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Chapter no 12

The Hawthorne Legacy (The Inheritance Games, 2)

Jameson followed me. Of course he did. All I cared about was getting there first.

Arriving back in my suite, I pulled the cipher disk out of my desk drawer. I matched the fifth letter on the outer wheel to the twelfth letter on the inner. and L. And then, with Jameson standing behind me, his hands on the desk on either side of me, our bodies far too close, I began decoding the message.

S-E-C-R-E-

Partially through the first word, breath whooshed out of my lungs, because this was going to work. Secrets. That was the first word. Lies.

Beside me, Jameson grabbed a pen, but I grabbed it back from him. “My room,” I told him. “My pen. My cipher disk.”

“If you want to get technical, Heiress, it’s all yours. Not just this room or that pen.”

I ignored him and transposed letter after letter, until the entire message was decoded. I went back and added spaces and line breaks, and what I was left with was another poem.

One that I could only assume was a Toby Hawthorne original.

Secrets, lies, All I despise.

The tree is poison, Don’t you see?

It poisoned S and Z and me. The evidence I stole

Is in the darkest hole. Light shall reveal all I writ upon the…

I looked up. Jameson was still leaning over me, his face so close to mine that I could feel his breath on my cheek. Pushing my chair back into him, I stood. “That’s it,” I told him. “It ends there.”

Jameson read the poem aloud. “Secrets, lies, all I despise. The tree is poison, don’t you see? It poisoned S and Z and me.” He paused. “for Skye, for Zara.”

The evidence I stole,” I picked up, then paused. “Evidence of what?”

Is in the darkest hole,” Jameson continued. “Light shall reveal all I writ upon the…” He trailed off, and in the back of my head, something clicked.

“There’s a word missing,” I said. “And it rhymes with all.”

An instant later, Jameson was in motion—and so was I. We ran back, through corridor after corridor, to Toby’s abandoned wing. We came to a stop just outside the door. Jameson looked at me as he stepped over the threshold.

Light shall reveal all I writ upon the…

“Wall,” Jameson whispered, like he’d lifted the word directly from my thoughts. He was breathing hard—hard enough to make me think that his heart was pounding even faster than mine.

“Which wall?” I asked, stepping up beside him.

Slowly, Jameson turned, three hundred and sixty degrees. He didn’t answer my question, so I threw out another one.

“Invisible ink?”

“Now you’re thinking like a Hawthorne.” Jameson closed his eyes. I could practically feel him vibrating with energy.

My entire body was doing the same. “Light shall reveal all.

Jameson’s eyelids flew open, and he turned again, until we were facing each other. “Heiress, we’re going to need a black light.”

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