After we were done practicing, I barely had enough strength to get home. Since Aries was the only one unaffected today, I had to let her walk me home. It feels like I’ve just fallen asleep when Ava wakes me up because there’s someone throwing rocks at my window.
I reluctantly slip out of bed and walk across the room to throw open the window. “Taurus, what do you want? It’s five in the morning!”
“Katrina wanted me to come get you and bring you back to the shop.”
“Did she say why?” I call down, wondering how long it’s going to be until my dad walks into my room and asks who I’m talking to.
“She said Lupis escaped and he was looking for us.”
“Lupis? As in the one who killed the first bonders? That Lupis?” I ask him.
He nods. “That’s what Katrina said.”
Taurus right, Lupis free. He come for you next.
“Next? What do you mean?” I ask Ava.
She shakes her beak and reaches down and plucks off a golden feather, which she drops on my wrist.Jump window, think ‘light.’
“What?” I ask before she flaps her wings rapidly for a moment and a strong gust of wind blows me out the window.
Halcyone think ‘light!’Ava yells in my head, but by the time she says it, I’ve landed in Taurus’ strong arms.
“Thanks,” I say as he sets me back down very gently for someone so strong.
He nods. “You’re welcome.”
I swear he’s blushing, but I can’t really tell in the dim moonlight. “So we’re going to the shop?”
Taurus nods. “But we need to go get Aries first.”
“Okay. And then we hang out at the shop until Lupis comes, or what?”
Taurus shrugs. “Katrina didn’t say. But she did say to move fast, she doesn’t want us to meet Lupis while we’re alone.”
I look around in the shadows, sure I just saw a person watching us from the corner. “But if Lupis is smart enough to kill the other bonders and escape from limbo, wouldn’t he already know where we are and be watching us?”
“No, he has no clue who or where we are,” a voice calls out.
Taurus and I whirl around and see Aries standing where I thought I saw someone earlier.
She smiles. “I didn’t mean to scare you, but I was out for a walk and thought I heard familiar voices. So what’s this? Did I interrupt a date?”
My face starts turning as red as her hair. “No! Katrina told Taurus to come get me and you and escort us to the shop because Lupis escaped.”
She laughs. “Alright then. Well, I’ve walked all around town and I haven’t seen Lupis or Lupine. But we don’t want to disobey Katrina.”
Taurus looks hard at her and his eyes flash yellow-green again. “You’re hiding something.”
“I am? Like what?”
Taurus blinks and his eyes return to normal. “I…I don’t know. But I’m good at reading people, and there’s something different about you. There’s something you’re hiding from us, like why you’re out walking around town at five in the morning.”
Aries sighs. “Okay, you caught me. I get really vivid dreams and nightmares and I had a dream about Lupis and had to get some air. You should understand what that’s like, Taurus.”
He nods. “I know.”
“So can we go to the shop now? I don’t want to take the chance of meeting Lupis,” I say quickly.
Aries looks at me, her green eyes having an eerie gold tint in the moonlight. “Don’t worry, we won’t. He’s not interested in us right now.”
“How do you know that? Did you talk to him and have him tell you that he’s not interested in us?” I ask suspiciously.
“I saw it in a dream, Halcyone. Lupis is more interested in other things right now.”
I nod uncertainly. “If you say so. But just in case, can we go?”
Taurus leads the way, and I walk behind him. Aries stays in place for a moment, and then I hear her take a couple quick steps to catch up to us. Still worried that Aries’ dream about Lupis was wrong, I keep checking over my shoulder to make sure that she’s the only one following me.
“You can stop checking your back, Halcyone. I’ll make sure that Lupis won’t get you,” she says with a smile.
Finally, we reach the magic shop, but something’s not right. There’s a man standing directly across the street from the door, watching the store.
“He wasn’t here when I left,” Taurus says softly.
Aries shrugs. “So a homeless man came and decided to stand outside the store. Is that illegal?”
“What if it’s Lupis?” I ask.
“Halcyone, if you were Lupis, would you be standing outside your sister’s shop waiting for the other three bonders?” Aries asks me.
I shrug. “I don’t know, maybe.”
“Well I wouldn’t. There are other things that he has to do.”
“What makes you so sure that he’s doing what you say he is?”
She looks over my shoulder at the man. “Because I was doing some research earlier. Pairs of bonders that are on the same plane in the star are connected somehow with their souls.”
Aries right! Ava says as she perches on my shoulder.
“And you and Lupis are a pair?” I ask.
“So maybe we should be worried about you instead of Lupis,” I say as I take a step back.
Aries smiles and laughs. “Relax, I’m on your side, Halcyone.” She looks back across the street again. “Now if you’re still worried about meeting Lupis, then I suggest we all go inside.”
Taurus opens the door for me and I walk in, still wondering if Aries really means what she said.