Ambrose stopped at the brick wall.
Robin looked at him in mute desperation.
I’m right here, Am’rose.
Ambrose frowned. If Preyuna weren’t here, I’d say that this is an empty cell and leave. No questions. No doubts. But Preyuna is here. Preyuna is queen of the fey. She can’t be trusted.
For all I know, this wall might be an illusion.
He reached towards the wall.
Ambrose’s hand reached towards Robin’s face.
The muzzle’s mouth shield pressed hard against the skin below his nose and all around his mouth. But Robin didn’t care. He pushed against his restraints, trying to get his face closer to Ambrose’s hand.
If he touches me, he’ll know. He’ll know I’m here.
It could be an illusion. Just an illusion.
Ambrose’s hand touched the brick wall.
Ambrose’s hand stopped just inches in front of his face.
Robin growled in frustration and kept pushing. The metal pressed hard. If he weren’t a vampire, the pressure would have ruptured his skin.
But he kept pushing.
I just need to get a little closer!
The brick wall was rough, with all of those microcatches that all brick walls seem to have. Ambrose moved his hand over it, feeling for any weaknesses, any signs that this was a new wall.
But it didn’t feel any different from any other brick wall in the dungeon. No wet cement. No still settling bricks. The grout had that old grout texture to it.
Barbara finished her investigations and came over to Ambrose. “Anything?”
“No. But let me try one more thing.” Ambrose moved his hands up the coarse bricks as if he were feeling up Barbara’s figure. Hands wide open. Movements soft. He touched his forehead against the wall and whispered the gentlest, loveliest seduction to it. By all right and logic, that wall should have toppled over and/or burst open.
But it stood still and disinterested.
Robin tried to jerk his wrists free. If he could just free one wrist and one arm, he could reach for Ambrose. He could make his presence known. But the restraints on his wrists were just as strong as the ones on his face and neck. He kept trying. He desperately kept trying. Ambrose was right there. He had to keep trying, no matter what.
He extended his claws as far as they could go. The restraints prevented his wrists’ movement, but his fingers were still free. He could still bend his fingers and reach with them.
He reached, stretching his fingers and claws as far as they could go.
Just one touch. All I freakin’ need is one dumb stupid touch and he’ll know I’m here.
Ambrose raised his head and frowned. “It didn’t fall down, open up, disintegrate, or anything like that.”
“So, what does that mean?” Barbara asked.
He shook his head. “I guess I was wrong. It’s just a wall.”
Robin’s pupils widened in panic. No! Am’rose, it ain’t a wall. It’s some rotted fey trick. Please please please…
“Robin isn’t here.” Ambrose took a step back. He was now out of reach.
No…Am’rose. Please. Please don’t leave me.
“Are you sure?” Barbara asked.
He nodded. “Very sure.”
Robin kept trying to reach for him. Ambrose was out of his reach, but he kept trying.
“Come on. We have a whole dungeon to check out before Preyuna returns.”
Robin kept trying.
Ambrose and Barbara left his cell and closed the door behind them.