He rolled his eyes. Gregory. Geoffrey. Right. Why hadn’t she thought of that?

The night seemed to be getting darker, the sky losing the glowing halo of orange light the city adored so much. Here, it was clearer and the stars were dotted across the sky, like a child had sprinkled glitter across a dark sheet, only losing its sparkle when the occasional cloud wafted over. The roads were empty and we had already long left the main drag when the road started to narrow. I spotted the sign for Low Marshes and followed the arrow, gradually climbing away from the sea towards the rolling hills of Varnley.

Fallon shrugged his shoulders. ‘Maybe. But that doesn’t narrow it down. The second girl could be any woman, anywhere. She could be in any part of your dimension. Besides, what is there to say this girl accepts her fate? She is young, after all. She may ignore her duty.’Alex dropped his guitar case to the ground, unzipping the top part. His fingers twiddled with the strings and I shifted, wishing he would stop.

‘No. I can’t believe that. Wherever the second He**ine goes, so does the first. No sane person would want to be stuck alone with a fate like that for long.’Kaspar glanced at him, obviously thinking the same thing that I was. Alex picked up the hint, mumbling an apology. I glanced at Fallon’s hand. A few sparks were still clinging to his fingertips, red this time.‘Then why are you here? An odd time to visit, surely?’ Kaspar asked. The distrust and curiosity were evident in his voice.

‘We wish to visit Eaglen and with your permission, would travel and camp with you tonight,’ Fallon began, with a little more tact than before.Kaspar narrowed his eyes. ‘Eaglen? At a time like this?’

‘Is Ad Infinitum not the time for visiting family and friends?’

Kaspar’s eyes flashed black and I inwardly groaned at the insensitivity of his next statement. ‘Eaglen is no relation or friend of yours.’I raised an eyebrow. ‘Are you being serious?’

‘Yes, and we’re telepathic too, but not with humans,’ he stated in a matter-of-fact way. ‘And I’ll let you in on a trade secret. As long as you are here, lock everything private in your mind in boxes and just focus on one thing if someone tries to get in your mind. I know, it sounds crazy, but you will stop smiling when you realize there are some here who won’t respect your privacy.’I sobered. ‘Like Kaspar?’

‘Perhaps.’ He shrugged, spinning around in the seat to look over his shoulder. ‘Speaking of …’Kaspar appeared beside the fridge and in the time it took to blink, the dark-haired boy with the glasses had dropped onto a stool beside me and spread the newspaper he had tucked beneath his arm out on the counter. He started to read, peering over the top of his glasses.