Once she felt safe from secruity cameras, she she took out her phone and touched the message icon. “This seems excessive, even for Mearzt,” she mumbled, scrolling through her friend’s messages, which were mostly, “Call me!” Ayn did, without scrolling to the end.
Mearzt answered before the first ring finished. “What took you so long?”
“Hello to you, too,” Ayn said.
“Sorry,” Mearzt said, “but really, where have you been?”
“At school, Mearzt, where else would I be during the day?” Ayn snapped.
“Okay,” her friend said. “What happened?”
Ayn filled Mearzt in on all that had happened since they’d last talked, finishing with, “Oh, and Lettie called the security team about the photo images.”
“I’ll bet she took them,” Mearzt said.
“Just a feeling. Say,” Mearzt’s voice grew quiet, “see if you can find out from your dad what they’re doing.”
Ayn sighed. “He’s not talking.”
“Well, if you can, just see.”
“Does this have anything to do with something Nev—”
“There you are.” The familiar voice said from behind her.
Automatically, Ayn disconnected the call, stuffing the phone in a pocket, and putting her arm around Zoe to keep her in place as the beastie growled. “Steady, girl,” she crooned, looking up to find Lettie watching her, one eyebrow raised on her otherwise expressionless face.