Amara came home and slammed the door shut behind her. She started pacing the living room. Cayden came out of his room to see what was going on.
“Amara, what’s wrong? You look terrible.”
“Thanks Cayden,” Amara yelled. “That’s just what I need—someone to tell me how terrible I look.”
“No, not like that.” Cayden put his arm around Amara and gently helped her sit down. “You always look beautiful, just now you look freaked out.”
Amara blushed and pretended to ignore the compliment. “I think Professor Brown broke into our apartment over break.”
Cayden burst out laughing. “Because college students always have the best stuff, right? Come on Amara, what’s going on?”
Amara jumped up, indignant. “I’m telling you. I was just at his office, and at first he seemed really angry about something. I didn’t think much of it, but then he said it was because he was hypoglycemic and he needed his juice.”
Cayden stopped laughing. “So you think that means he’s the one who drank all our juice? But why would he break into in our apartment?”
Amara took a deep breath. “Wait here.” She ran to her room and retrieved the threatening note with the Maya glyphs.
She thrust the paper at Cayden. “We got this threat a while back. It mentions you, so I didn’t want to freak you out until I knew more. I took it to Professor Brown to see what he thought, but that’s when I noticed the juice thing. I think he might know more than he says.”
Cayden threw his arms up in the air. “Why the hell would you wait to tell me this? Amara—this isn’t a game. You should have showed me this right away.”
“I know, I know.” Amara sat back down next to Cayden. “And I’m sorry, but now I’m freaked out and please just forgive me and help?”
“Fine, Amara.” Cayden’s tone was sharp. His nostrils flared. “But you better tell me everything first.”
Amara tried not to notice how attractive Cayden looked when he was angry. So assertive, and protective. She filled him in on everything, including how she already had the arrowhead. She brought it out for Cayden to examine.
He lay it flat on his palm and bent down to look. It had a curious shape to it. The tip was sharp and pointy but the sides weren’t rounded. They were square, also with sharp edges. Cayden took his time, looking for any other odd details.
Amara paced the room, impatient. Her phone rang. The number was Ace’s. Amara tried not to groan—the last thing she needed was to deal with Ace. “Shoot, Cay, I’ve got to get this, you mind?”
“Uh huh.” Cayden waved her off.
“Amara, you were supposed to send me your latest notes and updates on your story hours ago. Where are they?”
“I know, I know. I just got caught up in something…”
“Look, I don’t care what’s going on in your personal life. You have a commitment. Tell me you have more sources for your story.”
“Yes, yes.” Amara exhaled, annoyed. “I found some of my grandfather’s notes, and I can probably interview the owner of the bookstore I went to in Mexico.”
“Fine, send me something before news meeting.” He hung up.
“I can’t believe him!” Amara took the note from next to Cayden and stomped into her room. Cayden didn’t notice, still too fascinated with the arrowhead.
Amara opened up her laptop and logged in to her vlog. To her relief, there were no pop-up messages or suspicious comments. But, the number of followers to her vlog had increased, and there were more comments than usual.
Amara hit record and held up the note. “Here’s an update on my feature story. A threat, from some secret group that’s been stalking me, left in front of my apartment the other day. I haven’t been able to decipher the whole thing yet, but basically they’re threatening to harm my best friend. So if you’re out there, watching this, just know, I’m taking Krav Magra.”
Finished, Amara hit post. Then she sent a text to Ace. See my vlog for latest updates. Also, have to push back the story.
She ignored her phone when Ace called a second later, and left it in her room when she joined Cayden, who had now moved on from the arrowhead and was researching online.
“What are you doing?” Amara sat next to him on the couch.
“Just trying to figure out how much I can translate of your note from online resources.” He continued typing.
“Oh, ok.” Amara took the note out and started staring at it, looking for more clues. On a whim, she decided to go to the window and hold it up to the light, the way cashiers held up bills when they looked for watermarks. Squinting, she noticed a thin outline in the middle of the note.
“Cayden, come here!” She waved him over. “Look at this.”
Cayden sighed. “Can’t it wait a minute? I think I’ve almost found a site that can translate glyphs.”
“I found a clue on the note. It’s a drawing, or shape of something. I need help figuring out what it is.” Amara continued to study the note. The shape looked familiar, but she couldn’t quite make it out.
“Oh, all right.” Cayden joined her by the window. “Let me see.”
He took the note. His eyes widened with recognition. “It’s the arrowhead!” He retrieved the arrowhead and held both it and the note in the air. “See? Whoever this creepy group is, they know about your arrowhead.”