Beth Stuart was sat in her family kitchen, turning her ring round and round on her finger. She thought of the day Robert had given it to her. She almost smiled; she was so fond of the memory:
She picked up the small, blue box, feeling the velvet underneath her fingertips. She glanced up at Robert. He was holding his breath, his eyes glittering with hope and anticipation.
She opened the box and gasped, her hand shooting up to her mouth. The glittering diamond stuck on the thin band was exactly what she had suspected, but it still shocked her.
Beth didn’t want to think about how loose the ring was becoming. She just didn’t have the energy to eat, didn’t have the energy to do anything. She’d not been to school since before Robert was gone. She just couldn’t face all those people. She hadn’t even spoken to Emily, her best friend, about any of it.
It was two months since Rosalyn had taken Robert away from Beth, from everyone who loved him.
“Beth?” her brother, Jack, said hesitantly.
She glanced up at him in response. He knew not to expect words to come from her lips; they’d been closed for two months solid.
“Isabella’s here to see you,” he said softly.
She nodded, silently telling him to let her in. She’d noticed everyone was giving her the space she needed. Isabella had wanted to see her a few times, but not many. Onyx had come to see her once, and he’d looked almost as heartbroken as she was. Almost. The person she’d been spending the most time with, however, was Lucius, Isabella’s son. He never said a word to her, just sitting with her, holding her in a comforting embrace when she started to cry.
Isabella walked into the kitchen. She sat down opposite Beth.
“I have news,” she said quietly.
Beth raised her eyebrows slightly.
“Daniel and Jay may have found something.”
Beth almost spoke, almost opened her lips to utter a sound, but changed her mind. She, instead, raised her eyebrows a little more.
“They think they may have found someone who’s seen Robert.”
Beth immediately drew in a shaky breath at the mention of his name.
“The imp was at a slave auction, a while ago. There was much gossip about the Vampire Prince being sold as a slave. It would appear to be true.”
She nodded slowly, trying not to cry. She closed her eyes, as if it would hold the tears back like floodgates.
“Robert will have been in the Dimension for nearly a year now, in their time.”
Beth looked up, her eyes wide in shock and surprise.
“One earth month is equal to six Dimension months. It’s a long time to be a slave. They’re still looking into it, and still looking for more people. It’s... difficult to find people who will willingly come forward with regards to Robert. Everyone knows that Rosalyn was behind it, and no one wants to piss her off.”