Jillian's face was troubled and her eyes big and fearful, but Jake still pressed his irritations upon her.
"Jillian, don't be a stiff! Tell us what you heard! Don't go all panicky and secretive--tell us right now."
Jillian's eyes wavered over Jake's face for only a moment, before she shook her head and strode hurriedly from the room. As she went, she muttered in a desperate voice, "I gotta lock all the doors."
Jake let his mouth open with a look of astonishment. "I don't believe this," he spat, standing and blinking.
Travis was hesitant, but he took this moment to ask Jake, "Well, what did you hear on the phone? Who asked for Jillian? Was it a horrible monster as Jillian seems to think?"
"No!" Jake said, "Of course not; it was the voice of a man."
"What did he say?"
"He didn't say anything. He just asked for Jillian."
"And now Jillian's all upset?" asked Mel. "Well I think you should go right after her and demand to know why she's gone all weird."
"Yes," Jake said with defiance. "Come on everyone, Jillian is being stupid. She has to tell us what she heard."
Jake moved from the room, and the others began to follow, but Mel lingered behind. She watched them go, a curious glint in her eye. She didn't know why, but something about the situation tugged at her and told her to take things into her own hands. She wanted to hear the voice on the phone too. And so, not knowing why, she went to the phone and lifted the receiver.
To her logic's surprise, and to her instinct's delight, the line was already connected. She put the receiver to her ear.
"Hello there, Mel," said a gentle voice.
Mel's face split with a terrible grin. "Hi," she giggled. "Who're you?"
The smooth, graceful voice responded with a hint of amusement. "That's a secret."
Mel's eyes glittered, and she began a conversation with the Voice.
"'Ello, where's Mel?" asked Linus, a few moments later as they stood in a small room having cornered Jillian.
Jake looked up from Jillian's closed expression, and said, "I don't care. Go find her if you're worried. I am going to get some answers from our quiet one."
Jillian's eyes narrowed. 'As if it was a big game!' she thought. And she was about to lay Jake flat with her explanation when Linus's words suddenly clicked in her mind. She jolted to her feet.
"Mel's on the phone!" she cried.
Jake gave a glare of irritation and then grabbed Jillian by the shoulders. "Calm down!" he cried.
"No, you don't understand!"
"That's because you're not telling me anything!" roared Jake.
A deathly silent filled the room, and then they heard a sound. It was a clawing at the door.
"You'll understand soon enough," Jillian whispered.