Two more cars arrived while Blake stepped into the rain to get to the cop car parked nearby that he spotted. "Hello?" he called to it as he approached, only to realize that it was empty. "Not very comforting," he mumbled to himself as suddenly it stopped raining on him and he saw Kimberly standing next to him with an umbrella. "Didn't your momma ever warn you about catching your death in rain like this?" she asked. They returned to the tree where Whitey and John were waiting.
"You haven't gone in yet?" Whitey exclaimed.
"Not leaving Bryant alone," Blake said.
"What if those things are inside right now?"
"They're either already gone or not here yet. Simultaneous arrivals are incredible unlikely."
"Fine," Whitey said "Let's just go."
"You're staying here."
"Like I said, no way I'm leaving Bryant alone," Blake said matter-of-factly "And Kimberly stays out here on the off chance that those things haven't arrived yet. You're on babysitting duty."
"The hell I am!" Whitey screamed.
"Someone's gotta protect Kimberly," Blake stated as he started walking towards the house in the rain, John quickly trailing.
"Please don't let those horrible monsters get me, miss holy lady," Kimberly said with a pout."
"You're on his side?" Whitey asked.
"I was never really on yours to begin with."
Blake and John quickly made their way to the front door. "Locked," Blake said as he tried the handle. "That's a good sign, right?" John asked. Blake ignored him and headed for the back where he hoped that the broken window was still left open. Along the way they crossed over the tattered remains of a police officer; ripped to shreds and without a head. "That's disappointing," John said as Blake jumped over and turned for the back.
Blake carefully climbed his way through the still exposed kitchen window and started running for the stairs. "Anin? Joey? Anybody?" he yelled out to no reply. The layout of the house was chaotic, but nothing was different from when they left before. There wasn't any sign of a recent struggle. John had just climbed in himself when Blake took off up the stairs.
"Anyone?" Blake called as he made for the bedroom. Inside was the same bloody mess they left before, the only addition was Joey face down on the ground in the middle of the room. "Don't be dead. Don't be dead. Don't be dead," Blake repeated to himself as he ran over and checked Joey's body. The man groaned as Blake rolled him over and John caught up. "Is he ok?" John asked. "Comparatively," Blake said "I'm honestly surprised yet totally grateful."
"What happened?" Joey asked as he sat up and rubbed the back of his head.
"We were kind of hoping you would fill us in on that," Blake said.
"Anin!" Joey screamed as he suddenly realized and tried to jump to his feet but fell back over. "She's not here," Blake said "At least nowhere obvious."
"Oh my God," Joey said as he rubbed his head again.
"Talk," Blake said "Quickly."
"Those things," Joey said "Anin knew they were coming back. They were coming for her."
"How would she know that?" John asked.
"No idea," Joey said with a shrug "But I looked in her eyes and she was convinced. She said they'd kill the cops and come for her next. I suggested we'd try to run or something, but she said it wouldn't be any good. I ran for the closet where I kept a bat and handed it to her. Then I turned around to look for the lockbox where I keep a pistol and the next thing I know, I'm on the ground with you over me."
John picked up the discarded bat and looked to Joey. "Well," he said "I think we can all agree that arming her was a bad idea. But at least we know why you're still alive."
"Why would she do that?" Joey asked as he stopped rubbing his head "I was trying to protect her."
"I don't think she wanted to be protected," Blake said "She knew they wanted her alive. The big bad wants her alive."
"But why?" Joey asked.
"I dunno," Blake said "Let's find out."
"How we gonna find her?" John asked.
"She knew they were coming for her," Blake said "And if she had the time to knock Joey out to spare him, what else would she have the time for?"
"Well," John said "My first guess would be to hide. But that's clearly too easy."
"She also knew we'd come back and attempt to find her," Blake said as he looked about the bedroom until he found what he was looking for under a pillow "So she took the time to prep and charge these." Blake held up one of Anin's sleep stones, which gave off a faint glow.
"Clever bitch," John said.
"The closer we are," Blake said "The brighter these glow."
"So what are we waiting for?" John asked as he grabbed some stones from Blake and made for the door. Blake followed suit, but when Joey tried following, Blake stopped him. "What do you think you're doing?" he asked.
"I'm coming too," Joey stated.
"Yeah, no," Blake responded "Best leave things to the professionals."
"Anin's my girl. No way I'm staying on the sidelines if she's in danger."
"How badly do you think she wants you involved?" Blake asked "She just got done blindsiding you before running off with something that claims it's human. To me, that pretty much says 'Don't get involved' in bright neon letters."
"Blake," John said as he attempted to intervene, but Blake turned back to confront him. "He's too emotionally invested," Blake stated "He'll only get in the way."
"Still..." John attempted.
"Remember when I let you involve yourself to save your sister? All that resulted in was you almost dying."
"You're really gonna play that card?" John asked plainly.
"You almost died and you knew what you were doing. This guy thinks a baseball bat will help fend off monsters born from nightmares. I'd like to avoid any unnecessary deaths tonight if you don't mind!"
"What would you have me do then?" Joey demanded, arms in the air.
"Be the guaranteed survivor of this entire mess," Blake said.
Joey glared at Blake a moment before his shoulders sagged and he backed off. "Just..." he started, but hesitated. Blake rolled his eyes, but decided to humor him an extra moment. "Just promise me you'll bring her back," Joey finally got out "Or at least try to." Blake shook his head and stormed off muttering "This idiot," as he left. "We'll do what we have to," John reassured Joey before following Blake.