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I look down at my phone for the millionth time in the last twenty-four hours. A single text message stares back at me. It says: We need to talk.

The number is blocked and untraceable. Even if I wanted to reply, the responses instantly fail to send.

"You're avoiding him? Still?"

I look up, recognizing the voice instantly. Stefan makes his way towards me, not bothering to hide the sour look on his face. He's referring to his brother, who I have indeed stayed away from since... everything.

"Yes," I reply, not bothering to sugar coat it, "but I still got his millions of text messages. Hostages, huh?"

"You could at least pretend to care," he says, looking across the street at the Mystic Grill.

"I wouldn't be here if I didn't," I assure him, though it's only partially true. I have no protective feelings towards him, his brother, or his friends. My reason for being here involves my curiosity towards the hunter.

My phone vibrates in my hand, and I quickly hold it out of the sunlight so I can read the screen. I feel my heart sink as I read Niklaus's name and press ignore.

Not even a second passes before Stefan's phone rings. He answers the second it does.

"Yeah, she's right here," he confirms, and I roll my eyes. "No, she just got here. I haven't told her yet."

I snap my finger in annoyance. Klaus's voice suddenly comes out on speaker phone and it's Stefan's turn to be aggravated.

"I'll have one of my hybrids take care of it. Until then, keep Clara far away from this," he pauses before adding in a much softer voice. "You shouldn't be anywhere near this, Claramay."

"Because I'll show up the vampires and your hybrid?" I scoff. "I think you're giving the rescue team a bit too much credit, Klaus."

"I know better than anyone how true that is," he says, and I can practically see his smirk through the phone.

"When the hunter called, he only made one demand," Stefan begins, saying what Klaus has not. "He wants you. The Immortal Witch."

Based on the look in his eyes, it seems like he expects far more of a reaction from me with his words, but it doesn't come. I don't feel threatened because I have no reason to be. My family is nowhere near this mess.

"And?" I ask.

"I told you she wouldn't care," Klaus says through the speakers, "but you called her anyway. Might I remind you what would happen if anything were to—"

"Damon called her," Stefan interrupts him, beating me to it.

"And you answered, Clara?" He questions, surprise in his voice.

I don't say anything. Honestly, I've listened to every voicemail and read every text that Damon has sent me since that fateful night. My mind claims that it's just old habits, but I think my heart is missing him more than my brain would care to admit.

"Go see what he has planned. A hybrid will be there shortly," Klaus orders before hanging up the call.

Alaric's old apartment building is directly across the street from the Mystic Grill. I advert my eyes from the place where I told him I couldn't go any farther with our budding friendship, and again as we reach the solid oak door. That's how I initially miss the three people in the room. As I look around at the dusty walls and untouched furniture, my eyes completely skip over the two vampires and the witch.

"Adalynn Rebekah Carter, what the hell do you think you're doing here?" I exclaim the minute I see her.

"I'm here to stop you from making a very bad decision," she declares. "And Damon called me."

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