Maelin leaned her head back against the wall and sighed.
He’s dying. Isellta is dying.
That’s all I have to tell Robin.
I should tell him now and get it over with.
But he’s sleeping. I need to wait until he wakes up. I could wake him up, but he’ll be too groggy to pay attention.
And he’ll drop back to sleep.
So? What should I do? Wait for tonight? Isellta could be dead by then.
I’ll wait him out. He’s bound to wake up at least one more time. I’ll tell him then.
LM dragged a chair into the room.
Maelin followed him.
Elsie jerked Ambrose out of Hildreth’s grip and punched him with all of her strength. If he weren’t a vampire, he would have lost at least half of his teeth.
The vampire dropped to the floor.
“Whoa!” Jeff hadn’t meant to say it out loud. It just escaped on him.
When people say that a guy hits like a girl, well. They clearly have never seen Elsie hit.
She promptly swung a punch at Hildreth, who ducked it like the pro he was.
They launched into a tense and heated conversation, but Jeff didn’t pay attention to their words. He watched Elsie. How she talked. How she focused so completely on Hildreth and nothing else. Not even Ambrose.
“Elsie is amazing.” Jeff said. “Simple truth.”
A whole troupe of nurses tromped down the hallway, chattering happily about the medical inaccuracies in The Walking Dead tv show.
Hildreth smiled. “Absolute truth.”
“The way she walloped that vampire…I’d love to see her in a real fight.”
“I’ve seen it. She is powerful and fierce.” His smile softened. “She is breathtaking.”
Jeff side-glanced his friend. “You have it so bad.”
Hildreth laughed. “So bad it’s actually the worst. I love her. I love her, Jeff, with everything I am.”
Jeff felt a strange blend of joy, sorrow, and pride. “‘With everything I am’. I don’t know if I can surrender myself like that again. Laura was my one true love and I was hers.” He chuckled. “Sounds cheesy to say that out loud.”
“Not at all. Hey. I’d hate to jump subjects when we’re being so soft and sentimental.”
A teenaged couple barged down the hall, arguing about someone named Judy.
Hildreth edged out of their way. “Is Darius still cooped up in this side of town?”
“I think so. Why?”
“What do you say we go bug the poor man with our wellwishing?”
“Well wishing?” Jeff shook his head. “Is that even a real thing?”
Jeff friendly punched Hildreth’s arm. “You really are a dweeb. I hope you know that.”
“Oh, I do.”
“Oh, no! The blasters have gone off line! Oh, no! What are we going to do? Captain! Speak words of wisdom to us!”
“Well, my dear Homonogi. I will tell you what we are going to do. We are going to PANIC! PANIC! HIT THE PANIC BUTTON! AHHHH! THE HUMANITY!”
The entire crew ran around the bridge, waving their arms in the air and screaming.
All except for Homonogi, who sat at her station, looking miffed.
Darius sighed. “I can feel my IQ seeping out of my ears.” He hit the mute button on the remote, but their antics played out even worse in silent mode.
He shut the TV off.
Arabella came over to his bedside and gently pulled his blond ponytail.
He looked up at her.
She spoke sweet, soft Spanish to him and it was like music. Music that she was singing. Music that he could hum along to.
And it felt like music he had heard all of his life.
It was his heartbeat.
It was his breath.
It was his lifeline connecting him to her.
Darius smiled. “I love you, Ara.”
“Don’t worry, mi corazon. We will be going home soon.”
He sighed. “I hope so.”
Someone knocked on his door.
“Who is it?”
“A dweeb and a dork.” Hildreth said.
Darius’ smile grew. “In that case, come on in.”