There, standing 5 feet away from the bathroom door was....... Sanguine wearing his sunglasses in the nearly pitch black house, and he was texting. He glanced up. "Well, hello thar, darlin'."
Lizzy stared. Then she said, "Hi... You're in my house. You're not real, but you're in my house.... texting..."
"Yup! That's right! Well, except fer the not real part. That ain't true." He smiled. "I'm as real as you!" He finished his text, closed his phone and put it in his pocket. "And yer gonna have to come with me, I'm afraid."
Lizzy nodded. "Sure, just give one minute; I need to.... pack some underwear." The wooden floor beneath Sanguine fractured as he sank into it. Not a second later, he was standing inches behind Lizzy. "Nah, I don't think-" he was cut off as Lizzy slammed her elbow into his stomach. He doubled over, and Lizzy spun, smashing her knee into his chin.
Then she fled to her room, grabbing her pink rifle from it's case, checked that it was loaded, and ran to her parents' room. She couldn't see her hand in front of her face in there, but she knew where their bed was. "Mom? Dad?" Her hand found a shoulder and shook it. "Mom? Dad?" They didn't respond. They were either unconscious or dead. She wanted to turn on the light but she remembered she was being hunted by Sanguine and her brother, Tom, may still be in trouble. She calmed herself once more.
Sanguine yelled from somewhere in the house, "Hey! That hurt! You really shouldn't have made me angry!" Closer this time, he yelled again, "They wanted you alive, but I can tell them it was an accident. With all the other live ones I've brought, one dead won't hurt." Lizzy silently crept to the door, carefully glancing out. Sanguine wasn't in sight. Her brother's room was right next door. She took one step.
Sanguine's fist smashed into her side. Lizzy gasped, doubling over. Sanguine was behind her with his strait razor pressed to her neck. Before he could kill her, Lizzy asked, "What did you do to my parents?"
Sanguine smiled. "Don't worry, they ain't dead. I used a strong sedative. They'll be unconscious fer about a day then wake up, not rememberin' anything that happened for the past week or so." Lizzy tried struggling while he was distracted but it was to no avail. Sanguine tut-tutted muttering, "Don't you know it's impolite to struggle with the guy holding a razor to yer neck? Didn't yer parents ever teach you proper manners?"
"Actually, no, they never taught me to keep from struggling when someone holds a knife to my neck." Before he could reply, she spoke again, "And my brother? What did you do to him?"
Sanguine paused, then chuckled, "You know, I don't think I'll answer yer last question." A drop of blood ran down Lizzy's neck. A new voice, smooth as silk with an Irish accent remarked, "You really, probably don't want to do that, Sanguine. Of course, I don't know, maybe you'd like to die." A tall, very thin man wearing a long coat, scarf, sunglasses, and a fedora appeared beside Sanguine and Lizzy, holding a gun, pointed straight at Sanguine. Sanguine, with a high-pitched voiced, said, "That ain't possible! I could see all the entrances! How could you sneak up on me?"
"Simple, I'm a very sneaky person." Silence. "Ok, fine." Skulduggery raised his other hand, in it was a small orb. Sanguine cursed. "A cloaking sphere."
"Yes, so now that your pride has been mended, would you mind terribly unhanding miss Lizzy there?" The floor beneath Sanguine began crumbling. Skulduggery's foot shot out, hitting Sanguine's hand, making him release Lizzy, but Sanguine escaped sinking into the floor. Lizzy stumbled. Then yelled her brother's name, and ran into his room.
A second later, a dark-haired girl crashed through the opposite door breathing hard, and yelling, "Where is he?" Skulduggery looked at her, saying, "Oh, Sanguine, you mean? He just left. What took you so long, Valkyrie?" Valkyrie glared. "You left me to find the way in the woods, in the dark, while you flew!"
Lizzy came out of Tom's room. "He wasn't in there." Quietly, Skulduggery muttered, "I figured... Sanguine probably took him first and came back for you." He extended his gloved hand, "I'm Skulduggery Pleasant, by the way, and this disorderly girl is Valkyrie," earning him another glare. Lizzy nodded. "Yes, you're amazing, and I'll probably be staring at you in awe in the very near future, but right now, all I want to know is where they took my brother." Skulduggery nodded, dropping his hand and simply saying, "Dublin."