Zero watched as the woman paced across the field, her long black dress swirling dramatically about her in the wind. She stared back at him, her face expressionless. “Helia…” He called over his shoulder, his eyes never leaving the approaching woman’s stony face, “Is this a friend of yours?”. Zero heard a cry of “Shit!” rise up from the vestry and Helia came barreling down the aisle, almost knocking Zero out of the way in her haste to block the entrance.
“Luna!” She bellowed in a manner not at all befitting her pale, delicate appearance. “What are you doing here?”
“What am I doing here?” Luna retorted, charging across the final stretch of parched, dusty red earth until she was face to face with Helia. “You know perfectly well what I’m doing here! I thought that we were going to come here together.”
“I don’t remember agreeing to anything of the sort…” Helia said in a quiet voice, looking away. She glanced at Zero out of the corner of her eye and turned to him with a sweeter-than-sweet smile. “Zero, this is Luna, my…colleague.”
Luna held out her hand and nodded briefly at him, giving a curt smile. “Zero. Pleased to meet you at last.” Like Helia, she had hastily resumed her composure and was now watching him through calm, deep green eyes. Her flaming red hair had settled onto her shoulders in gentle waves.
“At last?” Zero said, raising his eyebrows. “How long have you known I was coming?”
“Oh, quite a while. You’ve been a topic of conversation for many moons now.” Luna peered over his shoulder into the church. “May I come in? I have some things for you.” She held up a red velvet bag.
“I’ve already brought him some breakfast.” Helia said in a slightly peevish tone.
“Breakfast? Well, I've brought him some protective herbs…he’s going to need those far more.” And with that ominous sentence, she made her way inside.