Chapter 17

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DOMINIC STEPPED FROM THE TRAIN, looking for his connection to Dover. He shook his head, tired and bewildered. The passengers meandering the platform were a cacophony of color and styles that hurt the eye. Lena trotted along behind him, hurrying to catch up. Her face was peaceful but focused. Guessing by her expression, the train station was safe for now. Unable to locate his changeover, he approached a uniformed woman he assumed worked there. Her cheap makeup and silly hairstyle reminded him of clowns he saw the last time he came to Earth.

"Just missed it, sir. Another'll be along in an hour. You could take a train to London and then over if you wanted. Wouldn't be any longer," the woman said in a high-pitched voice.

"Thank you. Is there a men's room around here?" Dominic asked, disappointed.

The woman lazily pointed over her shoulder. Dominic thanked her again and stepped into the terminal. He found the restroom, a filthy, cold space of gross tiles that was occupied by one brown sport-coated traveler. He wore brown trousers with brown shoes and combed his brown hair. The brown man eyed him with brown eyes, then returned to rinsing his comb. His brown moustache twitched. Dominic put his head down and made his way to the last stall, the wider cubicle intended for guests with wheelchairs. He couldn't expect Lena to stand outside with people coming and going, or with the strange character who was there, and he needed the space. She followed him without question, taking his hand and sticking close. Her expression changed to apprehension. Something was wrong. Her black eyes remained on the brown man.

"Shadowborn," she whispered.

Dominic squeezed her hand reassuringly. He closed them in the stall and dropped his pack in her hands. He sat on the edge of the toilet and ran his fingers through his hair. Now wasn't the time to engage trouble. He took a deep breath, hoping she was wrong. He felt so tired. The brown man was just another weirdo in a train station, never mind that he was suspiciously made of too much brown.

"We need to keep moving," Lena said.

Dominic nodded.

"Check the bag; see if there's more money," she instructed.

Lena peered through the crack in the door and watched the man at the sink.

"I think he knows I'm here. Wait—use the toilet. If you pretend you're peeing he might think twice," she said.

"What?"

"Just do it," Lena hissed. She covered her eyes and pressed her face to the door.

Dominic did as he was instructed. He didn't even know if he could go. He stood there, waiting, but nothing. The idea of her behind him locked down his bladder. Technically, he understood that he might need to go, as he had eaten and drunk the night before. However, he wasn't accustomed to what happened while travelling with temporary flesh in Samsara. His head tipped back and he stared at the greenish lights. An odd sensation followed. Dominic was delighted to find that everything worked just as it did when he was incarnated.

Zipping up, he kicked the lever to flush. Dominic sat back down. Lena jumped back, gasping as though she saw something beyond the door. She pressed herself to the tiled wall, slinking back, afraid.

"We've gotta keep moving. Check the money," she instructed.

Dominic pulled the purse from his pocket and sat on the toilet. Inside was a wad of paper notes wound into a neat roll. They had plenty. He just wasn't sure what they faced from there on out and if that roll was all they needed.

"There's enough cash," Dominic said to satisfy her.

"Count it," she urged, attaching to his leg.

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