“Well, could you blame me for being blunt considering the situation?” she said, her voice growing a little louder.
“Wait, I didn't mean-” Zoe didn't hang around for his excuse and stormed off. She searched and found the tent were people were getting ready. She found herself recognising no one as she wandered around. Trying to ignore the slightly hostile looks.
“Zoe, over here,” Zoe glanced up at the honey voice and saw Mirabella. Zoe quickly walked over, grateful Mira was here.
“Help tie up the back of my dress,” Mira asked. The green number was on and Zoe realised she meant the corset part as Mira turned her back to her.
“Erm, I've never-” Zoe began
“It's not hard, don't worry. They look more complicated than they are.” Zoe sent Mira a sceptical look in the mirror but helped anyway.
“I know this must be pretty scary for you and your brother. But don't worry. As long as I'm around Caric won't have completely free reign. Because he would've never been able to track you down if it weren't for me,” Mira explained. Zoe wasn't sure if she felt relieved by the blackmail behind it, but knew Mira meant well. In fact Mira was the only person in this carnival she probably trusted.
“What do you do then? Our of curiosity,” Zoe asked and Mira laughed.
“I'm close to the human legend of harpies. Though as you can see I don't match the physical descriptions. I can communicate with birds and if needed. Become one,” Mira replied. Zoe raised an eyebrow.
“Like a shape shifter?” she asked, hoping that was the correct term.
“Yes. Though nothing like Lycans. It wears me out to switch forms. For them its the same as taking a breath,” She explained.
“Lycans? Next you'll be telling me they don't get on with vampires,” Zoe muttered as she moved to the last string.
“Every cliché you know off originated from some ream of truth dear,” Mira replied. Zoe met her gaze in the mirror, ready to make some silly joke. Then decided not too, instead she opted for another question.
“So they don't get on?”
“In Carics case, no. They are more willing to put up with some ancients and they have no real issue with the born or turned vampires. There is a pack of wolves in the next town that dislike Caric rather venomously. You and Glenn would do well to be discreet there. There's no guarantee we could protect you from them if they found out you existed,” Mira explained. Zoe ignored the urge to gulp and instead nodded quickly. Trying not to feel dizzy afterwards. She found the nearest chair and sat, crossing her arms. She was doing that a lot. But the pathetic barrier helped.
“There's no reason they should discover you are here. Not even Jarred is dumb enough to make a deal with wolves,” Mirabella said, kneeling so her eyes were the same level as Zoe's. Without thinking Zoe hugged her. Mira didn't act surprised, she just hugged back. Any other time, any other person – including Glenn – she'd have felt mortified. But after evrything Zoe didn't care.
“Based on the force of this hug I'm guessing you and your mother aren't very close,” Mira commented. Zoe nodded against Mira's shoulder. Trying not to let her eyes blur.
“Then I have to ask. What is there for you and your brother to really go back too? I know it's just me and Caric at the moment. And Caric's not the best example. But here you will have family,” Mira said. And Zoe found everything faltering at the words. Could she really accept all of this as her reality? She wasn't an idiot and knew that Mira was involved with Caric in some sense.
“I still need time,” Zoe said. Mira bowed her head in acknowledgement when someone called for her.
“Guess I'm up,” Mira said, standing up and turning to leave. She paused in her steps and looked over her shoulder.
“Just...I would rather you were here willingly,” she murmured. Zoe knew Mira meant well. And some of what Mira said made sense.