Zoë awoke in the middle of the night with a sense of foreboding.  She was certain she had heard something, and had the horrifying sense that she was not alone in the dark.  She held her breath, listening for some sign, and could only hear her heart pounding in her chest.  She strained to pick up any sound, her fingers clenching on her blankets as fear coursed through her body.

            Just as she was certain that she was alone, a hand closed around her mouth, stifling the scream that shock brought forth.  Her heart leaped in her chest.  Zoë tried to spin out from under the hand, striking with her fists into the darkness to attempt to dislodge her assailant.

            “Zoë, shhhh!  It’s me, Eve!”  A feminine voice whispered in the darkness, letting go of her mouth to light a candle.  In the flickering flame’s small circle of light, Zoë made out the features of her closest friend.  Genevieve looked road weary and dishevelled, but Zoë was never so relieved to see someone.

            “Oh Genevieve!”  She sighed as she clutched her friend in a hug.  “Don’t ever scare me like that again!”

            Zoë let her friend go, and then scrunched her nose, thinking.  “Why are you sneaking into my bedroom in the middle of the night?”

            Genevieve stifled a laugh.  Though Zoë was now thirty years old, she still looked like a little girl during certain facial expressions.  Eve whispered her response.

            “Alex and I have snuck into the building.  No one knows we’re here.”

            “Why?”  Zoë asked, lowering her voice as well. 

            “Because we don’t know who we can trust, besides you.  This place isn’t safe.”

            Zoë leaned forward.  “Did you already find out?”

            “Find out what?”  Eve asked quizzically.

            Zoë looked from side to side, as if the walls themselves could be spies.  “Evan and Mr. Lamb… they were talking about killing Alex.  I overheard them without meaning to.  I was on the balcony in the Hall of Elders while they were inside.  They’re involved in the deaths of Owen and Dan.”  Her voice was thick with her fear.

            Eve considered her words.  They added to the information she and Alex already possessed, and confirmed some of their worst fears.  Knowing that the Ethan-impostor, Lamb and Evan were involved in the illicit activities taking place meant that the Citadel was certainly not a safe place to be anymore.  Lamb worked with Neal on a regular basis, which made it increasingly unlikely that he was unaware of their crimes.

            “We have to leave.  Right now.  And we’re not coming back.”  Genevieve said to Zoë after several moments of serious deliberation.  She grabbed her friend’s hand to force her out of the bed.  “Get dressed as fast as you can, and pack even quicker.”

            “What do you mean leaving?  I mean, yes I don’t feel safe, but where are we going to go?”

            “We’ll think of something.  We can’t stay here.  Evan and Simon have proven that they’re dangerous, and I didn’t tell you about Ethan.”

            “What about Ethan?”
            “He’s not here.  He’s somewhere else.”

            Zoë looked at her funny.  “That doesn’t make a lot of sense.  I saw him here today, where did he go?”

            “No, you didn’t see him today.  You saw someone, or something, that looks like Ethan.  But it’s not him, and he’s been missing for seven years.  Gwen received a visit from him where he tried to warn her about the impostor.  We cannot stay here so long as he’s here with us.”

            “Why not?”

            “I think he’s a killer.  I think he’s the one who killed Dan and Owen.”  Genevieve said, and then she had a sudden cold realization.  “In fact, he probably killed Hope too.”

            Her voice was positively lethal.  In her heart, Eve knew that if she saw this “Reza” that she would do her best to make sure he never drew another breath.

            “We’re going to fight them, Zoë.  They might beat us, but we’re going to take a stand for what’s right.  We have to.”

            “Why us?”  She asked, feeling very small. 

            “Because there’s nobody else.”

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