“I don’t understand,” Adrian said. “How could she be doing that? Is it actually possible to create a bond with a fake personality?” He gave a puzzled frown. “But I can’t feel her right now. The bond still seems to be there but when I try to follow it, there’s nothing – like it ends nowhere.” He shook his head. “I don’t understand.”
“Well you did say it was a bit weak,” Sonia said. “Perhaps that’s why?” She cast a questioning glance at Lucas.
“Hmm… possibly,” he said. “I’ve never heard of a fake bond but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. I’d need to examine it to be sure. Would you let me look?”
“Of course,” Adrian said. “I want to get to the bottom of this mystery.”
“Okay then!” Sonia clapped her hands and turned to Kyle and Darya. “You two grab Hannah and try and use the pendant to track Kayleigh while Lucas checks Adrian’s bond. We can’t do anything until we know where she is so the rest of us will have to wait.” She tutted thoughtfully. “We still need to arrange that meeting with Indaturan as well.” She looked over at Matthias. “We could send Drew to organise that. Naria would keep him out of trouble.”
“Hey!” Andrew said.
“Sorry, Drew.” Sonia smirked. “I love you dearly but negotiating is not your best skill.”
“With everything that’s going on, we don’t know when we’ll be free for the meeting,” Matthias said. “Perhaps we should just send a message explaining.”
“My Mirian will understand,” Adrian said.
“Ystelyan-mirian will, as well,” Kyle said.
“You’re meeting Indaturan-mirian?” Darlyryan asked. “That’s interesting, though he would be a good ally for you and he’s reasonably trustworthy.” He shook his head. â€œBut it’s just like him. I shouldn’t be surprised.â€
“He likes you,” Adrian said absently. “Also he wants to talk to you about the Lost Ones. He still thinks they can be cured and he wants your input.”
“Yes, of course,” Darlyryan said. “I think he was pretty close before. But first let’s find out what’s going on with your wife. It sounds like it might be a serious problem.”
Adrian swallowed visibly. “I want to find out â€“ but then I don’t because I don’t want her to have been playing me.” He took a deep breath and looked over at Lucas. “Let’s do this.”
“Okay.” Lucas led him over to one of the sofas. They sat in silence with their eyes closed for what seemed like forever but could only have been a couple of minutes at most. Suddenly, Adrian let out a sob and Lucas started swearing.
“I take it that means it is faked somehow,” Matthias said as Sonia reached out and squeezed Adrian’s shoulder sympathetically.
“Yes,” Lucas said. “And now that I see how they did it, it’s obvious, but it would never have occured to me.”
“It’s a horrible, cold thing to have done,” Adrian said. “I don’t understand.”
“We’ll ask her when we find her,” Kyle said. “And we’re narrowing it down. She’s not far away – give us a few moments.”