck closed. She bowed her head over the dresser and made herself take a deep breath, trying to constant herself. When she looked up, she noticed Meredith was looking at Bonnie.

Bonnie straightened out her shoulder muscles, sitting as tall while she could. Her chin lifted and her oral cavity set. And in her normally soft brownish eyes, a grim light shone as they met Elena’s.

The meet rasped and threw sparks in the darkness, and then the candle fire burned good and bright. It lent a glowing glow to Bonnie’s soft face since she curved over it.

“I’m going to need both of you to help me personally focus, inches she said. “Look in to the flame, and think about Stefan. Picture him in your mind. Whatever happens, continue on looking at the flame. And whatever you do, don’t state anything. “

Elena nodded, and then the only sound within the room was very soft breathing. The flame flickered and danced, throwing patterns of light over the three women sitting cross-legged around this. Bonnie, sight closed, was breathing deeply and gradually, like someone drifting in to sleep.

Stefan, thought Elena, gazing into the flame, trying to pour every her will certainly into the thought. She developed him in her brain, using most her senses, conjuring him to her. The roughness of his fleece sweater beneath her quarter, the smell of his leather clothes, the strength of his arms about her. Oh, Stefan

Bonnie’s lashes fluttered and her breathing quickened, like a individual having a negative dream. Elena resolutely held her sight on the fire, but when Bonnie broke the silence a chill travelled up her spine.

In the beginning it was only a moan, the sound of someone in pain. Then simply, as Bonnie tossed her head, breath coming in short bursts, it became words.

“Alone, ” she said, and stopped. Elena’s nails bit into her hand. “Alone, in the dark, ” said Bonnie. Her tone of voice was far away and tortured.

There was another silence, after which Bonnie started to speak quickly.

“It’s darker and cold. And Now i’m alone. Will be certainly something behind me, spectacular and hard. Rocks. That they used to damage , although not now. I am just numb right now, from the cold. So cold, ” Bonnie twisted, like trying to get from something, after which she jeered, a terrible laugh like a sob. “That’s, funny. I under no circumstances thought I’d want to see sunlight so much. But it’s always dark here. And cold. Drinking water up to my own neck, like ice. That’s funny, also. Water everywhere , and me about to die of thirst. So thirsty, hurts, inch

Elena believed something fasten around her heart. Bonnie was inside Stefan’s thoughts, and whom knew what she may well discover presently there? Stefan, inform us where you are, your woman thought anxiously. Look around, tell me what you find.

“”Thirsty. We need, your life? ” Bonnie’s voice was doubtful, as if not sure the right way to translate a lot of concept. “I’m weak. This individual said I will always be the weak a single. He’s strong, a monster. But gowns what I are, too. I actually killed Katherine, maybe We deserve to die. Really want to just let proceed? , inch

“No! inch said Elena before the lady could prevent herself. In that instant, the lady forgot anything but Stefan’s pain. “Stefan , inches

“Elena! ” Meredith cried sharply concurrently. But Bonnie’s head dropped forward, the flow of words shut down. Horrified, Elena realized what she acquired done.

“Bonnie, are you fine? Can you get him again? I did not mean to, “

Bonnie’s head lifted. Her sight were wide open now, however they looked at nor the candle light nor Elena. They

“Elena, ” the voice said, “don’t visit the bridge. It can Death, Elena. Your loss of life is waiting there. ” Then Bonnie slumped forwards.

Elena grabbed her shoulder muscles and shook. “Bonnie! inch she almost screamed. “Bonnie! “

“What, oh, don’t. Let go. ” Bonnie’s words was weak and shaken, but it was her very own. Still curled over, the lady put a hand to her forehead.

“Bonnie, are you perfectly? “

“I think so, yes. But it was so strange. ” Her sculpt sharpened and she looked up, blinking. “What was that, Elena, about being a killer? “

“You do not forget that? “

“I remember almost everything. I cannot describe it, it was dreadful. But what mixed dough mean? inches

“Nothing, ” said Elena. “He’s hallucinating, that’s every. “

Meredith broke in. “He? Then you definitely really think the lady tuned directly into Stefan? inch

Elena nodded, her eye sore and burning as she looked away. “Yes. I think that was Stefan. It had being. And I think the lady even told us where he is. Under Wickery Connect, in the water. “

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