Aaron wished for the fifth time that his mother could come and get him from the airport. As it was, he had to wave down a taxi, and they all seemed full. The longer it took the more antsy he felt. Something wasn’t right, and he felt the weight of it pulling him down. He needed someone to help him organize his thoughts; someone who could explain the visions he’d been having for several days now. Visions that kept telling him he needed to go home.
He was hoping his aunt could answer some of those questions, but she was out of town. His mother was a mess, crying and babbling in such a way as he hadn’t seen in years. And, his cousin wasn’t answering her phone. What was going on? Sighing, he pulled his suitcase further along the sidewalk and hoped that she replied to his message soon.
The horn grabbed his attention, and he felt a sense of relief to see his cousin’s purple VW Bug. She waved frantically at him as he jogged to her car. He felt even better when he realized that both of his cousins occupied the car.
“Aaron!” Twenty-year-old Faith Austen squealed as he tossed his suitcase into the truck she’d popped open. “I can’t believe you’re here!”
“Hey, cousin!” Faith’s twin, J.J., grinned from the backseat. “What are you doing coming home before the semester’s finished? Aunt Claire is going to freak!”
“Trust me,” Aaron plopped into the passenger seat. “I’m not here on vacation. I have to talk to your mom about some stuff that’s been happening.”
“She’s out of town,” Faith said as she pulled the car away from the airport. “Walt’s wife Jennie was in a bad car accident a few days ago.” She glanced his way and her normally sparkling brown eyes deepened in sadness. “She died.”
“Damn.” Aaron ran his hand through his short, blond hair and glanced back at J.J. He had paled and was slouched in the backseat. “No one called.”
“I think Walt is going to plan a memorial in a couple of weeks,” J.J. said. “Mom said she didn’t want to bring everyone home from school before it was necessary.”
“Then why are you two here?” Aaron arched a brow and glanced between the siblings.
Faith shrugged. “I’ll let J.J. tell you.”
“I dropped out of college,” J.J. brushed his shaggy brown hair out of his face. “I’m not cut out for school. Mom wants me to be like him, but I’m not. I figured Faith can take up the medical mantel, and I’ll just hitch across Europe.”
“How’s Aunt Kate taken that news?”
“He hasn’t told her yet.” Faith grinned. “I can’t wait to see her reaction.”
“Nice, sis, nice.”
The SUV came out of nowhere and hit them from behind. Flung forward, Faith tapped on the breaks and pulled to the side of the road. The black SUV pulled up behind them, and Faith hopped out of the Bug, ready to give the driver a piece of her mind. Aaron and J.J. exchanged a glance and quickly followed her out of the car. Faith was known in the family for her hot temper.
“What do you think you’re doing?” She pointed her finger at the tall, blond man who emerged from the SUV. Shaking her head, her brown, curly ponytail bounced in rhythm to her words. “You’re going way too fast, and you were way too close to us! If you’d been any closer you could’ve just hopped into my truck for a free ride!”
“I think you need to calm down, Faith,” the man said as he walked closer to her.
“What?” Her eyes widened at his use of her name. “How do you know my name?”
“The same way that I know that you and the boys here will be coming along with us now,” he answered, pulling a gun from inside his jacket.