Raven tripped and stumbled out of the Surgical Services. “Missy. Missy.” He hurried down the hall as best as he could, counting doors.
What if he…?
What if he killed her?
What if he took her away?
What if she is gone?
He glanced around, completely lost.
“Push it down.”
He pressed his hands against the sides of his head.
“Push the panic down. Keep it down. Never let it surface. Never yield to it. Never…”
I will find her.
She is here.
I WILL find her.
He lowered his hands and ran all the way back to Missy’s room.
He entered her room.
She wasn’t there.
He forgot how to breathe.
He searched the entire room with the same results.
She is not here.
Missy is not here.
Where would she be?
Where would he take her?
He turned and ran to find his fellow vampire.
Isellta smiled at him. His smile was free of any malice. His eyes – completely open-booked and honest.
Robin smiled in return. “Yes. Yes, I can trust you. I know I can.”
Isellta laughed. “Never trust a fey.” He said magic words and a Bossman 550 appeared in his arms. He laughed louder and wilder as he pulled the trigger. “NEVER TRUST A FEY!”
Someone grabbed Robin’s shoulder.
Robin let out a day-exhausted battle cry and punched whoever it was right in the face.
“Well. That was vastly unnecessary.”
Robin opened his eyes and saw Raven sitting on the floor and rubbing his jaw. “What the heck ya doin’? Buggin’ me when I’m trying to get my sleep…Ya stupid or somethin’?”
“I need your help.”
“Yeah? What else is new?”
“Missy is gone.”
Robin stood quickly.
Right on Raven’s foot.
Robin relocated his foot. “Whaddya mean she’s gone? I thought you were watchin’ her like the lovesick stupid you are.”
“My day exhaustion overcame me. I.” He looked rightfully embarrassed. “I fell asleep.”
“Well, ain’t that a fine thing? Now what?”
“We need to check the monitors. Find out if she is still in this building.”
“And if she ain’t?”
Raven looked taken back by that question. “I will find Antioch.” He smiled and it was not at all a nice sight. “Antioch will tell me.”
“Huh. When you get a chance, remind me not to get on your bad side. Huh. I didn’t even know you had one.”
“All vampires have a bad side, sir.”
“I guess so.”
They entered the control room and stopped short at the same time.
Antioch turned in his chair and smiled at them. “Hello.”
Raven kept his hands flat at his sides. “Where is Missy?”
“I don’t know anyone named Missy.”
“I asked you a question, sir.”
“But it wasn’t a direct order. I don’t have to obey you if it isn’t a direct order.”
“Very well.” Raven approached him.
Antioch got out of his chair and backed away. He flinched as Raven came too close and stopped too close.
“Now. There are two ways I can go about this matter. I could use my lord’s privilege and force you to tell me. Or.” He gently brushed the back of his hand against Antioch’s face. “I could be very—” He pressed his body up against Antioch. “—nice about it.”
Antioch shivered. “Please. Don’t.”
Raven breathed in his ear. “Don’t? Which one? I will do one or the other, sir. Both if I feel it is necessary.”
“I don’t have her.”
Raven stroked the white marks on Antioch’s neck.
Antioch broke out in a sweat.
“Tell me. Where is she?”
“I gave her to my healers. I did the best I could, but there are some things I cannot undo.”
“Yet, your healers can?”
“Yes. Please. Get away from me.”
Raven considered his request. “Where are the healers?”
“Stop touching me.”
“I asked you a question, sir.” His fingers moved along Antioch’s collarbone. “I demand an answer.”
“Fine. She’s on the basement level. They’re all on the basement level.”
“That is nice information, sir, but I fear it is insufficient.”
He clenched his hands into fists. “What more do you want?”
“Well. There are many ways we can go about this, sir. You could go down to your basement level and retrieve her for me. That would be one way. Or you could write detailed instructions on how to get down there and back again.” He chuckled. “Keep in mind, sir, I am asking you very nicely.” He nipped his neck.
Antioch cringed. “Fine. I’ll do whatever you want. Just get away from me. Stop touching me. I’ll go get her for you, if that’s what you want.”
“Yes. And I will not abide by any excuses.” He bit him harder.
Antioch turned pale. “I understand.”
Raven released him. “Good. Go.”
Antioch ran out of the room.
Robin came over to Raven. “Yeah. I don’t want to be on your bad side. Ever.”