"Maybe East? The Magi came from the east."
Amy Cahill glared at her brother in frustration.
"Will you please stop randomly naming places that the next clue is in?!" She snapped at him, "It isn't helping at all, Dan, especially since we really don't know anything!"
"Hey, I'm only trying to help!" Dan protested indignantly. "What have you done? Other than complain, that is?"
Nellie took one of her ear buds out and glared at the both of them.
"You two are on the same team! You should act like it! So nock it off, and work together, instead of arguing all the time. What do we know?"
"We know that the clue is Myrrh. We know that the Madrigals destroyed the Ekat stronghold. And that's pretty much it." Dan rattled the list of, looking depressed.
"Grace left us Bible verses, maybe we should go to Bethlehem, or Jerusalem." Amy suggested dully. They had already made that suggestion. Several times, in fact.
Nellie frowned and tried to think this through.
"All right, so we don't know anything about that. What about where the other Cahill's are? Those could be hints, right?"
"The Holts are supposedly in St. Petersburg,"
"Not that that is very helpful," Dan muttered under his breath,
"Irina is in Morocco, the Kabra's are in Kyrgyzstan, Alistair Oh is back in Seoul, along with Bae Oh, Jonah Wizard is in Paris, I have the Sterlings are still out of commission…I think that's all. Now. Both Irina and the Kabra's are on fake leads."
"So are the Wizards!" Dan pointed out.
Any bit her lip gently. "We aren't absolutely certain of that. There might be something in Paris." She scowled at Dan's disbelieving look. "All right, the Wizards are also on a fake lead. The Sterlings are out, so that's four down. The Holts are idiots, and nothing we've found leads anywhere near St. Petersburg, so that's five. Alistair is researching, so at the moment we don't have to worry about him or his Uncle. That's every one. No leads there, unless you are counting on the Holts to be actually doing something smart."
Dan snorted. "Right. And I'm the president."
Amy started to smile, then caught sight of something over Nellie's shoulder and paled dramatically. Nellie and Dan both twisted around to see what had scared Amy. They stared. Irina was standing in the doorway, looking around. Looking for them. With her, were the Kabra's. Dan scowled.
Irina caught sight of then and started their way.
Amy looked around desperately, but there wasn't any—
The tall blonde across the room turned around at the sound. She smiled, then got up and headed in their direction.
"Isn't that the girl you met in Boston? When she was meeting with someone in the library and afterwards you became friends?" Dan asked quietly, leaning toward Amy so he couldn't be over heard.
"Yeah, that's Crystallin" Amy said, just as quiet. "We stayed in touch for a while, but she became really busy over the past year, so, we haven't talked in a while."
She looked up. Dan and Nellie exchanged glanced before following her lead.
Irina, Ian, Natalie, and Crystallin had all reached the table at the same time, but it was Crys who managed to slip into the remaining chair. There was something decidedly dangerous in the way she moved, and there was something terrifying in the way that she smiled at the Lucians.
"We're busy," she purred, "but feel free to leave a message. We'll get back to you as soon as we're done."
Dan and Amy looked at each other, speaking with their eyes. The conversation went something like this:
Dan: Is she crazy?
Amy: No, just very, very intimidating.
Dan: They're Lucians! They won't like that!
Amy: Have you seen the people she was with?
Dan: Holy COW!
Amy: Yeah, she doesn't care.
Dan: I think I like her.
The Kabra's and Irina just stared at her for a moment, but didn't leave. Crys raised an eyebrow and beckoned for security, never taking her eyes off of them. Turning, they stalked furiously off, security following at a distance to make sure they left. The girl turned back to them and smiled. "So, how are you, Amy?"
Amy smile wanly. "I'm as well as can be expected."
A frown knit Crystallin's forehead. "Well as can be expected? What is wrong?"
"A family scavenger hunt," Dan replied. "The competition is fierce." He sighed.
Her frown deepened.
"What are you children doing in the hunt for the clues?" She asked slowly. "Surely it must be difficult for you. I met you're Aunt; she doesn't seem the type to give you money to go gallivanting around the world on a chance."
They just stared at her, shocked. She looked back at them confused, then sighed as she realized what was their problem. She shrugged. "Technically, I am a Cahill."
"You never told me that!" Amy gasped.
"It never came up, and until the hunt started, it didn't really matter." She said easily, with another shrug.
"And you didn't know that we were in the hunt?" Dan demanded. She shook her head. Dan sighed. "And here I thought that we were the talk of the hunt. That'll teach me not to have an inflated ego like the Kabra's."
She smiled slightly. "I haven't been in the hunt," she explained. "I've been doing…other things. So, let me guess. That was Irina Spasky. She is a former Russian Spy. She was accompanied by Ian and Natalie Kabra, the children of the leaders of the Lucian branch of the Cahill family. They are all, in fact, Lucians and part of the Hunt for the 39 clues. Am I correct?"
All three of her companions nodded slowly, so Crys continued. "I know who they are, but I do not know why they are here looking very, very angry at you." She raised an eyebrow in expectation, waiting for the explaination.
Dan grinned. "We sent them on fake trails. Irina to Morocco, and the Kabras to Lake Tash in Kyrgyzstan. Though, I would rather they took longer to catch up with us." He laughed in amusement.
Even Amy smiled at that.
"Ah," Crystallin said, laughing, "Still, you seem to be doing well. I know about the Kabras, and I wouldn't have thought they would ever listen to you, let alone enough to send them on a wild goose chase."
"We," Dan said triumphantly, "are in the lead. We got the first clue, the second, the third, and the forth, all ahead of the competition. Although, the third clue we found in the company of Alistair Oh and the Kabras. That's why they believed us; because they were there. Unfortunately for them, they fell for my trap and left before I gave the real hint to the next clue."
She nodded approvingly. "I like it. Sneaky, underhanded tricks—while not becoming a bastard yourself. Excellent. I could like you. So, what are you doing now?"
"Just a question; what branch are you in?" Dan asked.
"What branch are you in?" she responded smoothly.
"We don't know." Amy said it quietly, but the anger in her voice was obvious. Of course she wanted to know what branch that she was in. Unfortunately, Grace had not seen fit to tell them anything about the Cahill branches, so they did not know.
Crystallin smiled a secretive smile and stood up, bending over to kiss Amy on the cheek and slipping her a few thousand dollar bills.
"Here's a hint. I'd start heading towards England. Things are going to get nasty, and I heard that Mr. McIntyre is going to be calling everyone in due to Madrigal activity while they try to stop it. Toodles darlings!" waving her fingers at them, she danced away, back to the group she was with before. Several of the guys were huge, with muscles to spare. The other guys were just as tall, but slender, with more of a runner or fighters build, instead of a lifters build. All the girls were delicate looking, but you could see that they were dangerous. They all moved rather like predators, and there was strength in everything they did. Reaching them, Crystallin leaned in and murmured something, and they all got up and left.
The Lucians came back in moments later, but the Cahill siblings, along with Nellie, were already gone.