Faith hadn't moved or responded at all during the story, but, when I looked at her, I noticed a single tear on her cheek. Maybe she did feel some of the emotions that Afentis had put into the words. It was strange though, that single tear, proof of emotion, on an otherwise completely still and empty-feeling body.
Afentis stood up and smiled. "Did you find a place for Rain?"
I nodded. "A very unusual one. I went with a feeling and took her to a detective. She's sure to be safe there and doesn't need my help."
He looked mildly surprised. "Are you sure that's safe?"
I shrugged a little. "Not entirely. But he appeared trusting and thankful for my thoughts before. He's a good man that wouldn't persecute me even if he did know what I was."
Afentis thought for a moment and looked into my eyes. "If your senses say that, I trust your judgement."
I smiled thankfully. "Thanks."
He stood up, looking out of the window, the rain still racing down on it. "What are you going to do?"
I looked at Faith. "I don't know, maybe look for Isabel, ask her about this..." I let the question hang in the air.
Afentis looked around. "I'm not sure that's safe, Amy. With Muriel in the city looking for her as well, she could easily take you looking for her in the wrong way."
I nodded and looked at my bracelet. "Yes... but..."
He followed my gaze and smiled. "I see... Alright, I wish you good luck. But, please know that I can't protect you."
I nodded and surprised Afentis by giving him a gentle hug. The expression on his face as I pressed mine against his chest was priceless. One of surprise and, yes, almost fatherly love. The hug was partly because of what he'd shared. His history, an intimacy that few people shared with him, I presumed. When I let go, Afentis had his arm around me as well and I looked at him with a smile.
"Did I startle you?"
He smiled warmer than before. "A little, but I'll live."
The rain was still going strong, without showing any sign of lessening. It wasn't great flying weather, and I didn't really have the clothes to go with it. And... It was getting early.
The horizon hadn't really changed color yet, but it would within the next half hour or so. It was uncanny how our bodies could almost feel the time. Then again, so could a lot of animals. They knew where the sun was, even in the deepest cavern, even with thick fur to protect them from the cold. Just instinct. And instinct was one of the many things that got stronger in all of us.
Afentis interrupted my thoughts. "You can sleep here..." There was something else he wanted to say but didn't dare.
I smiled. "I'll keep Faith company, if you'll let me use the phone."
He nodded. "Of course. There's a phone in the kitchen."
It was nice I remembered this, because even before I got turned, I never really told my parents where I was. It wasn't that I didn't want them to know, I just forgot. It's different from not caring, because I understood their worry and wanted to act accordingly. It was just forgetfulness, caused by a chaotic mind that easily got distracted by everything around her.
I walked to the kitchen and rang Hitori.
"Hello?" Hitori's voice, very tired sounding.
I smiled. "Amy here. I'm at the castle, staying here because of the rain and time."
I heard him laughing a little. "I'm not surprised. Shall I tell Nuru?"
I thought for a moment. "Yes, and ask her if she wants to sleep alone or not. I'm not sure how comfortable she feels with so many people coming and going."
He paused for a moment before answering. "Yes, you're right. I'll ask her. Is Rain safe?"
"Yes, I'll tell more later."
Hitori, apparently, read my mind a little. "Amy? Thanks for calling."
I smiled, I hoped he could hear it in my voice. "Thanks. Bye bye!"
I could hear a smile in his voice, answering my question. "Bye bye."
Time to go back to the living room and take Faith with me to the bed-, library-, study-room. I wasn't sure what to call it anymore. Afentis had already gone to his room when I got back and left Faith. I took her by the hand and had to force her a little to get her body moving. But she responded to physical suggestions. A little press in the back was all that was needed to steer her in the right direction.
She didn't trip.
We arrived in the room and, leaving Faith standing alone for a moment, I closed the door behind me.
A strange, really strange thought entered my mind. I decided to act on it.
I wasn't quite sure where it came from, maybe it was because of Afentis's moment with Muriel that I did this. But I undressed completely, folding my clothes neatly, and did the same to Faith. I'd never seen her body like this, and she was very different from anyone I'd seen so far. Her body was more childish in a way. Slim and fragile looking, but a soft strength emanated from it as well.
Her curves were as gentle as her face. Outward enough to fill a dress nicely, but not so much she'd loose her childish charm. She was so old and young looking at the same time. Almost like a Greek goddess.
With a giggle I realized my thoughts were probably strongly influenced by Afentis's story by now. And I decided to help us into bed.
We didn't do anything, just lay there against each other, feeling the skin. She was colder than I, but it felt nice to warm her up. It didn't take that long for her body to absorb my warmth and feel right.
The blankets covered our naked skin, the night covered our open minds.
Sleep came, saw and conquered.