“What the hell was that?!” A male voice shouted from inside the tents. The stranger had led Glenn and Zoe into an area reserved for the carnival staff only. After that maze of turns Glenn knew there wasn't much point in trying to escape.
“I don't know, Rose knows her orders. Table if not, shoulder if so. Maybe she just took a liking and thought it would be okay to go from table to shoulder?” A female voice replied, one that Glenn recognised.
“Then maybe you should make it clear to the stupid bird that she's not to go near a shoulder unless its someone of actual interest,” the man replied, a few footsteps later and he flung the flap of the tent open and paused, studying Glenn and Zoe in turn.
“What took you so long?!” He snapped at the stranger.
“Jarred was about to kill them, I had to intervene.” The man seemed slightly less hassled upon hearing the explanation, but it didn't do much to ease Glenn's worry. Up close, Glenn could see lines etching the man's face, the kind that suggested he'd experienced more stress and not much laughter.
“Can someone just explain what's going on, please?” Zoe whispered, the last word a plea that pulled everyone's attention. The man release a sigh and motioned for them to follow him. Inside Glenn got to see the beautiful and mysterious Mirabella for himself. Across the short distance he noticed that she had a very pale smattering of freckles across her nose. Though he doubted it would do much to disrupt her appeal. Though she was out of the dress and wearing a simple green top and jeans.
“Mira, here they are. Figure out for yourself,” the man demanded before dropping into a plush chair. His dark blue eyes studying Glenn and Zoe again. The feel of it made Glenn's skin crawl.
“Fine,” she replied, clearly unhappy with being ordered about. She pulled a small curved knife from her belt and held it up in front of them.
“You will both have to spill blood, it's just a question of who does it first,” she said. One glance at Zoe told Glenn she wasn't happy with being ordered about either. At least there was something akin to sympathy in the women's eyes.
“It will only be a drop,” The women explained. The words did little to sway Zoe, who continued to meet the man's gaze.
“Fine,” Glenn muttered, holding out his hand, “I'll go first.” Mirabella nodded a silent thanks and took his hand in her fingers. First she traced the lines of his palm. Though what she was searching for alluding him. Then she lowered the knife and pricked his thumb. Glenn suppressed the wince and once Mirabella released his hand he used his shirt to stop the flow of blood. Mirabella took the blood clinging to the knifes blade to the cage where the dove from earlier sat. The women made more of her strange tweeting whistle sounds and the bird replied. She seemed to be listening to his replies carefully. Whatever the answer had been, it wasn't one she liked.
“Right, now you,” She said, turning to face Zoe.
“If you refuse to do it Mira's way, we can do it mine. And that's less than pleasant,” the man said.
“Caric, leave them alone. They're just kids,” Mirabella stepped in. Sending the man Glenn now realised was the before-mentioned Caric a glare.
“But whose,” he replied. A reply that puzzled Glenn and Zoe equally.
“Our mums Janet Ardanel, she's in London if you need to contact her,” Glenn said. Caric's expression became very guarded and he sent a silent message to Mirabella.
“Rose gets something, but it's not complete,” she said.
“What's not complete? What is it you're trying to figure out? I already said I wouldn't tell anyone about what that guy did. So let us go!” Zoe yelled, physically shaking. The outburst was enough to bring what genuine shock to Caric's face. He nodded to the stranger who had been waiting silently in the background. Glenn didn't have a chance to understand what had happened before it had happened. The stranger placed a cloth over Zoe mouth and nose, Zoe didn't have a chance to fight before the substance on it took effect.