[Ariyah – First Hill – Near Carl Anderson Park – BoL – NA]
Perhaps I should have called a Lyft after all.
Ariyah crossed the deserted street onto 11th Avenue.
It was getting late and there weren’t any pedestrians on the sidewalk. Nothing to distract her from her thoughts.
Now that she wasn’t immersed in her work, the phone in her back pocket weighed heavily on her mind, especially that text message from Marvin.
Has it been eight months already?
Eight months since Marvin introduced her to the Prince as per the Traditions, eight months since she’s ran…moved to Seattle, eight months since Jasper…
Ariyah shut down that train of thinking.
She relaxed the death grip she had on the silver ring dangling from a chain around her neck – she’d bend the metal if she wasn’t careful – and pulled out her phone to flip to the Signal messages from Marvin.
How long are you planning to be on sabbatical? It's been 8 months already.
It's time for you to go meet some of your local family members. I can't guarantee they will be different from the ones in M___, but it's not healthy for those of our disposition to be alone.
I'm sure J would not want to see you like this either.
The same surge of anger that she felt the first time she read the messages welled up in her again.
How could he call himself Jasper’s friend and be so indifferent…
Ariyah forced herself to a deep breath, the cold night air rushing into her lungs, dousing the outrage.
She wasn’t being fair, Marvin was hurt.
She remembered how he’d staggered into a chair when she told him what had happened. At that time, she saw something inside him break. She didn’t know it then, but for the always-in-control-Ventrue, that reaction was tantamount to someone wailing at the top of the Space Needle.
Ariyah looked across the street as she walked past the Carl Anderson Park. The park was closed at this time of night, but she swore she heard voices…
Ariyah shrugged, probably just some teenagers being “rebels”.
Ariyah resumed looking at her phone and scrolled on to a message dated a few weeks earlier.
Did you get that letter I sent with the new address for the E___? It's a bit different from what you're used to. Dress _Down_. Don't say I didn't warn you. Although, can't say I've ever seen you dress Up. Regardless, the dress code shouldn't stop you from going.
Marvin was trying his best to do right by Jasper. Ariyah understood and appreciated that.
Tomorrow night, she’ll go visit the Elysium.