While her strength was slowly being sapped away, her senses were still sharp as ever.
Tempie accepted the fact she might be forced to live forever upon the surface of the earth among the humans. She realized it was her duty to protect the bottle people. Katrina had become her most trusted friend. She considered Katrina a sister. She wanted Katrina to achieve success with her voice and without having to evoke her powers through her song. Yet Tempie felt an unease as well. She could not pinpoint it. It creeped into her bones. All she could think of was Mr K. was about to make his final move.
Everyone was surprised the Trader, Mr. Kemp, had not challenged them yet. He seemed content to wait, but wait for what? He should know by now the matriarch was to weak to defend herself, let alone the city. Was he afraid of Katrina and Aaron? Where they more powerful than assumed? All they could do is be prepared and wait. But wait for what?
The events of the day left Katrina exhausted. She slipped into sleep quickly when her head hit the pillow. Strange shapes and sounds played around in her head. Each shape morphing into something else with colors so vivid they seemed unreal.
Suddenly the shapes started to merge together. The mass floated on air. Soon its grew a face amount miles and miles of fabric or at least it seemed.
A voice called her name - Katrina, it whispered. Katrina could not decide if she was awake or dreaming, but the voice called her again. Katrina looked around in her dream and from the miles of miles of fabric, her mother's face appeared.
Mother? Katrina asked.
Is that you?
All of the body was covered except brown piercing eyes.
Katrina, the creature called.
Yes, I am your mother and I have come to warn you.
Warn me about what?
There is danger in New York. You should not go.
But mother, the danger is her in Segnarts.
Besides I will only be gone for a couple weeks.
Katrina, please keep away from New York. There is danger there, the creature repeated.
Katrina sat up in bed waking from her dream. She looked around her room as if she expected the ghost to be there floating around.
Oh wow, it was just a dream. Mother is too weak to speak to me in my sleep so it had to be a dream.
Katrina had to admit she was nervous about leaving Tempie alone to protect the city and try to save her mother. What if she failed and mother died? she thought. I would never forgive myself.
Katrina laid back down and drifted back into a fitful sleep.
The morning brought relief to Katrina. The dreams gone. The light creeping into every corner scaring away any lingering nightmares. She looked forward to the lunch with Max. She spent many afternoons, early mornings after the bar closed talking.
They met under the pretense Katrina was teaching Max about their history and people, but each grew fond of each other. The feelings grew stronger and stronger each time they met. Katrina hated to leave.
At The Coffee House
So you are really going back?
Yes, but just for a couple of week? Time will pass in no time. I'm sure you won't forget what I've taught you so far.
No I won't, but maybe you and I talk on the phone to continue the lessons, Max offered.
Yes, that would be perfect!
Katrina's excited response create an awkward silence.
That would great, Max responded.
Look Katrina, I know I can't tell you not to go, but I'm a little concern about this trip.
Why? I've lived in New York for years. Why is everyone so concerned?
It's hard to explain, but for some reason, I feel it dangerous.
Katrina choked on her coffee. Suddenly, the images from her dream flashed before her eyes. She looked hard at Max.
What's wrong?, he asked
You won't believe this, but I had a dream that some ghost like creature who claimed to be my mother said the same words you just said about New York.
It's probably you projecting your fears as well.
Look Max. I know New York. It is a great place. What frightens me is leaving town and my mother.
But isn't Tempie here to protect.
Yes, but I think my fears are about leaving, not going.
Like I said, I have no idea where this feeling comes from.
It might be I'm afraid you going to get to New York and decide to stay. To be honest Katrina, I really care for you. I will miss you.
Katrina's heart started beating faster than she had every felt it beat.
Maxwell, I will miss you. You don't know how long I have hoped you would feel something for me.
I have always felt for you, but there was always your mother.
So you understand why I don't want you to go. I don't want you to remember the things you love about New York. I don't want you to compare our little quiet town to New York and realize how bored it makes you.
I've never been bored here. I left because this city can't give me the career I wanted, but since you've added a singer to the bar, I am content because it allows me to near you.
Ok, but I would feel a little better if I knew who you were meeting.
Let's see, I have a picture of Mr. Tamashi, in my purse.
Katrina pulls out the picture of Kurai Tamashi.
Oh, he looks creepy.
Yes, but he is filthy rich. Rich enough to open one of the biggest club ever opened in New York.
Max felt his heart drop at Katrina joy.
I wonder if his name means anything? Katrina asked trying to temper her joy and change the subject.
Probably, creepy man, Max replied.
So Max, since this is my last night in town do you want to spend it together?