Jay had become all despondent again. Maelin was doing her best to comfort him.
I feel like I’m an unnecessary character. I don’t belong here in this moment.
“I should leave.”
Maelin looked up at him. “I’ll come with you.”
“No, you’re. You’re busy. Don’t worry. I’ll be fine on my own.”
Capernaum touched LM’s shoulder and materialized.
Maelin stood and placed herself in between the ghost and Jay. “Who are you?”
“I’m a friend of LM’s. We can do formal introductions later. I want to get right to the point. I tried to rescue Isellta.”
Jay raised his head. “How?”
“I entered his mind. I went to…wherever that dark place was. I found him. I tried to pick him up. I was going to carry him back here.”
Jay stood. “I don’t understand.” He looked at Maelin. “I thought only fey could enter that state. Isn’t that what Preyuna said?”
She thought it over. “It could be because he’s a ghost. He isn’t limited.”
“Anyway,” Capernaum said. “I tried to pick him up, but my arms went right through him. I couldn’t touch him.”
“So, what can we do?” Maelin asked.
“He needs Robin. The real, true Robin. No fakes. No impersonations. Robin has to come here. If Robin doesn’t come, Isellta will die. And that is the truth.”
“Then, I’ll go back and get him.”
“No.” LM said. “Stay here, Maelin. You’re needed here. I’ll go back. I’m just an extra wheel, anyway.”
Capernaum gave him a compassionate look. “I’ll be with you, my dear friend.”
LM smiled. “I know.”
Carthage followed the guard to the front door. He didn’t say anything and the guard maintained an unfriendly silence.
That went so much better than I’d expected it to go. Mark Caten offered me a job with benefits and with pay equal to what I was getting at The Institute.
Maybe I misjudged him.
Maybe everyone who’s talked trash about him has misjudged him.
Maybe he’s just very misunderstood.
Maybe they’re all jealous of his business acumen. That would make sense. He has so many businesses that he’s running and they’re all doing well. It’s enough to make anyone jealous.
The guard opened the front door. “Get lost.”
Carthage smiled. “I was lost, but now I’m found.” He left the mansion.
The guard closed the door.
LM followed Capernaum to the front door. “I appreciate you leading the way. Knowing how I am, I probably would have gotten myself lost.”
Capernaum stopped. “LM, about what you said in there.”
The half-fey stopped walking.
“You are not an extra wheel. I know you feel that way. I know you feel lost and uncentered without The Institute.”
“That was home.”
“I know. But Robin and his friends are good people.”
“I’m sure they are, but they don’t have any space for me. I can see it, Capernaum. I can feel it when I’m in the room with them. They don’t want me. They don’t need me. They don’t care about me.”
“They don’t know you, LM.”
LM bowed his head. “They don’t want to know me.”
“You don’t know that for sure. Give them a chance to know you. Open yourself up to them. Try to befriend them.”
“They’re so close to each other.”
“Give them a fair chance.”
LM sighed. “I’ll try.”
“Good. Come on. Let’s go.”
LM opened the door and left the mansion.