Ileana had been up and down the streets and alleys surrounding Bellum since Sunday when Cole stepped out and never came back. How did you begin to track someone down who seemed to have disappeared? There was no sign of him in Bellum -- from catacombs to the door to the Roof, she had been everywhere. Between her searches, Ileana called Cole's phone over and over, leaving messages until his voicemail inbox was full. Stefan couldn't get her to stop or to sleep, no matter what sort of coaxing he attempted.
When Ileana climbed the stairs again to 1203 after another day of wandering the streets for some sign of him, she almost expected to see a package. It confirmed all the sick fears that kept running through her head since Sunday. She didn't touch the package at first, nudging it a little with her foot as if she expected it to blow up or leave a streak of blood across the cold floor.
Unlocking the door and letting it swing open, Ileana picked up the package with her good hand and kicked the door shut behind her. She didn't want to open it. As if she could somehow delay reality if the box was never opened, but the package was opened and her hand shook as she took the music box out. A music box? It didn't make sense, but her heart was hammering in her chest as she turned the crank to wind it up.
When the song started, she knew what it meant. The room swam and came up around her quickly as she crumpled to her knees. Her hand covered her mouth, her muffled screams of loss and terror drowning out the twinkling song of the music box.