Part 723 – Taxi Ride Home

Preyuna strode outside.

The wind caught her hair and blew it into a wild, radiant fury.

He turned me down.

Isellta turned me down for an ugly, brutish human.


It doesn’t make sense.

It doesn’t make any sense.

She stood at the edge of the cliff and stared off into the distance.

He could have me and I would take him.

He would be gentle to me. I know it. I can tell.

He wouldn’t do what Mark Caten does to me. Little fool wouldn’t even know how to be like that.

But he doesn’t want me.

Mark Caten wants me.

She held her head with pride, dignity, and barely restrained anger.  I dance to his music and play his games to the end. I always will.

But I will be so glad when Ambrose Smith lands the killing blow. I might even cheer.

She closed her eyes and enjoyed the feel of the warming wind against her skin.

When will Hildreth Mayhew make his move?

When will he fail?

She imagined the shock on Mark Caten’s face as Ambrose ended his life. She imagined it in deliberately vivid details.

And she smiled.

I want to be there when it happens.


Robin slept with the crown of his head pushed against the inside of the taxi’s door. His feet dangled off the edge of the seat. His bad eye cracked slightly open.

Missy had her own private theory about how he had acquired that scar. It involved swords. A lot of swords. And one well-aimed swipe.

Raven sighed in his sleep.

His head remained precariously balanced on Missy’s shoulder.

“I wonder when he’ll drop into my lap. I hope he does. That would be nice. My pretty shirtless Raven sleeping in my lap. Raven.”

She moved her fingers across his forehead.

Smooth skin.

Hard bones.

Silky hair.

“This is him. My Raven. He’s here. He’s really here with me. It isn’t a dream. Or maybe it’s a very convincing dream. Maybe I’m still in The Institute. Maybe I’m dreaming maybe I’m hallucinating maybe I’m dying and these are my last wishful thinking thoughts. Desperate wishful thinking thoughts to be with him to run away with him to be free.”

“But I am free. Hm. I wonder, though.”

She closed her eyes and tried to transform into XQ.

Nothing happened.

For a moment, one unspoken moment, she felt regret’s bite and more. She felt as if someone dear to her had died.

The moment passed as all moments must and do.

She looked down at the vampire sleeping off his day exhaustion on her shoulder.

“I should hate him. After what he did to Antioch, I should hate him so much I’d want to throw him out of the speeding taxi even though the taxi isn’t really speeding but that is besides the point of it all.”

Raven moaned in his sleep. “May Rose…Miss Farlington…Mis…Mi…”

She kissed his forehead.

“Missy.” He relaxed.

“I don’t know how to hate him. My pretty Raven.”


The taxi driver side-glanced at his mirror.

Let’s see. I got a young woman dressed up like an escaped patient, one guy with a scarred up face, and another guy who looks like he crawled out of a Japanese vampire comic book.

Sad thing is: These aren’t the weirdest lot I’ve had to trek around.

Sure hope those two guys aren’t vampires. It’s a pain to clean vampire germs out of the car. Expensive too.

I could ask what their combined story is, but I’m thinking it would take way too long and have too many plot twists. I don’t have that kind of time.

He stopped the car.

Case in point. “Here we are.”

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