Rowan woke up in her own bed. Her warm quilted blanket sat on top of her. It was actually too warm and she was sweating heavily. Her throat was sore. She sat up, tossing the blanket onto the floor. On the nightstand next to her sat a steaming hot cup of tea. She knew that she had made no tea that day and even if she had it wouldn’t still be steaming hot. This was something her father would do;make tea when she wasn’t feeling well. But her father was not there. He was far away. She did not drink the tea. Besides the night was too hot for such a beverage.
She carefully got up and tiptoed to her closed door. She opened it just a crack so that she could see into her living room. Something didn’t feel right to her.
On her couch sat Mr. Hoffmann, his back turned to her.
She slammed the door open instantly. “What are you doing in my apartment?” she demanded.
He was noticeably startled. Quickly he turned to look at her and he smiled. “Good, you’re awake. I was getting a little worried there.”
“What. Are. You. Doing. Here?” she seethed. “I barely know you.”
“Oh, well you see you fainted right there in the doorway. I couldn’t leave a lady such as yourself in such a position now could I. I carried you inside and put you in your bed then stayed to make sure you were alright. I was about to call an ambulance because it was taking too long for you to wake up. I did nothing wrong” He sounded sincere.
She suddenly clutched her head. The pain was only slightly bearable. “What did you do to me?” she demanded once more. “What do you want from me?”
“I did nothing to you and as for your other question all I want from you is for you to allow me to do my job. Failure is not an option in my line of work.”
She raised an eyebrow amidst the pain. “What exactly is your line of work?”
“I’m a servant of the Council of the Hidden.”
“What does that even mean?”
“You will know in time. Soon if I bring you to them now.”
The pain faded away. “Are you sure you didn’t do anything to me?”
“Of course I am. I think what happened is that one of the members of the Council reached out to you through the memories in my jacket. His name is Bruno and he’s an intensifier.”
“Reached out?” She was now completely confused.
“It is definitely possible with your kind. You are a Rememberer. The Council will tell you more about your heritage when you finally meet them.”
“I am not going anywhere. I need to stay here to wait for a possible call for a job offer.”
“Oh. You already got that call. They wanted me to tell you that you did not get the job.”
“What?” she ran to the phone and looked through the call history. Sure enough she had gotten a call from the high school just hours before. She also realized just how late it was. The time was 2:43 in the morning.
“And also I think you should know that I cleaned up around here while you were unconscious. Man was this place a mess.”
“Of course it was.” She snapped. “Someone broke in and left a raven corpse in front of the door.”
“What.” He stood up. “It’s even worse than I thought. They’re coming after you now. It won’t be long until you are yet another one of their helpless victims. You need to talk to the Council about this asap.”
“I won’t be telling anyone anything.” She moved to her front door. “Now leave before I call the cops.”
“You won’t be calling anyone.” He held his hand out and dangled Rowan’s necklace from his closed fist, smiling mischievously. “Not when I have this.”
“You stole that. Give it back.” She demanded frantically. That blue stone was the only thing she had from her life before she had been found by her father. It was worth more to her than anything else she owned.
“I won’t give this back until you talk to the Council.”
“Fine.” She gave in. “Fine. I’ll go with you.”
“Good.” He put his hand down. “We leave at dawn.”