Isellta slept peacefully in Preyuna’s arms. He turned his head and rested the side of his face against her chest. He held on to the back of her robe.
But she didn’t appear in his dreams at all. Not even as a cameo. His dreams circled around Robin, Jay, and Ilstheena, in that exact order. Sometimes they all appeared in the same one.
Isellta smiled a little in his sleep.
Isellta’s calm and steady breathing lulled Preyuna to sleep. She fell into one dream that lasted for the rest of the night. In it, her entire harem led by her sister and Ilstheena had come to finally rescue her. They killed Mark Caten in a long, drawn-out process. It was ugly and messy and unpleasant to witness. So much blood it was beyond blood. It was gore. Mark Caten’s screams and pleas for mercy were enough to chill a sensitive person’s bones and blood. It was the stuff of nightmares.
It was the best dream Preyuna had ever had. She slept with a triumphant smile on her face.
Despite the persistent purring on his sound machine, Hank tossed and turned. He muttered anxiously incoherent words as Mark Caten haunted his dreams. In one dream, Dave was nowhere to be seen and Caten would only laugh derisively when Hank asked about Dave. In another dream, Mark Caten was an unseen monster stalking after Dave. In another one, Mark Caten had lost his mind and gone on a killing spree. Isellta was dead. Preyuna was dead. Jay was dead. Maelin was dead. All of Preyuna’s handmaidens. Hank was the only one left. He couldn’t find Dave. He didn’t know if Dave were dead or alive. He ran through the entire mansion, crying out Dave’s name. He ran into the ballroom and found Caten standing in there with blood dripping out of the corner of his mouth. Caten smiled. An ocean of blood poured out of his mouth, splashing and crashing over Hank.
Hank startled awake from that dream. He sat up and rubbed his face. Dave? Babe, please be okay. Be safe. Please. I don’t want to lose you.
He laid back down and tried to fall asleep again. But sleep evaded him. Memories of those dreams haunted him.
Hank stayed awake for the rest of the night.
Petrov couldn’t sleep at all. So, he didn’t even try. He left his room and wandered about the halls. The Great Caten will be okay. He always is. He’ll be fine. I don’t need to worry so much about him. But I can’t help it. I don’t want anything bad to happen to him.
He started to walk past the monitor room.
Petrov contemplated the monitor room’s door for a few minutes. A smile spread across his face. It was a well-known fact that he had power over all four elements. What wasn’t quite as well-known was the fact that he had darkness magic.
Much like a fey using their base magic, Petrov didn’t need to say anything to tap into that darkness. All he had to do was think about it.
So, he thought about it.
Shadowy filaments slithered out of his skin — as soft as a breath — all over his body and through his clothes. His hair strands transformed into the filaments. They all moved slowly, like a sea anemone swaying in the ocean’s currents.
He walked towards the door — his entire body shrouded in the darkness. The door was closed, but that didn’t matter. He walked right through it as if it were wide open.
Petrov sensed Preyuna’s magic in the air. It tried to grab onto him, tried to wreck him with fear and panic. He smiled and waved it away as if it were a simple annoyance. He approached the monitor to Robin’s cell without any difficulty. He glanced at the security guard.
The security guard drank his coffee and watched the other monitors. He seemed to be especially focused on the outside one.
Petrov looked back down at Robin’s monitor. He saw what no one else in Isellta’s trust group had seen — Robin pinned to the wall.
‘sellta. Please. Robin closed his eyes and tried to mentally reach Isellta. Please. I’m here. Don’t go leavin’ me here for another day. Don’t let me starve. Help me. Please. I’m hungry now. I know it’s gonna get freakin’ worst. Please. Save me. I’m here. Can you hear me?
He flexed his fingers and mentally projected the image and sensation of his fingers combing through Isellta’s soft looking hair.
Can you feel me? Am I gettin’ through to you at all? ‘sellta, you even alive? Please speak to me! Let me know I ain’t nuts in callin’ out your name like this. At least let me know you ain’t dead. Please.
He waited and waited, but there was no response of any sort.
Robin opened his eyes. Am’rose? Raven? Can either you dummies hear me? The mental image of Ambrose carrying the wrong prisoner up the stairs stung him with a whole new level of hurt. Why’d you leave me behind? Why didn’t you see me? Darn it all! What the heck! You shoulda been able to smell my scent. My scent ain’t some cheap weak water cologne. It’s all big and loud tangerine. You shoulda known. You shoulda…DARN YOU, AMBROSE! Why didn’t you?
Why’d you abandon me?
Raven? Won’t you come on back and try again? Come back, Raven, and look harder.
Robin’s body shook as he broke down into tears.
I’m right here. Please. Please come back to me. See me. Get me the heck outta here!