Jay ran down the hall.
There’s only one place she’d be at this time of day.
He turned the corner and kept running.
It’s the last place I want to go and Preyuna’s the last person I want to ask for help. She’ll try to force me into making some sort of deal in exchange. I know she will.
She’s a lot like Caten.
He rounded the second corner and ran all the way to Mark Caten’s office.
Jay took a moment to compose himself. It was not an easy thing to do. He kept thinking about that gray scaling.
It’s something bad.
It’s a sign of something bad. I know it. I just know it.
“Okay. Calm down. Calm. Calm.” He took a deep breath and exhaled. “I can do this.” He knocked on the door in the guards’ secret code. After all, he didn’t want Hank or Dave to knock his head off for bursting into the room.
The door opened and Jay entered the room.
“What are you doing here?” Hank asked.
“I need to talk to Caten.”
“Huh? Who’s with Doll Face?” Dave asked.
“No one. So, I need to make this quick.” He approached his employer’s desk.
Mark Caten looked up at him. “Oh, look who’s here.” He grinned. “So, you missed me already? Well. That’s reasonable. Although, I expected such sentiments much sooner. After all, I am godly perfection. How can you bear to get through your day without gazing fondly at me?”
I’m going to just ignore all of that.
“You’re looking for my darling cupcake. How disappointing. I thought you just wanted to see me.”
“Where is she?”
“Well. She isn’t in here.” He smirked. “But, you know, she could be hiding under my desk. She could be getting ready to—”
“I doubt it. Where is she?”
“I don’t know why you’d doubt something like that. It is possible you know.”
“No. It really isn’t. Where is she?”
Mark Caten chuckled. “Now, why do you keep asking me that? Do you really think I know where she is every minute of the day?” He propped his elbows on his desk. “Or do you think I’ve managed to put a tracking spell on my dear, demure cupcake?”
Mark Caten smiled and tilted his head. “Do you really think I’d do something like that?” He folded his hands and rested his chin on them.
“Tsk. You said that so quickly. That’s hurtful, you know.”
“Look. I don’t have time to banter like this all day. I need to talk to her.”
“For what price?”
Jay clenched his teeth.
“Come now. Everything has a price tag attached to it. I don’t give out favors for free. Hahahaha! You should know THAT by now.”
“What do you want from me?”
“Hmmm. There are so many answers to that question. More than you think or know. Take your little breasted Korean girl, for instance.”
“She’s Chinese, not Korean.”
“Oh, but they’re all the same, aren’t they? But that’s unimportant. What is important is I could take her from you.”
The room spun around Jay’s head. “You touch her. You go anywhere near her. I swear. I swear I’ll—-”
“Hahahahahahaha! Do you really want to threaten me, guard? I have power over you. I have power over your friends. If you threaten me, I will use that power. I’ll take and take and take from you. I’ll leave you alone and broken in a jail cell.” A mean glint sparked in his eyes. “And I’ll forget you.”
Jay spread his hands on the desk and bowed his head. He closed his eyes and waited for the room to stop its infernal spinning.
“What do I want from you? What do I really want from you? I want you to keep your promise.”
Jay opened his eyes.
“After tonight, you will return to your post. No matter what’s going on with your dippy little fey. You will come to me and stand guard. You will not object. You will not try to squiggle out of it for any reason. I don’t care if you’re coughing up blood and have pus pouring out of your ears. You will come to me and stay right where I tell you. Is that clear?”
“Oh, I’m so sorry. You didn’t say that right. Tsk. Tsk. You didn’t say that right at all.”
“Yes.” Jay hesitated only a moment. “Oh, great and magnificent lord.”
Mark Caten’s arms dropped flat to his desk. “Great and magnificent. Great and Magnificent.” He smirked. “Well. That has a wonderful ring to it. I approve. I approve so much I’ll show you where my little crummy cupcake is hiding. Come here.”
Caten brought up his screen of monitors and hit CTRL F.
A message box appeared. WHO DO YOU WISH TO FIND?_________________(Please type in full name and entity).
He muttered his response as he typed it out, “Preyuna Cupcake, fey.”
One Moment….Please…. ….. ……. …… Entity found.
The monitor for Jay’s room lit up.
Preyuna stood next to Isellta.