It wasn’t until Robin was half-way back to the good side of town that the pain and hurt hit him.
He drifted to a stop and tried to catch his breath.
He struggled to breathe.
“uhh. Uhh. Nghhh.” He crumpled and broke down in choked up sobs.
Antioch stood, watching and waiting.
He’ll come running back to me.
Of course he will.
Antioch stood still.
He watched and waited.
Robin did not return.
He looked down at LM.
Just as the half-fey uncovered a badly burned head. It was impossible to make out who it was.
But Antioch recognized the faint scent emanating from the burned skin and bones.
LM didn’t say anything. He kept working at uncovering the rest of the body.
Antioch knelt and touched Capernaum’s burned face. “And so is silenced a good friend.”
“And a good man.” LM said softly.
Antioch resumed helping LM.
It hurts like fire.
It hurts like…like exactly what it is.
Death and loss.
“When we are done here, I will hunt. I will return. You will break my lord’s dominion over me.” He glanced at the silent LM. “Is that clear?”
“Good. Let’s get this done.”
Get this done.
As if this were something he doesn’t want to do. Something he doesn’t care about. Just a chore to be completed and forgotten.
He glanced at the vampire.
At his somber expression.
Perhaps I’m wrong.
Perhaps this is killing him too.
I can only hope so.
Someone like Capernaum deserves to be mourned. He shouldn’t be forgotten.
My dear friend.
I will never forget you.
“Ooo. Lookie. Lookie at this.” A punk teenager with screwdrivers duct taped to his leather jacket sauntered over to Robin. “What’s the matter, lil boy? Did you lose your mommy? Huh? Someone steal your pocket change?”
Robin stood and glared at him. “Who you callin’ lil, you dang ugly fool?”
Punk pulled a screwdriver off his jacket. “You. This street here is my territory and you’re trespassing.”
“Oh, freakin’ cry me a river! Get lost, you freakin’ parsnip and snap pea casserole with mushy boiled onions! I ain’t in no mood to deal with you.”
“Parsnip and snap pea casserole? What? What? WHAT?”
“Don’t go whatin’ at me. You heard me just fine. Misread a map and get yourself stupidly lost.”
“You implying I can’t read a map?”
Robin shrugged. “I ain’t implyin’ nothin’.”
“That does it!” Punk raced at him. “You diiiiiiiieeee!”
Robin snarled. “I tell you I ain’t in the mood for this.”
Robin held his ground.
Punk raised his screwdriver to slam it into Robin’s skull.
Robin punched him.
Punk staggered back in shock. “What? What?”
“Like I said, buzz off and leave me alone.”
“That does it! I’m gonna call my friends and they’ll beat your—-”
Robin bared his fangs.
Punk yelped and ran away, screaming, “THE VAMPIRE’S GOING TO KILL ME! AAAAAAAHHHH!” and waving his arms in the air.
Robin scoffed. “Stupid idiot.”