“Shhhh!” Two of Osmund’s fingers were on Alyson’s lips in a blur of a motion and his face pressed against hers, looking mean as ever. “Don’t you ever say that near bodies. They listen! Do you understand?” Alyson nodded, her eyes wide in shock, and she knew if her heart was still beating it’d be hammering. But even in her fear she couldn’t help but notice with indignation how he still called humans “bodies”. She felt Osmund’s breath on her face as his hand moved down to her neck. There was no humor in his large, penetrating eyes. He was wild, she realized, nothing human left of him. She wanted to cry out for Eilif, but an unpleasant memory of Eilif’s own wrath stopped her. Osmund barked in a raspy voice that sounded like screech on a window: “I want you and your friends come by my place some time soon. There are things we need to discuss.” Before his mouth stopped moving he was already walking through the forest, disappearing in the trees, and then like a ghost he was gone. Alyson stood a moment, shaken, then saw humans turning the corner and moving her way. As soon as they passed she headed for the forest. The scent of Osmund was still present, but he was nowhere to be seen, even with her vampire eyes.