Missy was disappointed.
Raven had returned her to the bed. Alone.
He had curled up on the cot. Alone.
She smiled as she stretched her arms and legs out. “Mmm. But it feels so good to have a whole actual bed all to myself. And it’s a very nice bed too. Ooo! I wonder if he really does have a bathtub here. He must because his hair is really nice and clean and soft and he smells so good.”
She hopped off the bed and glanced around the room.
Her gaze fell on Raven.
She walked to the side of his cot and knelt.
He had taken the time to change into his pajamas, which disappointed Missy. She was hoping to see him shirtless again. He slept on his side with his hands tucked up and under his chin. His long hair lay flat and silken against his face. His mouth was slightly open.
“Yep. There’s no denying it. He is one pretty man. Even if he is a vampire, he’s just so pretty. I want to kiss him again only this time I want to kiss his lips. I don’t think I’ve done that yet. I wonder if he’d really mind.”
“I wonder if the vampire who changed him thought he was pretty too. Maybe that’s why he? she? bit him. If I were a vampire, I’d probably bite him and I’d claim him as my lover. That’s what I would do.”
She took the longer strands of his hair and tried to braid it.
A memory flashed like a flake of gold in a fast moving stream.
“Divide it into three and then weave them together. This part first. That one second. This one third. Very good.”
There was no face.
Just her voice.
And it was not Professor Hrashna.
Then, the memory disappeared down the stream.
Missy sat back on her feet. She tried to dredge the memory back.
It was gone.
She rose to her feet.
Intruder. Intruder. Intruder.
She left the bedroom.
All of the bedroom doors were closed.
The hallway was dark.
“Where? Where is it?”
There was nothing in the immediate hall.
At least nothing obvious.
Then, she heard it.
A skittering sound above her head.
Running along the ceiling.
Her heart pounded
She looked up.
It looked down at her with its large ink-colored eyes. It opened its mouth wide, baring its barracuda-like teeth.
It didn’t give her a chance to gasp.
It dropped down on her. Its teeth rasped her face before she turned into flames.
It skittered off of her.
She stood tall. Sparks and prominences arced off her body.
The other creature cowered against Raven’s door. It whimpered and made soft appeasing sounds.
“Antioch sent you.” Her voice snapped and cracked.
It wrapped its long, thin hands over its shoulders and stroked its dark gray skin.
“Who are you?”
It transformed into a boy – no older than sixteen. His hair was long and shaggy and unnaturally gray. He looked at her through heavy, uneven bangs. “I’m MLO.”