Chapter 9

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Kasia felt like a stalker following Tom and Robyn through the streets. She used reflective surfaces, hid behind street lamps and always stayed away a safe distance, just like she had learned from countless detective novels and TV shows. The past nights had been filled with her getting her affairs in order, never leaving Georgie and Findlay's house in the process. His plan was simple, she had to quit her job, empty her apartment and never use her phone, social media or credit cards again. In short, she had to become a ghost in the modern world, allowing nothing and no one to remain close by who could possibly track her. She was overwhelmed by how cut off she would be from her former life, her friends and family, but she didn't know how else to handle it. During the day she was basically useless, still locked up in a room, because they didn't know how much she could be trusted in her wolf-shape. And by night? She suspected that people would notice if she was only ever available after nightfall. Just like that, her existence had turned into the plot of a low budget and terribly bad fantasy movie.

She checked her watch again, knowing that there was little time until Findlay expected her back at the house. But she simply couldn't bring herself to vanish without seeing her friend one last time. Her family would be an issue she'd have to worry about later. Tackling one problem at a time had never been her specialty, but she didn't have much of a choice now. It made sense of course, she couldn't risk getting more people involved in this crusade against the Velcrys, especially no humans. Kasia just didn't know how to go about it. Robyn would be livid in the first place because she missed the wedding, but how was she supposed to say goodbye now? Especially since she didn't want it to be a goodbye forever.

Her thoughts had wandered, she was thinking more about how things might turn out rather than keeping track of her friends' whereabouts in the now. In that moment, she could have cursed herself anew. She was sure they wouldn't be far, but she was running out of time. Just as Kasia turned around, ready to give up, she bumped into someone and immediately froze as she saw who it was.

"Robyn! Fancy seeing you here." She had always been a bad liar, but this was cringe-worthy even for her.

"You've been following me?" Her expression was all business.

"No. Ha! Whyever would you think that?"

Robyn didn't move or respond in any way. Her eyes just glowered at Kasia, an expression so vile, she had never once seen it on her friend's face before. The air got chilly just from that look alone. "Okay, yes! But let me explain!" It was all Kasia could think of to say, but in reality she wasn't sure how she could possibly share any of the information she had gathered. Robyn scoffed, but she didn't move, so Kasia saw it as an invitation to continue talking. "First, I am really, really sorry I missed the wedding."

There was no way Kasia would have believed that Robyn's icy stare could get any more hateful, but she had been wrong. Her words apparently were the final straw that made Robyn turn around and leave.

"I am serious, I am really sorry. You have to believe me!" Kasia reached out to grab Robyn's hand, but she jerked it away immediately.

"Don't you dare touch me or I swear I might slap you!" Only now did Kasia realise that there were tears forming in her friend's eyes.

"I didn't mean for any of this to happen."

"You never do, yet it keeps happening. Marianne was right about you." It stung incredibly to hear those words, because Kasia knew what Marianne had whispered into Robyn's ears the past year. She was unreliable, selfish, never there when Robyn needed her, never there period. She had skipped out on so many of their lunch dates or simply ignored late night phone calls, even though Kasia knew that Robyn had probably been in a fight with Tom and could have needed a shoulder to lean on. Of course, now she knew now why she had been so detached from the world in the past. Without even knowing it, she had been grieving one of the most important people in her life, but did that really excuse her not being there for her best friend? She knew that the answer was a definite 'no'.

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