When Kalera closes her eyes she sees the baby.
“Who are you?” She questions in her thoughts.
Zoran takes Kalera’s hand. How are you feeling? He asks while lifting her hand to his lips.
Zoran lowers her hand as she leans into him.
“What do you think happened to the crystal?” She asks.
“I don’t know.” He responds.
Turning to Musfall, she asks the same question. He cannot be sure, but he believes the energy of the crystal was absorbed into the book. Musfall; however, is more interested in where the crystal originated.
Kalera again closes her eyes this time focusing on Xavgon. The seven-hour flight reminds her of riding him across the city. She smiles remembering the wind on her face.
We’ve arrived. Zoran whispers as Musfall stands and yarns forgetting to cover his mouth.
Zoran waits about thirty minutes for Rome to be released after gathering his luggage. Musfall, has already booked a suite at the Marriott in Lima, and a guide for their visit to Machu Picchu in the Andes Mountains. It is a holy place he assures his friends, and he believes any connection to Gros will be at Machu Picchu.
Upon arrival at the hotel, Zoran decides it is time to take Rome for a walk, but Kalera and Musfall do not think they should go wandering around separately. Instead, they can walk Rome together after checking into the room. After twenty minutes, Musfall receives the key cards and they hurry to their room.
The room is exquisite and Kalera is not surprised because Musfall is a man of great taste.
“Mother you are just and wise in your thoughts.” Xavgon says after hours of silence.
“I cannot risk their lives. Once we reach Gros, we will go in alone, but I will not divulge this to them until the moment is right.” Kalera communes.
Zoran walks into one of the bathrooms with his suitcase, opening it. On top, the Book of Man.
“Stupid. Why would he put the book in his checked luggage?” Kalera ponders.
“Ready!” Musfall announces.
Kalera walks out to the balcony where Rome is waiting. She places her hand on his head. He turns to her with a look of longing.
“I missed you, my friend.” She utters with a smile while staring into the beyond of the landscape of Peru. For in her travels, Kalera has never ventured to South America. She rubs her hand across Xavgon who is now silent. She worries about him being crammed into the space of metal. But why worry for a dragon large enough to cover the sun, the moon, and the stars?
“I am okay Mother. I just need to move. I am frozen in this thing that allows me no rest. Xavgon speaks.
“I know your taste of freedom back in New Orleans leads you to want more. We are near mountains where you may return without possibly being seen. So I will speak to Musfall to see what he thinks.” She responds.
“The creature that stands next to you. What do you call it?” He asks.
“Rome? He is a dog, an animal. I rescued him from a shelter four years ago. Why do you ask?”
“You love him.” Suggest Xavgon.
“I do. As I love you.” She assures.
“The one you are thinking of now, who was he?” Xavgon ask.
“He was my brother, Xavier. You are named for him. He was the best of us, and I miss him very much. Every time I speak your name, a vision of him appears to me. He loved dragons. If only he could see you.” She replies.
“He does Mother. He sees me.” Xavgon assures.
Tears begin to fall down Kalera’s face as she realizes Xavgon’s truth.
Musfall walks over.
“My lovely. I am ready whenever you are.” He said.
“Well let’s go. Zoran.” She utters.
Rome moves so fast that he appears to be galloping along the path while lifting his legs and marking his territory in new surroundings. As they walk Kalera notices a man in a green shirt with tan shorts moving in the same direction as they are. Xavgon feels her concern, but for his position, he cannot see the man.
“Guys. There is a man following us. He has turned every corner and walk up to every step as we.” She announces.
“Where is he?” Asked Zoran.
“Don’t turn so quickly, but he is there in the green shirt and tan shorts.” She whispers.
Musfall and Zoran both notice him at this point.
“Let’s head back towards the hotel and monitor as we move.” Suggest Musfall.
“Sounds like a plan.” Zoran responds.
Heading back towards the hotel, every step they take, the man takes. He is not trying to be discrete.
“Once we get up to the room, we will call security.” Musfall states as they near the elevator.
The man walks over as they wait for the elevator. Rome growls a bit as Kalera looks him over.
“I am sorry, he does not like strangers.” She says to the man.
The man does not respond.
Xavgon warns as the elevator’s doors open. But his warning is too late. Time seems to stand still as Kalera stares into the abyss of space. Zoran nor Musfall can hear nor help her. They are frozen and people around them seem oblivious.
A burning sensation is upon Kalera’s back as she is forced into the darkness of the elevator. Musfall forces his hands into his pockets with his thoughts. He pulls out herbs and ashes blowing them into the man’s face. His hold on them releases, but Kalera and Rome are gone. The man snaps his fingers vanishing into thin air.
The elevator doors open and two women exit as Zoran and Musfall rushes inside. Zoran falls to his knees for there is no sign of her.
“She has been taken!” Shouts Musfall.
“Taken where? How shall we find her?” Asked Zoran.
“I don’t know.” Answers Musfall.
“You don’t know.” Zoran says.
“The only thing I can think of right now is for us to continue. We have to. How else will we find her?” Musfall states.
“This is impossible. A person doesn’t just vanish!” Zoran screams as the hotel manager approaches.
“Well you have seen a lot of impossible over the past couple of days so it is possible.” Musfall barks.
“Is everything alright gentleman?” The manager asks.
“Everything is fine sir.” Musfall answers.
“She went into a portal.” Zoran says.
“Yes. Not just anywhere. Whoever he was, I believe the portal was to Zaylen.” Musfall assures.
Zoran turns to him with tears falling down his face.
“How can you be sure of that?” He asks.
“I can’t but it’s a deep feeling tearing at my soul. To find her we must find Gros Cave.” Musfalls answers.
“I will stay here tonight, but I am finding the quickest flight out tomorrow.” Zoran yells.
“No. You can’t leave. We need one another.” Musfall assures.
“What help will I be? This is all new to me. I am not a voodoo priest or wizard. I am just a man. A man who did not believe her until I saw Xavgon with my own eyes. I had no faith in her. ” Zoran cries.
“Zoran, I know you are hurt, and so am I. She is my friend. I love her. She would want us to stick together. I feel as you do. My powers did nothing to keep her safe. Don’t leave, please.” Musfall begs.
“Okay. Okay but for Kalera.” Zoran replies.
“Yes, for Kalera!” Musfall responds.