Raven put on his suit coat and buttoned it up. He put on his military-styled coat just as Missy got out of bed.
He felt deeply mortified.
Missy was wearing just a hospital gown and her underwear.
“What? Where are your regular clothes?”
“Stupid.” Robin muttered.
They took them away to keep me here until they need me and then they’ll give them back to me and tell me to transform and go kill whoever or whatever they want killed and then they’ll take my clothes back when they’re all done with me and then—-
“Stop!” Raven snapped. “I’ve heard enough.”
She ducked her head and turned away from him.
“I’m sorry, Missy. I’ll find you something to wear.”
“This is sure taking a whole lot longer than I thought it would. So she’s in her skivvies. So what? Let’s go.”
Raven didn’t even acknowledge that statement.
He walked over to the linen and gown cabinet and opened it.
There were hospital gowns galore stacked in there – from pediatric size to severely obese adult size – along with their matching hospital slacks.
These won’t keep her warm, but it certainly is better than what she is wearing now. He pulled out a young adult size for both the gown and the slacks and handed them to her. “Put these on, miss, and be quick about it.”
She smiled. You gonna stand around and watch?
He stiffened. “Certainly not.” He returned to Robin and grabbed him by his coat collar. “We are going to give her privacy.”
Robin snarled at him. “Lord of no fun, that’s what you are.”
Robin leaned his head against the wall.
No one else was about.
Just him and Raven.
He closed his eyes.
I can cancel out Pinkerlee, which leaves me with Jackson and Henspence.
A mental image of that man grabbing Isellta’s hair played in his mind.
Isellta looked up at him with fear and hurt.
It’s my fault.
It’s my fault.
I refused to show him any appreciation.
I refused to let him get too close.
I couldn’t let go of my anger.
I held on to it too tight.
It’s my fault.
He spun around and pounded his fist on the wall.
That failed to make him feel any better.
The man’s face sprouted a mask and slimmed into a woman’s shape. She opened her mouth and laughed.
He extended his claws and attacked the wall. “SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!”
He wanted to cry out in pain, but the muzzle held his mouth tightly shut. He could do nothing but moan.
And she laughed.
Isellta stood beside her. He looked at Robin with sorrow. Sorrow that blurred into confusion.
Robin opened his eyes.
Was that sorrow always there?
What does it mean?
He was sorry to see me be tortured? Is that it? Why? What was I to him but another one of her guinea pigs? What did he care?
Why did he care?
He is incapable of love. So, it can’t be that.
So, what the heck is it?
Missy came out in her brand new get up. She had exchanged the gown Raven had given her for one that was a lot longer. It covered her entire back half and dragged on the floor. The laces in front were tied up tight, but the neck line sagged all the same. She had tucked the shorter gown into her slacks.
“What’s your problem?” asked Robin.
“They look like pajamas.” said Raven.
Raven gave him a stricken look. “She’s about to go outside in her pajamas.”
“Oh, for…gah! You can bandage your wounded butler sensitivities later, Raven. Let’s get gone.”
Antioch watched the monitors.
Everything was under control. All of his workers had followed the Emergency Alert plan perfectly. Years of training finally paid off.
They had carefully screened all of the people who entered the safe room.
They were all of his people.
So, the vampire was still out there.
He tapped a button on his sunglasses.
All of the monitors for Jackson and Henspence blacked out, leaving only the Pinkerlee ones up and running.
His gaze travelled from screen to screen to screen to screen, watching for any irregularities, any unexplained movement.
He sat up straight.
Two men stepped out of XQ”s recovery room.
The one punched the wall repeatedly before tearing into it.
He tapped a button on the other side of his sunglasses.
The camera zoomed in on the wall’s assailant.
It was a man with a well-defined facial scar.
Antioch’s smile grew. “Hello, Robin.”