Antioch washed his hands in the sink as the creature behind him took its last two breaths.
The blood ran down the sink’s drain.
Someone knocked on the exam room door.
“You may come in. The threat has been neutralized.”
One of his colleagues entered the room. He glanced down at the dead creature. “C4?”
“Yes. It had to be done. He’d become too volatile.”
“I see. Sir. We have a situation.”
He soaped up his hands again and resumed washing them. “Regarding…?”
Antioch side-glanced at him. “I’m listening.”
“She’s gone off grid.”
Antioch shut off the water and dried his hands. “Where has she gone?”
“Uncertain, sir, at this time.”
“Was she alone?”
“No. What do you want me to do?”
He examined his hands, searching for traces of C4’s blood. “Well, we could bide our time. She will surely come running back to us.”
“But, sir. She’s off grid.”
“So, maybe she won’t.” He sighed. “Set MLO on her trail.”
“Dead or alive?”
Antioch contemplated the question. “Her time away from us has created an interesting side effect. I told her to transform and she obeyed me. I gave her other commands and she obeyed me. She wound up disobeying me in the end, but I will admit. I’m intrigued.”
He turned to face the other man. “I want her alive. Is that clear?”
“Make sure MLO understands. He can be disturbingly overzealous.”
“Yes. I will, sir.”
Mark Caten played the security video again and again.
Again and again, Preyuna healed the other fey.
He slouched back in his leather chair and smirked. “Isn’t that just the most precious thing? Preyuna playing doctor. Cute.”
But I’m sure she didn’t do it out of pure altruistic fluff. She’s up to something.
He paused the video and stroked her face with his fingertip. “And I can guess: You’re plotting to kill me, aren’t you? My little dump cake. As if you can even touch me. I own you, Preyuna. I so own you.”
He pressed Play and laughed as she restored Isellta’s feathers.
“You’ll always be mine.”