This is ridiculous. I need a better plan.
Maelin stopped at a crosswalk and sniffed the air.
Still no trace of Robin’s tangerine scent.
He is a vampire. He won’t be out and about this time of day. So, what if I head to the residential part of town? If he has a proper home, I should be able to pick up some scent trail over there.
At any rate, it would be better than wasting time out here.
Maelin crossed the street.
Robin couldn’t breathe right.
LM’s left wing kept bumping against his arm, which should have annoyed the vampire.
If I close my eyes…If I don’t look at him, I could pretend. I could lie to myself and say it’s my ‘sellta sittin’ next to me.
It would just be a lie and ain’t a thing like the truth.
He turned to fully face the window.
LM’s wing grazed his back.
But I want it to be him. It ain’t fair to think it, but it is the truth.
If it were him…
He stiffened his posture.
Robin half-turned to look at LM.
He ain’t him, but I could ask him. I could ask him to become him.
But it would be just like Kalyla. It would be just an illusion. He would look like Isellta and sound like him, but he sure won’t be him. He won’t love me like ‘sellta would. “So. You gonna talk about yourself or what?”
LM blinked in surprise. “Are you talking to me?”
LM’s wings rustled. “What did you want to know?”
Robin shrugged and turned back to the window. “Just talk.”
If I hear his voice, I’ll know he ain’t ‘sellta.
I’ll be safe.
The taxi left the residential area and headed into the business side of town.
Ambrose slept peacefully.
LM talked hesitantly about his past at the freak show and at The Institute.
The sound of his voice, so unlike Isellta’s voice, cooled the fires of Robin’s imagination. The vampire kept his focus on the passing scene as the half-fey spoke.
The taxi slowed down and stopped at a red light.
Ambrose kept sleeping.
LM kept talking.
Robin watched the pedestrians walk past the taxi.
So many people.
So many individual stories.
A woman walked past the taxi.
A Chinese woman with long black hair.
The light turned green and the taxi hurried forward.
Robin sat up straight.
Maelin stopped. Her breath caught in her throat as a strange sensation came over her. It was like a single crystalline drop of water falling into a lake, creating ripples upon ripples.
Oh! I know this feeling. Someone’s trying to call to my mind.
What if it’s Jay?
She lowered her mental barriers.
Voices from all around assaulted her mind in a disordered, nonsensical blast of sound, asldjlasasjjnnuyewrfouiahaihiahfahsdjsaosehahdhglaihrualdasdiiii... Maelin scrunched her eyes and focused on finding that one small drop of water.
She mentally waded through the ripples, pushing through the chaos, trying to reach that center.
That one, single voice waiting at the center.
alsdjhuahffahahalookaahsiuhhasd. dodon’t. byeasldjfahiwhen. alsojfash. ajsdhgetthe…buyfournallasdlfjowers. power. asmyoerhvk. sheeeash. he. Maelin. Maelin.
She opened her eyes wide. “Robin?”
Maelin. Come to the hospital. I’m goin’ there. Meet me there. Come. Maelin. Maelin. Maelin.
She didn’t question it.