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When Katherine Solomon finally saw the massive bronze doors of the library swing open before her, she felt as if an emotional floodgate had burst. All the fear and confusion she had bottled up tonight came pouring through.

The figure in the library doorway was Warren Bellamy, a friend and confidant of her brother’s. But it was the man behind Bellamy in the shadows whom Katherine felt happiest to see. The feeling was apparently mutual. Robert Langdon’s eyes filled with relief as she rushed through the doorway . . . directly into his arms.

As Katherine lost herself in the comforting embrace of an old friend, Bellamy closed the front door. She heard the heavy lock click into place, and at last she felt safe. Tears came unexpectedly, but she fought them back.

Langdon held her. “It’s okay,” he whispered. “You’re okay.”

Because you saved me, Katherine wanted to tell him. He destroyed my lab . . . all my work. Years of research . . . up in smoke. She wanted to tell him everything, but she could barely breathe.

“We’ll find Peter.” Langdon’s deep voice resonated against her chest, comforting her somehow. “I promise.”

I know who did this! Katherine wanted to yell. The same man who killed my mother and nephew! Before she could explain herself, an unexpected sound broke the silence of the library.

The loud crash echoed up from beneath them in a vestibule stairwell—as if a large metal object had fallen on a tile floor. Katherine felt Langdon’s muscles stiffen instantly.

Bellamy stepped forward, his expression dire. “We’re leaving. Now.”

Bewildered, Katherine followed as the Architect and Langdon hurried across the great hall toward the library’s famed reading room, which was ablaze with light. Bellamy quickly locked the two sets of doors behind them, first the outer, then the inner.

Katherine followed in a daze as Bellamy hustled them both toward the center of the room. The threesome arrived at a reading desk where a leather bag sat beneath a light. Beside the bag, there was a tiny cube-shaped package, which Bellamy scooped up and placed inside the bag, alongside a—

Katherine stopped short. A pyramid?

Although she had never seen this engraved stone pyramid, she felt her entire body recoil in recognition. Somehow her gut knew the truth. Katherine Solomon had just come face-to-face with the object that had so deeply damaged her life. The pyramid.

Bellamy zipped up the bag and handed it to Langdon. “Don’t let this out of your sight.”

A sudden explosion rocked the room’s outer doors. The tinkling of shattered glass followed.

“This way!” Bellamy spun, looking scared now as he rushed them over to the central circulation desk—eight counters around a massive octagonal cabinet. He guided them in behind the counters and then pointed to an opening in the cabinet. “Get in there!”

“In there?” Langdon demanded. “They’ll find us for sure!”

“Trust me,” Bellamy said. “It’s not what you think.”