In attempt to avoid more conflict, Alexandra had sent several members of her family to intercept Kayleigh and Garrett before they reached the gym. No one was naive enough to think they’d come peaceably, so everyone at the meeting was sitting in tense silence waiting for the inevitable sounds of combat. Robert was wringing his hands and chewing on his lip, obviously still unable to believe this was happening. Karen almost felt sorry for the twerp.
The silence stretched into long minutes before Alexandra gave a sharp gasp.
“They’ve fled from our ambush!” she exclaimed. “Somebody warned them.” Her eyes narrowed and she glanced around the table. “It seems there is another traitor in this room. No one is leaving until we find out who it is.” She tutted to herself. â€œAnd they won’t get far with my family tracking them. We’ll find their co-conspirator while we’re waiting.â€
Matthias raised his hand. â€œMay I make a suggestion, Lady Proculator?â€
â€œOf course, Mr Morgan,â€ Alexandra said.
â€œWe should extend Trent’s suggestion of a multi-family team to the search for the traitor still in the room.â€
Alexandra looked at him for a long moment and nodded. â€œYes,â€ she said softly. â€œThat would be wise, wouldn’t it? We need to be sure no one can implicate someone just because they don’t like them.â€
â€œNot to mention deflecting suspicion from themselves,â€ Matthias said. â€œWhoever warned them got the message out through the privacy wards. That’s suggestive of a mind primary.â€
â€œYes,â€ she said thoughtfully. â€œIt is. Well at least that narrows it down. We’ll have them all check each oth–â€ She broke off as one of the Laverne cousins suddenly leapt to her feet and bolted towards the fire exit.
Trent reacted first, surging to his feet and blocking her path. She didn’t slow at all as a knife appeared in her hand and she stabbed him in the chest as she dodged past him. He clutched the wound and staggered to the floor with a groan.
Out of the corner of her eye Karen saw a shadowy blur as Daniel rushed past her to slam into the Laverne girl from behind and tackle her to the ground, relieving her of the knife as he did so. Karen looked around at Adrian and Tara and saw they were both frozen with shock. After a moment Tara shook her head and motioned a couple of the other cousins to assist Daniel.
Adrian got to his feet and walked over to where the girl was sobbing.
â€œYou, Ella?â€ he said sadly. â€œI would have sworn you were trustworthy.â€
She sobbed a moment longer before looking up. â€œI am, Adrian. I swear I am! I don’t know what just happened.â€
â€œElla,â€ he began.
â€œNo!â€ she interrupted. â€œThink about it. If I was a traitor why would your secret have surprised those two so much they revealed themselves? I already knew. You told me.â€
â€œThat’s true,â€ Adrian said. â€œSomething doesn’t add up here. We’ll let the interrogation team figure–â€
â€œLook! The fire escape door!â€ One of the women in Trent’s group exclaimed from where she was kneeling by him, holding his hand.
Karen turned, a sudden anxious lump in her throat, to see that it had been opened. She wasn’t alone in looking around frantically. It only took her a moment to find the empty seat that had been filled moments before. Robert had gone.