Dark Carousel (Dark #30) - Christine Feehan Page 0,1
“I know Lourdes is your first priority. She’s mine as well. She’s a beautiful little girl and obviously traumatized by what she saw. Her nightmares wake me up and I’m not even in the same house.”
Charlotte knew Genevieve wasn’t exaggerating. Genevieve always knew whenever Lourdes had nightmares, even if she wasn’t staying with them. At those times, she always called to make certain the child was all right. Lourdes had been present when her father was murdered. The killer had left the child alive and sitting beside her slain father. She’d been alone in the house with his body for several hours before she was found by her nanny, Grace Parducci, a woman who had gone to school with Charlotte.
“The police aren’t any closer to solving the murders, Charlie. Not here and not in France. Lourdes is in danger just as much as we are. Maybe more.” Genevieve leaned her chin on the heel of her hand as she hitched her chair closer to Charlotte’s in order to be heard above the music. “I’ve been thinking a lot about this and how it all got started. What we did to draw some crazy person’s attention.”
Charlotte nodded. She’d been thinking about it as well. What else could she think about? Both of them had lost every family member with the exception of little Lourdes. Charlotte didn’t want to lose her, and lately, in spite of taking every precaution, she hadn’t felt safe. At. All. Grace had reported being followed and feeling as though someone was watching her as well.
Charlotte knew there was a part of her that had come with Genevieve to the nightclub in an effort to try to draw the murderer out. She’d certainly come prepared. She had weapons on her. Several. Most were unconventional, but she had them. She honestly didn’t know if the people stalking them were the same ones who had murdered her brother, but it seemed likely.
Charlotte wasn’t the type of woman to run from her enemies and it upset her to think her brother’s murderer was going free—that he or she was trying to terrorize them. Not trying—she was terrified for Lourdes. She had no idea why the little girl had been left alive, but she wasn’t taking any chances with her. Coming to the nightclub without her was a chance to draw the killer out without endangering her.
“That stupid psychic center we went to together for testing,” Charlotte murmured. “It gave me the creeps.”
Genevieve nodded. “Exactly. The Morrison Center. We went for a lark, but it wasn’t the least bit fun. They got interested in us way too fast and kept asking very personal questions. When we left, I thought we were followed.”
Charlotte had thought so as well. The testing site had been a little hole-in-the-wall, but in a high-traffic area, so neither had thought anything of it. They both often said they were psychic, and thought it would be so much fun to go in and test it, just like having their palms read. Something fun to do. It hadn’t turned out to be very fun.
Charlotte looked into Genevieve’s green eyes and saw the same pain she was feeling reflected there. Who knew that something they’d done on a whim would have such horrific consequences? It was like that with them. They both thought along the same lines, knew what the other was thinking.
“Ever since going there, I feel like we’re being watched,” Genevieve said. “And not in a good way. When we were still in France, before Grand-mère was murdered, a couple of men asked me out and I got this really creepy vibe from them. When they talked I just kept having the image of the testing center crop up in my mind and I couldn’t help associating them with it.”
Charlotte nodded her understanding. The same thing had happened to her more than once. And then the murders happened. Since then, they’d been much more careful. No dates. No fun. No strangers in their lives. Charlotte ran her brother’s cabinetmaking business, and she did a little art restoration on the side, but she hadn’t really been working at her own business for months. Not since she’d returned to the United States.
“What are we going to do, Charlie?” Genevieve asked. “I can’t live like this for much longer. I know I should be grateful I’m alive, that we’re alive, and I don’t want to do anything that might endanger Lourdes, but I feel like I’m suffocating.”
Charlotte knew how she felt. “We’ve