I needed to find her, I needed to find some trace of her. The half breed hunters wouldn’t be the only dangerous thing out as Night fell. My eyes were now more focused on the starless sky than the ground. A lack of stars was always a bad omen. I automatically feared the worst that she was up there, she would still be exhausted, I was terrified of seeing a figure falling out of the sky. I pushed my horse to go faster and we leapt off the main forest path into the trees to get through as quickly as possible into the open where I could see better. Branches and twigs whipped me and we galloped through the thick emerald foliage. A cloud of dust erupted under my horses thundering hoofs as we rode back into town. I stopped in the centre of the street and looked all around before desperately shouting her name once more.
My horse was holding one leg up, it had obviously managed to hurt itself in the forest. I dismounted and stroked her long nose and hushed her in comfort.
“Looks like it’s just me from here, thin you can make it back up to the ranch while I find her?”
I was suddenly startled by a gruff voice behind me.
“Who the hell are you looking for this time of night?” I relaxed my guard when through the darkness I could see the outline of Ian the Blacksmith.
“Ian, thank lord. Please I have to find my daughter, you haven’t seen her running or... flying anywhere have you?” The word flying stuck in my throat a little
“Young blonde piece?”
“Ran down to the edge of the village and took off, kept flying eastwards, gorgeous set of fliers on that one, was watching her till she started a slightly shaky landing somewhere over there, probably near that Talsta village over that way. It isn’t too far, if I were you I would start looking there.”
I tastefully ignored the comment about her wings, thanked him and took to the sky myself. I was ecstatic to know she had landed somewhere and hadn’t been thrown from the sky either by exhaustion or hostile creature as was often out in the night. I was much safer up here, there was little which would take me from the air around here. Although a sudden pain struck straight through my body as I realised that I was shooting at speed straight towards the village in which Layla lived. I tried to shake it off but couldn’t as every moment I was getting closer to her. The feeling of desperation to burst through her door, when I landed on the soft dirt of the path leading into the village, was almost unbearable, but I had to find Morgan.
I began my search the same way I had back in town, Calling her name and trying to think of where she could possibly be. It wasn’t late yet, just dark early as it always is in the winter here, so I felt it would be best to search the village first so I wouldn’t be walking everyone later with desperate choruses of “Morgan” If I hadn’t yet found her.
I searched nearly the whole village until an old lady pointed out she had seen a blonde woman run down into the cluster of houses at the base of the village. To my horror and also creeping delight I looked down to the houses where the woman’s frail crooked hand was pointed.
“Layla” I whispered under my breath before thanking the helpful woman and made my way slowly into the houses. I had already made my mind up about Layla, after all she had only just lost a husband, who was not only the father of Katha but very different to myself, I heavily doubted she would ever see me as a long term option. Besides I wouldn’t have her put in danger, knowing how the Van Helsings operate it was likely she was already in the danger line by just being around me. It would be a massive coincidence if Morgan had found her way to Layla’s house, she had never been there, but I couldn’t put it past Morgan to have managed it anyway. I searched everywhere else before Layla’s home. There didn’t appear to be anywhere else she could have gone. I stood outside the front door for a minute, hand raised, centimetres away from knocking on the door. Slowly I took a short step back and sighed heavily, I could just picture Layla opening the door, I knew I would be stuck for words. Besides what if Morgan wasn’t even there? I would look like such a fool, and I would make her worry. Also I expected I would have to do a bit too much explaining.
I had to find Morgan, the only solution my mind could come up with under such pressures was to revert back to the mode of panic I had been in when she left and helplessly yell “Morgan?” I wish my mind had run the idea past me first.
A set of curtains upstairs swung open and I suddenly became elated. Morgan’s tear stained face was looking at me with an expression of happy surprise. My smile dropped instantly however as the front door was swung open and Layla stood only a foot in front of me with a similar expression, although hers looked more pained.