“I’ve been trying! But you know how hard to is for them to get service in Australia!” Milo glowered down at the phone then jammed it back in his pocket. “And something’s wrong and I don’t know what it is!”
“I’m sure everything’ll be fine.” I said that, but I didn’t believe it.
Mae wouldn’t reach out to Ezra unless she had to. I should’ve realized that when he said she’d been calling him. Especially after the way Daisy attacked Bobby, and how Peter said she’d been acting.
“Ezra!” Milo shouted and walked into the dining room.
“Jack, stay put.” I patted Jack on the back and hopped off the counter. He mumbled something, but I think he was mostly passed out anyway. I chased after Milo, following him to where he met Ezra in the living room.
“Why haven’t you been answering the phone?” Milo yelled at Ezra.
“My phone calls are none of your concern,” Ezra said, unfazed by Milo’s apparent rage.
“Mae has been calling you, and she’s in trouble,” Milo glared up at him.
“Maybe you should try calling her back,” I suggested. “Or at least check her messages.”
From the other room, we heard a bang. I glanced back, and although I couldn’t see him, I guessed that Jack had fallen off the counter onto the floor. The excess blood had hit him bad.
“Shouldn’t you go check on your boyfriend?” Ezra asked, his tone barely revealing the ice underneath.
“I’m okay!” Jack yelled from the kitchen.
“He’s okay.” I pointed back in his direction, and Ezra rolled his eyes.
“Ezra, don’t change the subject,” Milo said. I had to admit it, I admired my little brother for talking to Ezra like that. Standing up to him took courage. “I know you’re mad at Mae-”
“I’m not mad at her,” Ezra cut him off. “I merely have nothing to say to her.”
“Whatever,” Milo sighed. “You loved her. You still love her, and even if you don’t, you cared about her for so long that you can’t shut it off. She is in serious trouble. How could you not at least hear her out? Don’t you owe her that?”
“Of course I would help her if I could.” Ezra swallowed hard, and for one of the few times since I’d met him, the pain in his voice was audible. It made his deep baritone tighten. “I just don’t believe I can.”
“If you’d answer the damn phone, you’d know for sure!” Milo shot back.
“Milo, yelling at him doesn’t make this better,” I said.
“I’m not yelling!” Milo yelled, then took a deep breath. “Sorry. I’m frustrated. I don’t like knowing that something could be wrong, and I could help but… I can’t.”
My phone began to ring, and we all froze. For a second, we stared at each other, and then I scrambled to pull it out of my pocket. Before I answered, I checked the caller ID.
“Is it Mae?” Milo asked breathlessly.
“No. It’s not Mae.” I swallowed hard. “It’s Peter.”
“Hello?” I answered the phone after my initial shock.
“Alice?” Peter breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank god you answered.”
“What’s going on?” I asked. “Is something wrong? Where’s Mae?”
“She’s off dealing with the little problem,” he said. “We’re… Ah, hell, Alice, we’re in a major shit storm, and we’ve gotta get out of here. Now.”
“Why? What happened? Are you guys okay?” I asked.
“Yeah, we’re alright. Mae and that… child are fine, or as fine as can be after…” He cursed under his breath. “Mae got it in her head that Daisy was ready for a trip to the city. There was some carnival thing going on, and she thought it was a lovely way to spend the evening.”
“What did she do?” My stomach dropped, and I stepped back so I could sit back on the couch.
“Daisy went berserk.” Peter laughed hollowly. “She attacked several people in town. I tried to contain the situation and convince them it’d been an animal. I’m not sure what they believed, but we managed to get out of there alive. Daisy is unscathed, which is the important part, right?”
“Did she kill anyone?” I asked, and Ezra closed his eyes, shielding himself from it.
“No. Well, not that I know of,” Peter corrected himself. “The way she went after some of them, it’s entirely possible that they died after we left. She’s not… safe. I don’t know what to do. We chartered a plane, and we should be leaving on it soon. But I don’t know where we’ll go or what we’ll do.”
“What does Mae think you should do?” I asked.
“Lord knows what Mae thinks about anything anymore,” Peter said. “I told her it was a mistake to bring Daisy out in public, but Mae has been in such denial about this whole thing. I think she’s starting to realize it’s a mistake, but she can’t do anything now.”
“Are you coming home?” I asked.
“I don’t know if that’s the right thing to do,” he said at length. “I’m not even sure that Ezra or Jack would let us come home. And we can’t live in a city with people everywhere.”
“Do you want to talk to Ezra?” I asked and looked up at Ezra to make sure it would be okay.
“He’s around?” Peter sounded surprised.
“Yeah. He’s right here. You should talk to him.” I stood up and held the phone out to Ezra, not waiting to hear Peter’s response to it.
“Hello?” Ezra took the phone from me.
Milo stood next to me and watched anxiously as Ezra said very little on his end of the conversation. Other than a few murmured “mmm hmms,” he offered nothing of value.
“What’s going on?” Milo whispered.
“Daisy attacked some people at a carnival,” I told him, but I kept my eyes locked on Ezra.
“Alright.” Ezra hung up and turned back to us. Without saying anything, he walked over and handed the phone to me.
“Well?” I said.
“They’re getting on a plane. They’ll be here in a day or so.” Ezra looked over at the window and shook his head. “I’m not sure what will happen when they get here but… it is what it is.”
“What the hell does that mean?” Milo asked.