Raven contemplated her clothes. Only to deeply regret it.
“I know Ambrose said to wait here for him, but something must be done. You cannot go about town dressed in…something that is less than a bed robe.” He stood and held out his hand. “Come. We are going shopping.”
“I swear I will not harm you. I will protect you. I will keep you safe.”
Sarah stood. She started to reach for his hand, but then she stopped. She shook her head.
“Will you come with me?”
She glanced around the alley.
“If you prefer, we could just stay here and wait for Ambrose.”
She shook her head.
“Did you wish to go clothes shopping?”
She looked down at her clothes.
Two hospital gowns: One facing forward, the other facing back.
No hospital slippers.
Just bare legs and bare feet.
She slowly nodded.
He smiled. “Then, come.”
She grabbed his hand and nodded again.
Raven felt acutely aware of his shirtlessness and the holes in his jeans. “But first we must stop at my house.” He winced at just how shady that sounded. “I must change into my proper clothes.”
Sarah did a quick scan of his shirtless chest and torn-kneed jeans. She nodded very emphatically.
The fact that she agreed with him that fervently made Raven want to curl up in the appliance box and die.
Even a child can see the awfulness.
I wonder what Missy would say.
Would she like seeing me dressed in these ungodly slacks?
I wish she were here.
I wish I could ask her.
I wish I could see her reaction.
I suspect she would like it far too much.
Sarah’s body flickered into the fire creature for a moment before returning to normal.
But he held onto her hand. “Come, Sarah.”
She followed him.
LM’s wings rustled uneasily as he followed Antioch into the ruins.
I should tell him that this is a bad idea, but I won’t.
I understand why he’s here.
Antioch stopped. “Where is he? Where did you leave him?”
LM glanced around. What he saw made him feel sick.
So much of the building’s structure now lay on the ground. Only a thin bit of the building still stood. It was like standing inside a hollowed out tooth.
The ceiling had collapsed.
Ash and rubble littered the ground.
And Capernaum was somewhere under all of that.
LM covered his mouth with his fingertips.
I don’t know.
I’ll never be able to find him.
Capernaum stood in between LM and the vampire circus master. “You will have to go through me.”
The vampire laughed. “You seem to have forgotten what I am. What I can do. I can enter your mind and bend it and twist it into blind obedience.”
“You know nothing about me, vamp. I was raised by one of your kind. I learned the hard way how to protect myself. How to protect my mind. You cannot enter my mind. I will know if you do. I will feel it. I will fight it with every bit of strength that I possess.”
The vampire scowled. “He’s mine! He belongs to me!”
“He belongs to no one, vamp. He is his own master. Be gone or I will deck you again.”
The vampire bared his crooked fangs. “This isn’t over. I will come back. I will keep coming back. I will—-”
Capernaum sighed and knocked him out again. “Go ahead. I will always be here to protect him. And to knock you out. Every time.” He looked back at LM and smiled. “You’re safe with me.”
“I will find him. No matter what.” LM walked forward through the ash and the rubble to where he was sure he’d left Capernaum.
I will find you, my dear friend.