Barbara ended the call and put her phone on the bed. “So, that’s done. Now, one more person to convince.” She smiled. “One more person besides me.” She crawled over to Sarah’s side. “Hey.”
Sarah scowled at her and tapped her lips in an obvious shushing gesture.
“Oh. Okay. I’ll be quiet.” Barbara waited a few minutes.
Sarah settled back into her book.
“I was about to go visit Ambrose and I was—-‘
Sarah slapped her book closed and looked eagerly at the young woman. She tapped her chest three times.
Barbara giggled. “I’m guessing that means you want to come with?”
The small girl nodded enthusiastically.
“I can’t blame you.”
I should be safe with a whole crowd with me. Neither of us will do anything inappropriate in front of them. Especially in front of Dad.
Sarah scurried out of bed. She grabbed Barbara’s wrists and pulled as hard as she could.
Barbara giggled. “Don’t worry. I’m coming. I’m coming.”
John sat in the passenger seat. He let Clarice drive. He didn’t mind it one bit. It gave him a chance to admire her without accidently crashing the car.
And he admired her in silence.
Maybe Clarice was aware of his staring. Maybe she wasn’t. But she smiled as she drove to Raven’s house. She smiled and hummed a soft love song.
It was a song John wasn’t familiar with. He thought about asking her what it was, but he decided to let it go. He didn’t want to ruin this one, quiet moment.
He soaked in the moment and enjoyed its peace.
Leaving Missy’s room wasn’t too hard. Jeff had done it before. He could easily do it again.
Going on the elevator and pressing the button for the first floor, however, went far beyond hard. It was unnerving.
Jeff paced from wall to wall, wall to door, back to wall to wall.
This is a bad idea.
I shouldn’t leave her alone.
I shouldn’t leave. That Carthage snake is going to show up again. He’ll overcome LM somehow and carry Tessa away. I should go back up. I shouldn’t leave. I shouldn’t leave.
The elevator stopped and dinged for the first floor. The door slid open.
I’ll be quick. I’ll see what Barbara wants and hurry back here.
It was just a matter of minutes. Just a small matter of minutes and she was gone. If I leave her alone, they’ll come for her. They’ll steal her away from me again. I can’t leave her!
But LM is there.
Jeff thought about the half-fey’s solemn promise.
He wouldn’t make a promise like that if he didn’t mean it. He was sincere. He wasn’t lying. He wasn’t trying to trick me.
But he is half-fey. Everyone knows what they’re like.
It’s a matter of trust.
It’s all a matter of trust.
Jeff took a deep breath and left the elevator.
“If he breaks my trust, I swear I’ll break his wings.” He clenched his hands into fists. “I’ll snap them right in half.”