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The Shadow 19
Marissa stood firmly with her chin jutted out. She wasn’t about to back down. She was still shaken from her invisible visitor and now Sean was reacting to her suggestion just has she had expected.
“This has gone far enough, Marissa. You can’t possibly consider going to this crazy doctor’s house?” Sean demanded.
“I don’t know,” Marissa said fearfully. “He said I can’t hide and he’s expecting Sarah and me, but Sarah’s not invisible anymore.”
Sean sits on the couch and drops his head into his hands. “This is out of control, Marissa. You need to walk away,” he says finally. His voice is weary and drawn.
“Even if I wanted to I can’t now, Sean. Don’t you see that. I’m too deep. These men will stop at nothing to meet their ends. They can get to you or me at any time. The only person that can stop them is the Shadow.” Marissa moved over to the couch and placed her hand on his. “I know it’s dangerous, but what other choice do I have?”
“Marissa, we can’t risk it,” Sean said. “I can’t bare the thought of you exposing yourself to these men.”
“It’s not a wise move, Marissa,” Sarah said from the doorway.
Marissa’s and Sean’s heads snap up and Marissa went to her mother and embraced her.
“Are you all right?” Sarah asked.
“I’m fine. What happened to you?” Marissa questioned.
“I saw the men take you from the platform. I figured they would head back to London so I bought a return ticket and tried to follow them. I didn’t see you when we arrived though and I figured it would be best to watch your house, just in case,” Sarah answered. “I’m sorry I startled you the other day, Mr. Doveday.”
“Sean meet Sarah Clarence, my mother,” Marissa introduced them properly.
“I’m glad to actually see you,” Sean said wryly.
“Marissa you can’t go back to Dr. Bering’s house. They’ll eat you alive. I can return. The most they can do with me is see that I am no longer invisible and able to do their bidding.”
“They have someone else,” Marissa said shuddering. “He came here a little while ago and told me to tell you that your job isn’t finished and that the Doctor expects a visit from both of us or there will be consequences.”
“If they discover you are the Shadow they will use it against you,” Sarah advised.
“What choice do we have. They have already proven that they can take me at their leisure,” Marissa argued.
“I have a headache,” Sean murmured, shaking his head.
“I can go alone, Marissa,” Sarah insisted. “I will tell them that they scared you into hiding and I can’t find you anywhere. Whatever they want me to do I will do, visible or not. We can’t risk them capturing you.”
Marissa opened her mouth to argue, but Sean stood suddenly.
“Enough!” he shouts. “Neither of you are going anywhere except to bed. Marissa you have a dinner appointment tomorrow with Mr. Anderson and I have some work to do before then and Sarah you need to rest. I’m not about to let either of you waltz into the hands of this doctor and his crazy plan for whatever.” He stormed to the door and stopped. Slowly he turned around to face Marissa. “If I find you have left and gotten yourself captured or killed I will leave and you will never see me again.”
He left the room muttering and Marissa watched him go with mixed feelings.
“This is torturing him, Marissa. He loves you too much to see you put yourself into danger,” Sarah said quietly.
“If he cares so much why doesn’t he just tell me,” Marissa questioned petulantly. “I think he’s just being stubborn and pig-headed.”
“No more than you,” Sarah chided.
Marissa whirled around. “What else can I do. I’m the only one who can still turn invisible and find out what these men are up to.”
“And what then? How are you going to prove it to the authorities? You have to think about that, Marissa Edgington.”
Marissa sat down heavily. She hadn’t thought that far ahead.
“This is impossible,” Marissa admitted.
“We should both sleep on it and attack the problem in the morning,” Sarah said gently.
“Promise me you won’t go to Jarvis, Sarah.”
“I promise as long as you don’t either,” Sarah qualified.
“I promise I won’t go.” But that doesn’t mean the shadow won’t, Marissa thought.
Marissa watched her mother walk down the hall and then headed toward her own room. She waited for an hour before changing into her Shadow clothes. She kept her room dark in case anyone was watching the house. She knew her best bet would be to use one of the lower windows, since everywhere else would probably be under observation. These men wanted to know as soon as Sarah appeared, but they didn’t know that she was now visible.
After changing, Marissa crept silently down the hall and into the library. There was a small window she was certain she could fit through and it was hidden by the hedge from the rose garden. She moved purposefully, keeping her senses alert for every sound. Once she gained her point of exit she carefully opened the window, cringing at the tiny squeak that the opening emitted as she slid the pane up.
She scrambled through landing on the ground with practiced silence and slipped into the darkness of the garden. It only took her a few minutes to reach her usual street access and from there she made her way through the dark alleyways of London to Dr. Bering’s house. At that late hour everything was dark save one tiny light in the back. Marissa tried the back door, but it was locked, as she was certain it would be. Next she searched for a window that might allow her entry. She finally found a small window with a broken latch.
Taking a deep breath she found a dark corner and willed herself into invisibility and then removed her clothes. This was the worst part of her new ability and she dreaded it, but she mentally placed the invisible skin around her and continued on. She slid through the window gaining a sliver or two and the scanned her surroundings. It looked like she was in some sort of pantry. She tiptoed through and into the kitchen and began exploring the house.
Everything was silent, making the hair rise on her neck and arms. Once she found herself in familiar territory she made her way to John’s laboratory, but as soon as she passed the door to Jarvis’ study she paused. What if he kept his notes and secrets there. If she could find something that might give her proof of his dark work that was all she needed.
She listened carefully for any sound and then slowly turned the knob. The door was unlocked.