Ambrose unfolded the note and read it.
Hi. My name is Jay Harris……I guess that name doesn’t mean anything to you.
Huh. I really stink at this sort of thing.
Let me start all over again.
Look. I know you, Robin. I know about you and Isellta.
hahaha. Well. That makes me sound creepy, doesn’t it?
Sorry. This note is just all over the place. I wouldn’t be surprised if you crinkled it up and threw it away before you could get to this paragraph.
Just bear with me.
If you’re still reading.
Isellta needs you.
Isellta needs you. He needs you, Robin. Just you. Just you.
Robin. Please. Call me.
When you get this note, please call me. I need you. Isellta…The poor kid. Please come. Please. Please come. Call me. Tell me that you’ll come.
*sigh* There’s so much more I want to say to convince you. I’m sure I’m doing the worst possible job of it. You probably think I’m insane or a stalker or something worse.
Doesn’t matter what you think about me.
Just believe me.
Isellta needs you. He needs you, Robin. He needs you.
Please call me. Please. Let me know that you got this note, that you read it, that you understand, that you believe me….that you will come.
Please. Robin, please come.
I don’t know what else to say. No. Actually, I do. But it hurts too much to say out loud. It hurts too much to put it into words — spoken or otherwise. Please.
Please. Call me. When you get this note, call me please call me, Robin.
Ambrose frowned. “I don’t understand. What is this?”
“It is a letter, sir.”
“It is from one of Mark Caten’s guards.”
Ambrose blanched. He looked down at the black letters on the white paper.
Sun shining bright.
“Look at the vampire.”
“Don’t worry. He can’t escape.”
Olessa smiled. “Let’s try something new.”
He scratched the invisible wall over and over while the people on the other side smiled.
He grew weaker from exposure and hunger.
And Olessa wrote her observations in her notebook.
The paper fell to the floor.
Ambrose pressed his hands against the sides of his head. His stomach churned as the memories played on. “make it stop. make it stop.”
Barbara, help me. Make it stop.
“Sir? Are you all right?”
“make it stop.” He scrunched his eyes. “someone. help. make it stop.”
Hands touched his hands.
The memories quieted down.
His body relaxed.
“Are you all right?” Raven released his hands.
Ambrose nodded. “Sorry.” He lowered his hands. “I hate it when that happens. I hate that weakness, that…power those rotten Catens have over my mind. I hate them.”
“It is an understandable hatred, sir. They are dishonorable people.”
“They come from a long line of dishonorable people.” Ambrose picked up the paper. “So. One of Mark’s guards gave this to you.”
“It’s addressed to Robin.”
“But you still have it. Why?”
“Why ain’t you done yet? Darn it!” Robin yelled.
Raven looked over at the curtained off area. “Because it came from one of Mark Caten’s guards. I do not know if I should trust him. He seemed so earnest about it all. Yet, what manner of man would voluntarily work for someone as vile as Mark Caten? How can I believe him? How can I trust him? How can I be certain that he will not betray Robin?”
“So, what are you going to do? Are you going to give him this letter or not?”
Raven didn’t look at Ambrose. “I know I ought to. It is the right thing to do. It would be the honorable thing to do.”
Raven curled his hands into fists.
“I do not know. Is it right? What if I am wrong? What if this is some needlessly elaborate trap? I do not want to lose him the way I lost my Bad Vampire Club.”
“Raven. Hey.” He laid his hand on the other vampire’s shoulder. “I understand your fears. I know what Caten’s like. I don’t want Robin going anywhere near him either. But.”
“I know. Isellta.”
“Isellta and Robin. We can’t keep them apart, not even for Robin’s safety. I know Robin. I know how this separation is just eating him alive.”
“Indeed it is, sir.”
“Then, give him the letter, Raven. Let him read it. Let him call this Jay fellow. Let him decide on his own next step.”
“But what if it is the wrong thing to do?”
“Put yourself in his place and ask yourself, ‘What is the right thing to do?'”
Raven bowed his head.
Ambrose handed him the letter. “You know the answer.”
“I do, sir.” Raven took the paper. “I unfortunately do.”