Get ready for Cave of Secrets, the third volume in the NIGHT ANGELS CHRONICLES.
A demon force is taking over Oak Haven and people are dying in horrific ways. Somewhere beneath the city of Los Angeles lies the hidden chamber and the Secrets to the Origins of Life. If only Sera can find it, maybe she can stop the violence. She needs her dad to help her and she’s certain he’s still alive. But in order to find him, Sera must make a pact with her nemesis, Fabian Gore.
Peter, the Night Angels, has vowed to love and protect Sera, but even he can’t help her in this task. Nor can Jimmy, the human whom she knows she can trust. Only the “girl with the crazy eyes” can lead Sera to her father. Without her dad and the secrets he holds, Sera doesn’t think she can go any further.
Sneak Peek from Cave of Secrets:
Where was Gus? Once I entered the thick bushes I paused and listened. How silent it was. How heavy and still. Stifling. Oppressive.
Why didn’t he answer?
And then I heard it. A scream. A horrible, agonizing scream, cutting through the stillness and ending as suddenly as it had begun.
I ran, allowing my denizen senses to guide me. I could feel it stronger than ever. The oppression, the evil. Now I saw a trail of blood before me. A body had been dragged here, plowing a path through the underbrush.
It looked like Gus had almost made it to the place where the foliage had ended. Only a few feet further and he would have jumped the wall and been back in civilization, walking on the sidewalk near the road to the market.
But Gus wasn’t ever going to the market again. Or anywhere. Perhaps whatever had attacked him had first chased him down this pathway. Perhaps while we had called to him, Gus had been running for his life, all his energy intent on getting away, none left over to cry for help.
And then that final scream of pain and terror.
I followed the path of blood through the broken underbrush, up the hill, knowing what I would find at the end.
In a little open area, beneath an old oak tree, its roots spreading like writhing snakes along the ground, I found a scene of carnage. A broken, twisted body, arms and legs at impossible angles. Face in the dirt, a lake of blood seeping into the thirsty soil.
Salem was kneeling by the body, reaching a hand toward it.
“Don’t touch it,” I said, kneeling beside him.
I was aware of Jimmy coming up from behind, breathing hard.
Salem turned the body over anyway.
“No,” he said, pulling away.
Gus’s throat had been torn out, his chest, his stomach, a gaping, glistening hole, his insides gutted. He lay there, eyes staring sightlessly up at the burning sky, mouth stretched wide across his teeth in a frozen grimace of excruciating pain.
“God help us,” breathed Jimmy.
All my nightmares came alive in that moment. The image of the monster Gore on the plateau, teeth and claws dripping blood. He had done this to a coyote–gutted it. And then there was our family lawyer, Mr. Meriwether. I had almost forgotten about the poor man. The same thing had happened to him.
Gore–it must be Gore! I turned away from the body and stared at Salem. He was looking down at Gus with hated and contempt. No pity, no remorse.
An icy river flowed down my spine. Could it have been my own brother? Salem’s gaze shifted to me and he read my questioning expression. His eyes went wide with disbelief. He shook his head and mouthed, No!
Others were crashing through the bushes. Soon the entire group, including Stanton, was gathered around the body. And then pandemonium broke out as the reality of what lay before them sank in. Students who had, only moments before, thought they tough threw up. They screamed, losing complete control of themselves.
Tray, Jimmy, Inez and Scooter were upset like the others but in a different way. They were silent. Horror struck. And they were stronger. They had seen more and suspected what types of creatures might have done this.
Alex was a blubbering, broken mess. This wasn’t what he had signed on for when he joined Gus’s gang. He screeched like a frightened mouse when Salem happened to glance at him and then clapped a hand over his mouth to stop the sound. He would never accuse Salem to his face, never have the nerve. But Salem and I both knew what he and everyone else was thinking–that Salem had done this.