Katelina woke to rain, as if the island mourned their leaving. She packed reluctantly and stuffed a pair of disposable cameras on top. Jorick came up behind her and pulled her against him. His lips trailed along her neck and he pantomimed biting her, then settled for planting a kiss. He nodded to the cameras. “Did you get enough pictures to satisfy your mother?”
“I only filled one. It’s hard to take pictures where you guys don’t look like vampires. And how many night shots do I want? I think I got a nice sunrise this morning, though.”
“That’s good. I’d ask how we get the photos to her, but I assume you know.”
“You get them developed—if you can find somewhere that still develops photos. I would’ve gone digital, but Mom’s such a tweep about technology. She’d never figure out how to download them.”
“If you say so.” He drew back and she turned to see him standing shirtless, his long hair around his shoulders. “This isn’t worth a photograph?”
“If you want—”
He caught her hands before she could grab the camera. “I was teasing. Come, we’d best join the others.”
Jorick pulled on a shirt and escorted her to the living room where they found Wolfe and Sadihra. Wolfe was tall with long chestnut hair and cold gray eyes, while Sadihra was short and plump, her blonde hair usually worn in a bun. They were both Scharfrichter, or more accurately Wolfe was a Scharfrichter and Sadihra was a Scharfrichterin, the difference between male and female.
They were Germany’s equivalent of the American Executioners, elite vampire police, and it was their job to bring Jorick and the others back to Munich, Germany, to testify about what had happened in the Raven Queen’s temple.
Wolfe gave them a sharp nod. “Good morning.”
“Good evening,” Katelina corrected out of habit.
Wolfe surveyed her with general disdain, then turned to Jorick. “You’ve packed?”
“Yes, our luggage is waiting.”
“Good. I’ve called ahead and everything is prepared. The cars will meet us at the marina and the pilots will be ready by the time we reach the airfield.”
Sadihra released Wolfe’s arm and surveyed the spacious room. The protective plates had been removed from the windows and the outdoor floodlights gave the illusion of daytime. Rain streaked the glass and the swaying palm trees threw mysterious shadows. “It does seem a pity.”
Something that might have been a smile flickered over Wolfe’s lips and disappeared. “Yes, but we have duties to perform. We’ve already delayed for a week, and both the Höher Rat and the Kugsankal will be getting anxious.”
Sadihra’s shiver was slight but noticeable and Katelina understood. The Höher Rat was Munich’s High Council, and she doubted that the Scharfrichterin was in a hurry to see them. She’d willfully abandoned her post and disobeyed orders when she left Munich to travel with Jorick and the others, and now she would have to pay for that.
“I’m sure they are.” Sadihra glanced toward a curtained door that led to the dining room. “I believe breakfast is ready.”
Sadihra was right. The long wooden table was already set. There were glasses of blood and three crimson filled decanters for the vampires, and two plates of food, one for Katelina and one for Oren’s new human Etsuko.
Jorick snickered as they took their places. “I doubt he’d call her ‘his human’. She was sort of foisted upon him.”
Katelina scowled at the egg topped pile of noodles and vegetables. “I love how everyone acts like she’s an object.”
Jorick caught Katelina’s hand and brushed his lips across it. “No one said she’s an object, only that Oren wasn’t excited about her company.”
Katelina couldn’t argue the point. Etsuko had taken to heart a tarot reading and decided that the ‘red string of fate’ bound her to Oren and that it was her duty to ‘help him’. Whether she meant to help him get over the murder of his wife, Jesslynn, and their children by Malick’s pet Executioners, or some other thing, Katelina couldn’t guess. Either way she was sure it would end badly.
As if summoned, Oren strode through the door, Etsuko on his heels. Her hair was pulled up in its usual bun and, despite being on a tropical island, she wore a pink kimono. Katelina guessed that her luggage was nothing but kimonos.
Etsuko nodded to them, and quickly took her place. Without a word Oren swept up his glass and downed half the contents. It had barely hit the table before Etsuko refilled it from the decanter.
Jorick nodded to the pair and teased, “You could learn something, little one.”
Katelina’s answer was a cold stare.
When the vampires finished their breakfast, Wolfe announced that departure was delayed due to stormy seas. Katelina was still eating, so Jorick gave her a kiss and said he wanted to speak to Oren. The lion-maned vampire followed him out of the dining room, and both she and Etsuko let them go.
The other vampires followed, until only Katelina and Etsuko remained. As Katelina chewed, she thought about the people who’d been out in the storm removing the metal shields from the windows. She hoped they got paid well.
Etsuko finished the last of her meal, then primly folded her napkin and laid it aside. She sat with her back straight and hands in her lap. The moment Katelina laid down her fork, she said, “I hope Katelina-san has had a good week?”
“Yeah. It’s too bad it’s over, even if there were no cabana boys.” Etsuko blinked back at her, so she added quickly, “Did you have a good time? I didn’t see you on the beach very much.”
“I have had a lovely time. Katelina-san is correct. I did not go much to the beach. Oren-sama does not care for the sand.”
“Don’t you like it?”
Etsuko looked thoughtful. “I am afraid that before I came on this trip we did not visit the beach very often, though Japan has many beautiful beaches. We did go twice a year; Goshujin-sama owned a small private beach. They are lovely for a day’s picnic, but I cannot think of what to do on it day after day. One would become spoiled if they visited it always and then it would no longer be a holiday.”
Katelina saw the logic, but it was still odd. “So what did you do?”
“On the first night Oren-sama and I walked the beach, as Katelina-san knows. And after that we remained mostly at the house. I have almost finished my—what would you call it?” She made a motion like sewing. “Needlework?”
Her smile was genuine and Katelina tried not to groan. Etsuko was in paradise and she was embroidering? What was wrong with her? “You enjoy that?”
“Very much so. I have decorated many kimonos for Goshujin-sama’s wife.”
“Who is Gosh-whatever?”
“Goshujin-sama. I think it translates to master in English. It was the one you called Shinobu-sama, the head of the Tsukino clan. All of the Tsukino clan’s humans belong to him. He is the one who gifted me to Maeko-sama. I suppose it would be fitting for me to also call her Goshujin-sama, but she bid me not to, as she is hoping that Oren-sama will soon claim me, instead.”
The ownership angle was too casual for Katelina. “You don’t mind all this claiming stuff? Like you’re a piece of luggage?”
“That is the way it is. I was raised to be a human of the Tsukino clan, and that is what I am.”
So they raised their own slaves? That explained a lot. It also meant it would be harder to liberate Etsuko, since she was brainwashed, but Katelina was determined to try, if for no other reason than it was wrong for her to accept such treatment.
“You’re not with the Tsukino clan anymore. We don’t do things that way.”
Etsuko tilted her head. “Don’t you, Katelina-san? Are you not Jorick-sama’s marked human?”
Katelina unconsciously rubbed the scar above her right collar bone. It was a bite mark with a small cross cut beneath it; Jorick’s mark. It was an antiquated vampire law that humans had to be marked by their masters, no doubt created so they could be tracked by their unusual scar, and so there was proof of who a human belonged to if there was a debate.
Belonged to. Like a head of cattle or a prized pig. The mark was little more than a brand, and Katelina suspected it had other subtle meanings attached to it. Just as Jorick had done last night, vampires bit their partners when they coupled with them. That was where the vampire’s true pleasure derived, rather than from the physical act alone, and Katelina suspected the mark was also used as proof of mating. A symbol that they’d shared the vampire’s most intimate embrace. Another example of sex and slavery.
“Is Katelina-san feeling all right?”
Etsuko’s question pulled Katelina back to the present. “Sorry. It isn’t like that with Jorick and me. We’re equals.”
“How can a human ever hope to be equal to her immortal master?” Etsuko covered her mouth. “Katelina-san must forgive me. Perhaps Jorick-sama’s ways are different.”
Katelina managed a watery smile and thought, They damn well better be.
The storm calmed, though rain still fell. They hurried through it to board a yacht at the dock. It was the same craft they’d arrived in, and Katelina imagined it would take them back to the glittering city and the private airfield where Wolfe’s plane waited to whisk them to Munich.
Micah, a bald vampire who sported a brown goatee and tribal tattoo down one side of his face, dropped onto the bench in the main cabin. He wore a tank top that hugged his toned physique and showed off the ink on his arms. Dressed like a biker, he even had motorcycle boots and a wallet chain. “We finally get to the god damn beach and some joker cuts it short. What the fuck? How can you call a week a fucking dream vacation?”
“It’s better than nothing,” chirped Loren from the seat next to him. The boy vampire looked about sixteen, with dark curly hair and brown doe eyes. Perpetually trapped in the nineties, he wore a t-shirt with a flannel shirt thrown over it. The left sleeve was tied in a knot under the stump of his arm. His limb was one of the many casualties of Oren’s attack on the vampires’ citadel.
“We can always come back,” he added and patted Micah’s shoulder.
The bald vampire snorted. “Sure we can. You got a private plane hidden up you’re a—”
Katelina cut him off. “Do you always have to be so crude?”
“What’s wrong, princess? Can’t stand the way real men talk?” Micah crossed his arms. “You’ve spent too much time with The Guild’s pussified dogs.”
Jorick growled low and Verchiel pushed off of the wall he was leaning against. “Pussified dogs?” he asked pleasantly. “I’m sure you meant delightful gentlemen, right?”
Micah looked ready to reply, but Torina chose that moment to enter. She wore a slinky fuchsia dress whose halter top looked ready to surrender and leave her plump breasts exposed. If that happened, Katelina doubted the vampiress would care.
“Hello there, boys,” Torina purred. “I hope you’re all being good, or at least not too bad.” She paused to wink at Micah. “Not yet, anyway.”
Oren made an impatient noise in his throat and she moved to sit next to him. “Brother, I see your new appendage is still alive and well.”
Katelina cringed at the insult, but Etsuko didn’t.
“You’d have known that had you bothered to join us for breakfast,” Oren replied coldly.
“Pfft. I can feed later. I had better things to do than sit at the table and stare at all of you.”
“Better things or people?” Micah asked with a snicker.
“As if I’d tell you.” Torina tossed her red hair over her shoulder. “I hope it’s not raining in Munich.”
Katelina hunched down in her seat and closed her eyes. The weather was the least of her worries.
The rain stopped by the time they reached the marina. It was after dark and off-season, still Katelina had expected someone to meet them, but the place was deserted. Jorick helped her onto the dock. Though he didn’t say anything, she could feel his tension. Her eyes skipped from him to their surroundings.
The last time they’d been there had been nearer to midnight, and there had still been more life. A handful of other yachts had been moored, some with people on the decks enjoying a starlit night. This time, the slips stood empty and the wooden dock stretched lonely, wet, and silent. The buildings that crowded the seawall had also been teeming with life: a bar, a restaurant, and the harbor master’s office. Now both the signs and buildings were dark. The tinkle of drunken conversation had been replaced by the gentle lapping of the water and Katelina’s raspy breathing.
Jorick and Oren met each other’s eyes, as if a silent conversation passed between them. Given they were both mind readers, Katelina was sure that was the case.
The captain of the yacht climbed noisily onto the dock. “Where is everyone?”
“That’s the question.” Jorick squeezed Katelina’s hand reassuringly. “Come,” he raised his voice to address the others. “Stay on your guard.”
Micah snorted contemptuously. “Like you have to tell us. Come on, pee-wee.” He motioned to Loren and strode toward the buildings.
The teen followed enthusiastically, and Verchiel swung his black bag over his shoulder and trailed after them. Wolfe dug in his carry-on and produced a bizarre weapon. As if the long, curving hook wasn’t enough, it looked like several other blades had been tacked on for good measure and all stuck to a short handle. He met Sadihra’s gaze and a look of understanding passed between them. The Scharfrichterin would need no weapon because her ability, similar to telekinesis, made everything around her into one.
The captain offered them a smile. “Good luck. I’ll have someone bring your luggage up.” Then he disappeared into the yacht.
Jorick motioned Katelina to stay silent and carefully led her forward. Like the other vampires, he moved soundlessly, something she hadn’t mastered. She cringed as her footsteps echoed heavily on the damp wooden dock. She might as well shout, “Here we are!” Though, if there were other vampires nearby, they probably already knew.
Jorick and Micah jerked to a stop at the same time, and the others followed. They sniffed the air, and then Jorick released Katelina’s hand and stormed forward alone.
Verchiel tugged what looked like a short lacquered club from his bag. With a twist and a click, it separated into a short sword and a wooden scabbard. He motioned to Oren and Torina, but apparently neither had weapons on them.
The vampires crept forward and Katelina took a handful of steps. She splashed in a water puddle and instantly drew back. The liquid that splattered up her leg wasn’t clear like rainwater, rather a thick, dark liquid. She wiped at it to find–
Her terrified eyes swept the area. Something white bobbed in the water. As she stared, it slowly focused into a face and a neck; a floating body.
She looked to the vampires quickly. Their expressions said they’d seen it and, from the angle of their stares, more. In her imagination the sea was crowded with the dead, and she took an unconscious step back.
Her heart pounded in her ears and she strained against the sound of the water for something; a footfall, a voice, the click of a gun.
With a shattering crash, four figures dressed in black smashed through the glass storefront of the bar and landed on the dock. Their clothes reminded Katelina of assassins from a video game, complete with hoods that left only their eyes exposed. They held various bladed weapons that gleamed in the light.
“Who are you?” Wolfe demanded.
Their only answer was a savage cry as they lunged forward, weapons swinging. Both their speed and fluid movements revealed what they were: vampires.
Wolfe met the first of them with a clash. Verchiel disappeared and reappeared in front of another. Their swords clanged in the darkness as the other two dashed past. Jorick met one and, before the other could ram into Micah, a board from the dock ripped loose and crashed into the assailant, knocking him backwards. Katelina looked quickly to Sadihra, who was already motioning another board to rip away and hurtle through the air.
Micah snarled and dodged the next board to tackle the vampire to the ground. Though he was younger than most of the vampires in the group, Micah was what they called a titan, meaning he had ‘super strength’. As if to prove it, he grabbed the enemy vampire and threw him into the nearest building in a shower of glass.
Weaponless, Jorick grappled with his opponent. The vampire slashed, and Jorick spun away. He came back swinging and landed a punch to the other’s face. Katelina imagined the crunch of bone as his foe stumbled backwards. He caught himself at the last moment and swung his bladed weapon at Jorick, just as Sadihra sent shards of glass flying into him like a million tiny darts.
He gave a cry and fell to the dock. Jorick grabbed him by the front of his shirt and hauled him up. Katelina could see the attacker’s blood sparkling in the yellow lights of the marina. Despite his injuries, the vampire swiped at Jorick and kicked him in the knee. Jorick stumbled and the vampire wrenched free.
Katelina stepped back from the carnage. Part of her wanted to help, but what could she do? She had no weapon, and was no match for their immortal strength.
Loren misinterpreted her panic and stepped up next to her. “Don’t worry, I can be on human guard duty.”
Before she could tell him that she didn’t need guarded, Oren and Torina flew past her. The vampiress launched herself onto the back of Micah’s foe. She clamped her legs around his waist and, with a savage cry, bit into his neck. The vampire slashed at her and Micah took the opening to slam his fist into his enemy’s chest with a sick, crunching sound. The vampire teetered and Torina leaped away before he toppled to the ground, leaving Micah with a fist full of the vampire’s gory heart.
Verchiel and his opponent ranged over the wooden dock. Their blades flashed and blurred, their fight almost too fast for Katelina to keep track of. Too busy to notice Oren’s approach, the intruder cried out when Oren grabbed him from behind and threw him to the dock. He was up again quickly, but Torina grabbed his fallen weapon, and stabbed him through the heart. He stumbled and fell to one knee, and she rammed the blade in deeper. The vampire’s eyes went wide and then he fell in a bleeding heap.
Not to be outdone, Jorick snapped his enemy’s neck and flung him aside. With a smile, Verchiel flickered, then reappeared, his sword skewered through the fallen foe’s chest. “You’re welcome.”
Jorick rolled his eyes. “I didn’t need the help.”
Meanwhile, Wolfe swiped at the last attacker with his many bladed weapon. He made contact again and again, knocking the vampire’s long knife from his hands and slashing long, gaping cuts in the black fabric of his clothes. He battled him up against the wall of the bar, then grabbed him by the throat, lifted him, and growled, “Who are you?”
With a wave of her hand, Sadihra sent a jagged piece of wood flying through the air. Wolfe gave a startled cry and jumped out of the way as it stabbed through the vampire’s chest, pinning him to the building. He gave a final gurgle and then went slack, held in place like a note on a bulletin board.
Wolfe wiped his hands on his coat and his grey eyes snapped over the scene. “Are they all dead?” Though no one answered, his expression turned irritated. “It would be nice to know who they were.”
Torina licked blood from her hands, and studied her spattered dress. “Does it matter? They’ve ruined my clothes.”
Micah bent and washed his gory hand in the water. “Doesn’t the great mind reader know?”
“I was too busy to delve into the deeper recesses of their minds.” Jorick knelt next to one of the bodies and pulled the hood from an unfamiliar face. He rolled the body over and frowned. A white, blood splattered symbol shone on the back of the dead vampire’s shirt. Made of swirls and what looked like a cross, it bore a vague resemblance to a horned beast or a dragon’s head.
Wolfe crouched next to him and traced the symbol with his finger. “I’ve seen this before.”
“As have I.” Jorick stood and kicked the dead body onto its back. “Is this all of them?”
Verchiel disappeared while the other vampires sniffed the air. A moment passed with no sound, and Katelina started forward. Loren grabbed her arm and pulled her back, a warning in his brown eyes. The others spun in the direction of the buildings just as a pair of women jumped through the shattered window. They landed in fighting poses, holding ornate hand-held sickles. Matching ponytails were in contrasting colors of blonde and black. They wore clingy black outfits, much like the first four had, but instead of hoods they had masks over their eyes and no symbol on their back, as if they’d shopped at a cheaper costume store.
You have to be kidding!
Micah charged the pair with a roar. The girls each bounced in a different direction. Loren drew a pocket knife and, with a wink at Katelina, bounded toward the blonde, while Jorick went after the other. The blonde easily knocked aside Loren’s paltry weapon. Micah charged between them and grabbed the blade of a sickle barehanded. He wrenched it from her grasp and threw it to the ground, cutting his palm in the process. She jumped back, surprise on her face, and Micah swore and pressed his wounded hand to his pants.
The raven-haired vampiress swung at Jorick, but he dodged her blows. They spun in what looked like a choreographed dance until he caught one of her wrists and wrenched her arm behind her back. One of her sickles dropped to the ground. She raised the other to strike, but stopped when Jorick wrapped a threatening arm around her throat. He could effortlessly snap her neck, and the look in her eyes said she understood that. With a soft shudder, she dropped her last weapon to the ground.
Meanwhile, Torina ripped the jagged piece of wood from the pinned corpse, and turned it on the blonde like a stake. The vampiress ducked, but she wasn’t fast enough. Torina skewered her through the spot under her shoulder with enough force to ram the wood clear through. Sadihra sent a shard of glass that pierced her hand and pinned it to the dock. Torina wrenched the piece of wood from her foe and pulled back, ready to slam it through her heart.
“Enough!” Jorick’s cry was a command and a sudden wave of power rolled from him.
Torina growled, but stepped away. “Why is that?”
“We want to know who they are and why they’re attacking us,” Jorick replied impatiently.
He shoved his prisoner off on Micah, but before he could question anyone, Wolfe charged into the center to take control. “Do you know who we are?”
The black haired vampiress turned her face away.
Though Wolfe repeated his question in several languages, he got the same silence.
The other vampires drew forward and, with the danger past, Katelina hurried to Jorick’s side. He glanced at her, as though to make sure she was all right.
Verchiel appeared in the doorway of one of the buildings, something bulky in his hand. “I didn’t find anyone living, only a few dead vampires and a bunch of humans. But I think I found the harbor master.” He lifted his prize. As the light fell on it, Katelina realized with a cry that it was a severed head. “Looks like we won’t have to pay dock fees.”
The raven-haired prisoner went stiff, her wide gaze locked on Verchiel and the gory head. She cried out what sounded like “Aki!” Jorick’s dark eyes snapped from the prisoner to Verchiel. The red head dropped his grisly evidence and stepped out the door. After giving the vampiress a once over, he shrugged his ignorance.
Jorick turned to the blonde. She was still on one knee, one hand pinned to the dock by the shard of glass, and the other pressed against the bleeding wound in her shoulder. Jorick pulled away her mask and threw it aside. The angry face offered no answers, so he snapped, “Who are you?”
Wolfe moved behind him and repeated the question in various languages, oblivious to Jorick’s annoyance. When he’d finished the string, Jorick said firmly, “Thank you, Wolfe, but that won’t be necessary. She speaks English.” He repeated his question and added, “Did Malick order you to do this?”
The blonde vampiress sniffed disdainfully. “We didn’t kill the harbor master, or the others. Those were your friends.”
“Our friends?” echoed Katelina. “I don’t understand.”
“Her thoughts are confusing,” Jorick said slowly. “But the name Malick doesn’t mean anything to her.”
Micah shifted his hold on his prisoner. “If you can read that from her mind then why don’t you find out who the fuck she is while you’re at it?”
“They have barriers,” Verchiel commented, though he looked vaguely unsettled.
“What do you mean a barrier?” Katelina asked.
Jorick answered, “It can be a natural ability or a learned trait, done by muddling one’s thoughts into a confusing soup or by imagining an impenetrable wall.”
Wolfe interrupted. “Whether you can read their minds or not, the Höher Rat will wish to question them. We don’t have much time. We still need to find transportation to the airfield, and quickly or we’ll arrive in Munich after the sun is up. I don’t relish spending the day on the plane.”
Micah pushed his prisoner onto Torina. “Come on Pipsqueak, we’ll handle the car problem.” He ripped a strip of cloth from the shirt of a dead vampire and wrapped his injured hand, then stalked toward a crowded parking lot.
Loren nodded and took off after him.
Oren said with distaste, “If we must, then choose one and kill the other.” He nodded toward the dark haired girl Torina held. “She’s yet to say anything useful.”
Jorick looked thoughtful and Torina forced the girl to her knees. She squirmed and the moment her arms were free she ripped the mask from her face and threw herself toward Verchiel shouting the same word over and over, “Aki! Aki!”
The redhead stepped back uncertainly, his brow creased.
Torina reined her in and Wolfe demanded, “Do you know her?”
“No,” Verchiel said slowly. “I…I don’t think so.” The vampiress looked horror stricken and he quickly stepped back and turned away from her. His usual smile reappeared, though it looked hollow. “If we leave one alive we might as well leave them both.”
“So they can work together and escape?” Torina huffed. “I say kill them both and forget it.”
The sound of car motors cut the conversation short and two bulky SUVs pulled to a stop at the edge of the dock. Katelina thought they might be the same vehicles that had met them at the airfield and taken them to the marina last time, but she couldn’t be sure.
Micah kicked open one of the doors and hollered, “Found the drivers with their throats cut, so didn’t even have to hotwire the damn things. Get in and let’s get rolling, huh?”
“I’ll drive.” Oren strode toward the SUV Loren had commandeered, Etsuko hurrying behind him.
Torina lifted the raven-haired vampiress and looked to Jorick. “Do we kill her or not?”
Jorick studied the prisoner for a moment, then turned and pulled the glass from the blonde’s hand. “Not yet. Tie their hands and bring them both.”
The plane was a smallish jet, no doubt meant to carry a maximum of fifteen people. Though Katelina knew the interior was considered luxurious, with leather seats, a kitchenette, and a sleeping room, it was the last place she wanted to be. Or rather, the last place she wanted to be was on an airplane hurtling hundreds of miles an hour to her death.
“It will be fine, little one,” Jorick assured her.
She paused as Verchiel reached the plane’s fold down stairs and tried to prod his prisoner up them. “Tell that to her.”
Verchiel forced the blonde vampiress to look back and meet his eyes. She relaxed almost instantly and he pushed her inside. Katelina had seen both him and Jorick do that before. They were whisperers; vampires who could make another do something by willpower alone. The scary thing was Jorick was more accomplished at it.
When it was Katelina’s turn to board she said a quick prayer. She wasn’t sure God was interested in saving vampires, but why not? Despite the undead reputation, they were living creatures. Surely that entitled them to protection?
She took a seat and stashed her suitcase while Jorick sat next to her. The other vampires boarded, Micah and his prisoner last.
“What do I do with her?”
Wolfe motioned toward the door at the back of the plane. “The other is in the kitchenette, so take her to the sleeping chamber. I will interview them once we’re airborne.”
Micah snapped a sarcastic salute. “Aye-aye, Captain Tight-ass.” He pushed his prisoner forward. “Come on, honey. Looks like it’s the brig for you.”
The vampiress said nothing, but once they’d disappeared through the door Katelina could hear her bizarre cries of “Aki!” again.
“What language is that?” Katelina asked.
Jorick shrugged. “I’ve no idea, but I think the redheaded idiot knows more than he’s admitting. This should be an interesting trip.”
Katelina knew that interesting was really another word for horrible, so she prayed he was wrong.