“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, to beg Isabella to tell her what they’d discovered, to ask her if she felt the same as she did. Any urge to talk died immediately as she recognised the gravity of Isabella’s tone.
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. No one had said it around her for a long time; as if they were scared it would set her tears off. Now, though, she fought back at the wetness in her eyes. She didn’t want to cry in front of Isabella, not right now.
“The imp was at a slave auction, a while ago. There was much gossip about the Vampire Prince being sold into slavery. It would appear to be true.”
She nodded slowly, trying not to cry as she took on Ibby’s words. 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.”
Beth looked up; her eyes wide with shock, surprise, confusion and mounting despair.
“One earth month is equal to six Dimension months. It’s a long time to be a slave. The boys are still looking into it, and still looking for more people who know anything. It’s... difficult to find people who will willingly come forward with regards to Robert. Everyone knows that Rosalyn was behind putting him on the market, and no one wants to piss her off, especially since she’s spent the money on protection in the form of lycans.”
Beth nodded absent-mindedly, not hearing Isabella’s final sentence.
“What...” she started, her voice rough and hoarse from lack of use. Isabella’s eyes widened in surprise but she remained patiently silent as Beth prepared for her first words in two months. “What date is it?” she managed after much throat-clearing.
“Thirtieth of June. It’s Saturday.”
“I think I need to get out of the house for a bit,” she said flatly, her tone monotonous like she didn’t mean what she said. Which she didn’t really. “How is everyone?”
“Sad, lost, lonely, in despair; we all miss him, Beth. We all want him back,” Isabella said, ending in a whisper, the pain in her eyes showing the truth in her words.
Beth moved her head in a nod, reminded that she wasn’t the only one who had loved Robert.
“Lucius tells me that he's been coming to see you,” Isabella said quietly.
“He has. He never tries to get me to talk; he just sits there without a word,” Beth said, her voice becoming softer as she used it.
“He's very good with situations like this.”
“What happened?” Beth asked, a tone of curiosity soaking into her voice, a feeling other than desolation creeping into her mind.
“His younger brother was killed by Reapers, a group of demon hunters. Isaac wasn't even a demon, and Lucius blames himself; I'd told him to keep an eye on his brother and he got distracted.”
“I know how he feels,” Beth murmured, wrapping her arms around herself, the desolation creeping back as she blamed herself for Robert’s abduction.