I hurried away from the group of wolves. Erica was talking in a low voice, as I had asked her to do, about the wolves as transport...odd ponies, in a way. I pulled a face as I bustled along. Ponies was way too feminine an idea.
I had made my way back to the wreckage of the bus, before I realised that Aidan had not followed me. In fact – as I scoured the verge – I spotted him at the other end of the lay-by, as if he had wandered back from the woods the way we had come. Weird.
I shoved my hands into my pockets and wandered over, gazing at the red looming shape of the bus, just sitting, waiting to be filled. I shook my head to clear the thoughts. No, the wolves were our transport for now.
"Come on, Aidan." I took his hand, attempting to pull him away from the road. His face read blankly, almost mystified.
"Meg? What are you doing?"
"Come on, the others have got some transport for us. Trust me, okay."
He just stared into space.
"But, what about the bus?" he asked. The look Aidan shot me was a less than comforting one. His features read of stern tradition – something which I certainly was not into.
But it was more than that which scared me. It was the lack of concentration in his eyes. As a former teacher, Aidan always bore concentration.
In the background, I heard other voices, female and male together. All were asking the same things:
"Yeah, the bus."
"Where's the bus?"
I spread my hands wide. "I just thought..."
Ravyn sashayed over. I had no idea where she had suddenly come from, but she glided with grace as if through transparent water. "Do you feel that?" she asked, lifting her arms a little.
I narrowed my eyes. Not at Rayvn, but at the thought that something from or in the broken bus was luring my lover and companions back in, like a hungry mouth, great and gaping open for the catch.
"Yes," I muttered. It was weird how I knew that.
Ravyn seemed to understand. Her smile was laced with an undertone that I couldn't recognise. "Isn't it interesting, Meggie?"
My voice shook as I spoke. I couldn't work out Ravyn. "I guess so."
Ravyn nodded her head in the direction of the other bus members who had still gathered at the lay-by. As they moved in unison towards the transport, so did my dear boyfriend. I tensed, muscles aching.
What had happened here?