It didn’t come.
“Um … so, what do we have to see?”
“Dude … how much longer, man? I’ma pass out here.”
Wendy elbowed Dillon. “Dilly. Be nice.”
He rubbed his ribs, and the Kileys smiled gently. “Not much longer. Almost there.”
They’d gone down the hallway, past the elevators and were in the northern wing of the building now, just beyond the lobby. They wound through corridors until they were almost directly opposite the Kiley’s private suite.
“Here we are,” Phoebe said. She fumbled with the key cards on her retractable holder and pulled one free, and handed it to JD.
“It’s room 3126, just up the hall, JD,” she said. He took the key and she stepped back. “This is as far as we go.”
“This one’s even worse?”
“To us it was, yes.”
He nodded slowly, and watched his companions. Wendy held her arms against her chest, her nervousness clear on her pale face.
“I … I think I’ll wait with the Kileys this time, babe,” she said softly.
“Dude, don’t look at me,” Dillon said, shaking his head in exaggerated motions. “If it’s too much for them, it’s way too much for me.”
JD shook his head, smiling. “Okay. I’ll be back in a minute.”
“All right, just a second,” Hank said, putting his hand on JD’s shoulder. “Last time, there was something you could see. This time, it’s going to be harder. You have to believe me when I say this — there is a message written on the bathroom mirror.”
“Yes. Turn on the hot water as high as it will go in both the sink and the shower. Wait until the mirror steams over. It could take several minutes. The message will co
me clear. If you don’t see it, come back and let us know. We’ll tell you what it says. But … well, it’s better and more convincing — anyway, I just want you to see it for yourself if you can.”
JD stood looking at them for a moment. They seemed embarrassed, but made no moves forward. He finally went down the hall.
“Yes, there on your left,” Phoebe called softly, trying not to raise her voice.
JD found 3126, and swiped the pad with the key card. An LED went from red to green and an electronic beep sounded. Instantly he heard the lock snap open and he pushed the door open.
It was a room very much like the one he had, except there was a separate seating area beyond an ornately trimmed opening in a wall. There was a large, paneled glass window covered with sheer curtains beyond the suite area. The rest of the room was nearly identical to his.
He went to his left, toward the bathroom, and opened the door. He turned on the light, and put his cheek against the wall next to the light switch. He thought he could make out smudges, traces of oil, on the mirror, but wasn’t sure. It certainly wasn’t legible.
He stepped up to the vanity and studied the mirror. Nothing was discernible from this vantage point. Unless …
He looked more closely, but tried not to make contact. There did seem to be something on the surface of the mirror.
He turned the hot water on in the sink. A few seconds later the water was shrouded by steam as the hot liquid ran freely. But the stream wasn’t strong enough to fog the expansive mirror.
He turned and opened the shower door. He opened the hot water spigot completely, and stepped back, waiting. When the steam began to rise and billow, he closed the bathroom door and waited. He folded his arms across his chest and settled his hindquarters onto the counter, exhaling through his nose.
In a few moments the steam began to fog the mirror over. His brows slowly dropped, his spine stiffening as he watched the formation of the message Hank told him was there.
That it was still there told him something was odd about it to begin with. But when the dense steam filled the bathroom like a sauna, dampening his clothes and hair slightly and making him sweat, he could read it. He could read it clearly, as though it were put there only moments ago.
He took out his phone and snapped a picture with the tiny camera, checked it after it processed to ensure it photographed the image, then snapped the phone closed.