He vaguely remembered – though couldn’t associate with – the feelings of alarm and anxiety he had felt when he had discovered Beth to be missing.
“Has anyone seen Beth?” he asked, looking around.
“No, I thought she was with you,” Onyx said, looking up from Aaralyn.
“Just after twelve she left to come back here,” he said.
Aaralyn shook her head. “I’ve been in here since ten and she’s not come in.”
Robert began to worry. He left quickly, checking all the rooms along the corridor. She was nowhere to be found.
“Beth!” he shouted, running around, room to room. “Beth!”
There was no answer, no response, nothing. Robert pushed his fingers through his hair, panicking. He realised there was somewhere he hadn’t checked.
Running to the door leading to the cells, he stabbed at the zero key six times. He pushed the door open and froze solid.
Rosalyn’s cell door was wide open.
As were the others.
More memories ran through his mind as he watched them all as someone apart from the scene, able to hear and see without being heard and seen himself.
He remembered the first evening he and Beth had been truly alone. In the woods. She’d come searching for him and she’d found him. She asked him things and he answered as much as he was able to. He recalled thinking – weeks after their first true meeting – that he was falling in love with her. He had known afterwards that that was the moment he had fallen for her.
Robert smiled to himself as the morning sun rose. He turned his gold ring around his finger, looking down at it. This was the only thing that protected him from sunlight. He pitied the vampires that didn’t have such talismans.
He thought about the previous evening. Or early morning, rather. Beth had come looking for him. For him. He had been originally curious as to why the human girl had come searching for him. She herself hadn’t been sure why she had, that much had been obvious.
Robert was positive that his little brother would have said something, possibly about how dangerous he was. He had probably said that Robert was impulsive, or words to that effect.
He tucked his evening with Beth away in his mind, somewhere not even Catalin would be able to find it.
Robert closed his eyes tightly. Too many memories that he couldn’t associate with anymore. He felt his conscious mind slipping away from him more and more every day that passed.
In the moments that he was himself, he knew that Beth would be looking for him – relentlessly, most likely – because she was just that kind of woman and he loved her for it.
The procession stopped suddenly.
“We’re here, vampire,” spat one of the guards quietly. “Keep your eyes to the ground and say nothing unless directly spoken to—you know the drill.”