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Authors: Bella Forrest

A Trail of Echoes

BOOK: A Trail of Echoes
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A Shade of Vampire 18: A Trail of Echoes
Bella Forrest

Chapter 1: River

Chapter 2: River

Chapter 3: Ben

Chapter 4: River

Chapter 5: River

Chapter 6: Ben

Chapter 7: Rose

Chapter 8: Rose

Chapter 9: Derek

Chapter 10: Sofia

Chapter 11: Sofia

Chapter 12: River

Chapter 13: River

Chapter 14: Jeramiah

Chapter 15: Jeramiah

Chapter 16: Ben

Chapter 17: Ben

Chapter 18: Rose

Chapter 19: Caleb

Chapter 20: River

Chapter 21: Ben

Chapter 22: River

Chapter 23: Ben

Chapter 24: Ben

Chapter 25: Rose

Chapter 26: Ben

Chapter 27: Rose

Chapter 28: River

Chapter 29: Ben

Chapter 30: Derek

Chapter 31: Ben

Chapter 32: River

Chapter 33: Ben

Chapter 34: Jeramiah

Also by Bella Forrest


Derek & Sofia’s story:

A Shade of Vampire (Book 1)

A Shade of Blood (Book 2)

A Castle of Sand (Book 3)

A Shadow of Light (Book 4)

A Blaze of Sun (Book 5)

A Gate of Night (Book 6)

A Break of Day (Book 7)

Rose & Caleb’s story:

A Shade of Novak (Book 8)

A Bond of Blood (Book 9)

A Spell of Time (Book 10)

A Chase of Prey (Book 11)

A Shade of Doubt (Book 12)

A Turn of Tides (Book 13)

A Dawn of Strength (Book 14)

A Fall of Secrets (Book 15)

An End of Night (Book 16)

The Shade lives on…

A Wind of Change (Book 17)


A Shade of Kiev 1

A Shade of Kiev 2

A Shade of Kiev 3


Beautiful Monster 1

Beautiful Monster 2

or an updated list
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© 2015 by Bella Forrest

Cover design inspired by Sarah Hansen, Okay Creations LLC

All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

Chapter 1: River

up at Benjamin Novak across the bare-walled guest room. The shock of being told that I was now immortal had not yet passed, but my mind was filled with one thought. I had to find a way to turn myself back and return to my family. And I had to do it soon. Each hour that passed, anxiety gripped me more and more at the thought of how distraught my family must be.

Ben met my eyes.

“Where is The Shade?” I asked.

“In the Pacific Ocean.”

My heart sank. “The Pacific Ocean? But that’s like… halfway across the globe. How on earth am I going to get there? I have no passport…”

“We’re going to have to travel by boat.”


Ben frowned. “Yes. We. I said that I would help you get to The Shade.”

“Oh,” I said, staring at him. “I didn’t think that you were actually going to take me there. I thought you said that you want to stay away—”

“I can help you get there without actually setting foot on the island. Besides, if I didn’t accompany you there, there’s no way in hell you would find it. Trust me.”

Again, I couldn’t help but wonder why he was doing this for me. Although he said that he wouldn’t feel right leaving me stranded on my own, taking me all the way to the Pacific Ocean was putting himself out in a massive way.

And so I asked him again, “Ben, why would you do this for me?”

He breathed out. “Well, I suppose it’s not entirely selfless. You could act as a messenger for me, let my family know that I’m still alive and intend to return as soon as I feel able to. I haven’t contacted them since I left.”

“How come? Can’t you just phone them?”

He shook his head. “There’s a spell cast over the island so only charmed phones will work. I was in such a hurry to leave the place, stupidly, I left the island without one.” He leaned back on his bed. “Anyway, even traveling by ship, I’m not sure how we’re going to pull this off. But the first thing we ought to do is convert some coins into cash. God knows how much money we’re wasting by dishing those out. When we leave this evening, our first stop should be a pawnbroker.”

I picked up my bag, heavy with coins, and looked at them again. I had no idea how much they were worth. We would soon find out. As I reached inside, my fingers brushed against the cool glass of the vial of amber liquid I’d been given while in Michael’s quarters. I lifted it up and examined it once again, trying to guess what on earth it was. How did they even know about my brother and why would they give him a gift?

Staring at it wasn’t going to get me any closer to an answer, so I slipped it back in the bag and looked back at Ben.

“It’s going to be a long night,” he said. “I suggest you get some rest.”

“I guess you’re right.”

Once we left this guesthouse, we didn’t know when we would find our next shelter. And we needed to be alert now more than ever.

I placed my backpack on the floor and swung my legs onto my bed. Gathering my blanket, and the one that Ben had given me, I rested my head against my stiff pillow and watched as Ben lay down on his own bed. He faced the wall, turning his back on me.

I closed my eyes, and it was only once I did that I realized just how heavy my eyelids felt. Every limb in my body felt exhausted and torn from the trauma I had just endured. And yet, after half an hour, I still had not fallen asleep. My mind simply wouldn’t shut down as worry after worry continued to flood my head. I couldn’t stop thinking about my family and if I was ever going to make it back to them. I kept thinking about how worried they would all be. Especially my mother.

I sat up in bed.

It might not be safe for me to visit my grandfather’s house, but at least I could try to speak to him on the phone to ease my family’s stress. Once Ben and I left Cairo, especially if we were going to be traveling by sea, we would soon have no access to payphones.

I looked over toward Ben. His back heaved slightly, and his breathing was slow and steady. Clearly he had managed to fall asleep. Touching my feet to the ground, I stood up.

I had no idea how long he would remain asleep, but I couldn’t lie awake in the silence of this room any longer, tortured by my own thoughts.

Grabbing a small notepad from the dressing table between the twin beds, I scribbled a note for Ben explaining where I had gone and that I would aim to be back within an hour. Judging by how soundly he appeared to be sleeping, I doubted he would wake up before I returned.

Picking up my backpack, I moved toward the door. But just before I opened it, I had second thoughts. I didn’t
that he was going to wake up before I returned, but just in case he did…

I reached for the empty water bottle I’d placed by the doorway and carried it into the bathroom. I looked around for a sharp object. Ben’s claws would be useful about now. The edge of the mirror looked quite sharp—it was poorly made and didn’t even have a frame to cover the glass. It was just rectangularly cut and stuck straight on the wall. Raising my wrist toward it, I hoped that I wouldn’t contract some kind of infection as I cut myself with it. Biting my lip against the pain, I allowed my blood to trickle into the bottle. Once I felt that there was enough, I screwed on the cap and placed it on the bedside table next to the note.

And then I left the room. Before I could make any calls, I needed cash. That meant a trip to a pawnbroker first. I supposed if I asked at the reception desk to use the phone, they would let me, but I couldn’t afford to be overheard. I needed to reach a pay phone.

The same man who’d checked us in was sitting behind the desk. He looked up as I approached.

“Is the room to your liking?” he asked.

“It’s fine,” I said. “I came to ask you if there are any pawnbrokers near here?”

“Hmm. That depends on what you mean by ‘near’. There are several, but they are situated more centrally.”

“Distance is not a problem,” I said. “Could you please write down the address of the nearest one, and would you also have a map?”

“Yes,” he said, eyeing me curiously. He reached beneath his desk and pulled out a blank piece of paper, and a map of Cairo. Once he had written the address on the paper, he drew an “X” on the map where the street was located.

“Thank you.” I said, taking both items from him. I studied the map as I exited the guesthouse. I could run so fast now, I guessed that it would take me less than half an hour to reach the destination. Assuming things went smoothly at the pawnbroker and I managed to find a pay phone, I would be back in no time.

I tucked the map and the piece of paper into the deep pockets of my robe and tightened my shoes before launching into a sprint. I kept referring to the map every now and then, stopping to check street names.

I ran so fast, I arrived in fifteen minutes. I wasn’t even breathless either.

I looked up at the signpost of the shop.
Cleopatra Jewelers
. Adjusting my veil, which had gotten a little askew during my running, I looked down at the wound I’d caused by cutting myself. It had almost entirely healed by now.

I stepped into the shop. I was the only customer, which I was thankful for, and there was just one employee sitting behind the counter. I walked up to him and placed my backpack on the table. I undid the zipper and pulled out just a handful of the gold coins.

I explained to him in Arabic that I wanted to sell the gold for cash. His eyes widened a little as I handed him the precious metal. I tried to wait patiently as he went about examining the gold, until finally, about half an hour later, I was walking out of the shop with a backpack stuffed with cash. It was so full, the zipper was close to breaking.

The first thing I had to do was buy a new bag. I found a bag shop in the second street along and, once I had chosen a bag and paid for it, I placed my backpack inside the larger one, then put that on my back instead.

After only five minutes of searching, I managed to locate a phone box. My hand was shaking as I reached for the receiver and inserted a coin. My heart pounding, I dialed my grandfather’s number and clutched the phone to my ear.

Ring. Ring.

Ring. Ring.

Come on, Grandpa. Pick up.

When the phone kept ringing and eventually reached voicemail, I hung up and tried to call again after waiting a minute. The phone continued to ring with no answer. This time I left a message.

“G-Grandpa, this is River. I hope you’ve been reunited with Lalia by now. I’m calling to tell you that I’m fine. I can’t say much, and I can’t tell you where I am, but I’m going to try to make it back to you, or back to Mom, as soon as I can. Please just try not to worry about me. I’m… I’m in safe hands. Sending my love to you, Lalia, Dafne, Jamil and Mom.”

I placed the phone back on the receiver, exhaling deeply. It felt like some of the weight on my chest had lifted. I hoped my grandfather would check his voicemail soon.

Backing away from the phone box, I began to hurry back along the winding streets toward our guesthouse. When I entered the reception area, there was no one sitting behind the desk. I headed for the staircase and ran, moving quickly along the corridor upstairs until I reached the room.

I was about to knock on the door when I noticed that it was ajar.

Pushing it open, I looked around.

Ben’s bed was empty, as was the rest of the room.

Ben was gone.

BOOK: A Trail of Echoes
10.66Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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