“Show me,” she commanded.
He obliged, rolling over immediately. The first thing Beth saw was the large mass of scars. This time she was able to work out the outline of a snake in the web. She ignored that, looking at the rest of his skin. Then she saw it; her name in his skin. Despite being done with a knife, it was flawless, the letters swirling but still incredibly clear.
She shook her head in disbelief; her name was carved between his shoulder blades.
“Who did it?” she asked, touching the rough skin gently.
She said nothing further, just lying down beside him. He moved onto his side so he could look at her. They lay in silence for a few minutes, just staring at each other.
“We’re not even mated,” she quietly said eventually.
“Doesn’t matter; it just shows everyone that I’m yours,” he said, causing her to blush. “Always yours, no matter what.”
“Wrong way around,” she mumbled, flushing a bright red. “I’m yours.”
He smiled and leant forward to kiss her. She kissed him back, smiling.
There was the sound of music playing from the living room.
“I should probably go and stop the rave,” he chuckled.
“‘Rave’?” she asked, raising an eyebrow.
“I swear, they all have the mindsets of children.”
She laughed, watching him get up. He dressed and left the room. She got up and pulled on her underwear. She looked at the clothes she’d worn for school, which were now strewn unceremoniously on the floor. She picked them up and placed them in a laundry basket by the door.
She picked up the bag in the corner of the room and opened it. She pulled out some jeans and a plain white t-shirt. She looked at herself in the mirror, giggling at the state of her hair. She didn’t bother brushing it, instead tying it up in a ponytail, liking the way it was messy and neat at the same time.
She grinned and left the room. She went through the door Robert had brought them through a little while ago. In the living room now though there were quite a lot of people. There were six women, who were all wearing long dresses that made them look like something out of a history book. There were eleven men in the room, including Robert. Some she’d seen before, though most she hadn’t.
Hardly anybody noticed her entrance, but Robert turned his head immediately, grinning at her. He was leant against the wall, facing the centre of the room, with his arms crossed over his chest.
“This isn’t much of a rave,” she said to him when she reached him, looping her arm through his.
“You missed all the teenage-style raving. I managed to stop it before it got too out of hand,” he grinned.
“Robert to the rescue?” she asked teasingly.
He grinned and opened his mouth to say something but was interrupted.
“Robert, where do you want these?” someone asked from by the door, holding up the black feathers.
Robert thought for a moment. “Take them to the lab. Freeze them.”
“Freeze them?” the man asked.
“Don’t want them to have enough strength to escape, do we?”
After a short pause, the man nodded. He turned to leave but Robert called him back.
“Oh, and Shady? Don’t break them.”