I practically threw my phone on the floor and jumped up. I ran out of the room and into the living room. I pulled the lighter out of my pocket, my hands shaking violently. I dropped the lighter. I buried my face in my hands, trying to calm down. Zoe came into the room.
"What's going on?" she asked.
"It's Nas... She's... She's been raped," I said.
"Oh, my God," she gasped.
I took a deep breath and picked up the lighter again. Picking up one of the candles again, I lit it. Placing it down on the table, I sat on the couch.
"Are you coming with me?" I asked her. She didn't even ask where we were going, she just nodded anyway. "How long do you reckon it'll take you to change into that dress?"
She hurried out of the room and ran up the stairs. I went to get my phone and by the time I'd found it - under the piano - Zoe was coming down the stairs. She was wearing the red dress we'd bought and she had a bag in her hand. I held her spare hand and led her to the living room. I sat her down on the couch and I sat opposite her.
I still held onto one of her hands as I focused on the orange flame. I closed my eyes and I felt the scene change and I opened my eyes.
"Twice in a matter of hours, Ace?" asked the woman I'd spoken with earlier.
"It's Nasya. She's been raped, I need to be there for her."
"By who?" Her face became one of alarm.
"Cameron." Her face darkened.
"I'll deal with him," she promised, nodding to herself. She stepped towards me and drew a little symbol on my forehead with her finger. "Protect them both," she whispered before kissing my forehead. The scenery changed again, this time we'd actually moved though.
"Who was that?" asked Zoe as we hurried along the corridors carved out of the stone.
"That was our goddess," I told her.
"Yes. The Mother of Night, Harbinger of Souls, blah, blah, blah. The others call her 'Mistress'."
"What do you call her?"
"Usually, 'Mother'. You'll get the history in due time, just not right now," I told her, perhaps sharper than necessary.
Within a minute, I burst into Nasya's coven's part of the place. Nas looked up at me and leapt into my arms, still sobbing. Zevran stood up and nodded to me. I held Nas close as she cried into my shoulder. Nobody said anything. The only sound were Nasya's sobs. After a little bit, she calmed down and stopped crying, but I still didn't let her go.
"Thank you for coming," she whispered to me in Russian.
"I'd have crossed the universe," I replied.
She laughed once. "You did, technically."
She sighed. "Can you take me to bed please?" she murmured in English.
I nodded, only then realising she was falling asleep in my arms. I lifted her up as if she was a baby and carried her to her room. I laid her down on the bed and pulled the duvet over her. She closed her eyes, tears still silently falling. I kissed her forehead and turned to leave. She grabbed my wrist.
"Please don't leave," she murmured, her eyes still closed.
"I won't," I promised.
I pulled a chair beside her bed and sat down.