The hallway lights silhouetted Maelin as she paused in the dungeon’s doorway. She sniffed the air, searching for Robin’s scent.
Maelin jolted in surprise as she found it. A small trickle of tangerine in the air.
She didn’t hesitate any further.
She ran down the black-and-gray marbled stairs. “Robin? Robin!”
‘sellta! Come on. Where are you? Why ain’t you answerin’—-
Robin’s good pupil widened as Maelin ran straight to his prison cell.
She ain’t the one I’m waitin’ for, but help is help.
I’m here! I’M HERE!
The cell door was unlocked.
She opened it and walked right in.
Here! Right here! See me. Please see me! I’m right freakin’ here!
Maelin frowned as she glanced around the empty cell. “This isn’t right. His scent is in here, but…he isn’t?”
She widened her pupils and searched for any trace of fey magic.
I wanna scream.
I wanna kick holes in the freakin’ wall.
I wanna throw assorted junk right at her.
How ain’t she seein’ me?
I’M RIGHT HERE! HELLLLLOOOOOOO! AAAAHHHHHHHHHH!
Not a single trace.
But his scent is in here.
But he isn’t in here.
What am I missing?
Maelin glanced around the cell.
Bars and blank space. He isn’t here.
Darn it, chick! Don’t just stand there, lookin’ stuck. Move! Do somethin’ useful. Come here. See me. I’m standin’ right here. Come on!
He startled as she walked towards him.
Yes! Come on! You see me! You see me!
Maelin stopped and scrutinized the bars.
There’s nothing here but bars and empty space. But I need to be sure.
For Isellta’s sake, I need to be absolutely sure.
She reached forward.
Robin’s good pupil widened further as she reached for his face. His heart pounded arrhythmically inside his ears.
She sees me.
She’s gonna touch me.
She’s gonna set me free.
‘sellta. ‘sellta, I’m gonna be there. I’m—
Her hands stopped short of his face.
What the heck you doin’?
She moved her hands downward as if she were either touching something or giving him a very odd blessing.
There’s nothing in here.
She moved her hands down the cold iron bars.
But his scent is still in here.
But he isn’t in here.
She curved her hands around the bars.
I need to talk to Preyuna. I don’t know if she’ll give me any honest answers. Probably not. But she is my best bet.
I’m right here. Maelin, I’m right here. Look at me. LOOK AT ME!
She sighed and lowered her hands.
Please. Please help me.
She turned and walked away.
PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME!
She walked through the open door, closed it behind her, and walked away.