Raven returned to his room.
Missy was nowhere in sight.
But he could still smell the faint trace of her scent.
Raven followed the trace to the bed. He knelt beside it and peeked underneath.
Missy lay flat on her chest with her face pressed into her open hands. She muttered worried words to herself.
“It’s all right, Missy.”
She raised her head. “Is it safe?”
“It wasn’t Antioch?”
“No. Just my two vampires quarreling over…Who knows what? Please come out.”
“It’s safe under here.”
“True, but it isn’t very comfortable.”
“Will you hold me in your arms if I come out?”
“I’m…” He frowned. “I’m sorry?”
“Like when we were under the table. Hold me like that.”
“Ah. Of course. If you come out.”
She scrabbled out into the open air.
“There.” He sat on the floor with his back up against the bed.
She curled up next to him and leaned her head against his upper arm. “Just hold me.”
He smiled and wrapped his arm around her shoulders.
It was a soft and happy sound.
And he was happy.
Robin stood outside the black iron gate.
Voices screamed pain, cried desperation, sobbed despair inside his head. Some voices he knew. Others he did not.
For a hair raising moment, he heard his own voice.
He clamped his hands over his ears and backed away from the gate.
I can’t go in there.
He lowered his hands.
But I gotta find Isellta.
He stepped forward.
I need to find him.
I need to talk to him.
Another step. This one a little faster.
I need to tell him…
Another step. Faster.
I need to tell him I want him to stay with me.
I need him to stay with me.
Full out run to the brick mansion.
He burst through the front door. “ISELLTA!”
He glanced around. This would be so much easier if he had a scent.
Robin walked down the narrow brick halls.
The other voices disappeared.
Her voice was the only one he heard.
“Let’s try something different today.” “How was that?” “How do you feel now?” “Well! That worked better than I thought it would.” “So, doing that made you cry. Interesting. So, what happens if I do this?” “You see this instrument? It can break diamonds. Let’s see what it does to your claws.”
His voice cracked as he yelled the fey’s name again.
But he could still hear her voice.
He unsheathed his claws. “Get out of here! Leave me alone. LEAVE ME ALONE!”
“One claw down. Onto the next one.”
He ran down the hall. “ISELLTA! WHERE ARE YOU?”
Several hours later…
Robin staggered out of the building.
He made it past the gate before dropping to his hands and knees.
He looked down at the snow, but he didn’t see it. He barely even felt it.
Isellta was not there.