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I feel like crap... I had a four hour dance class yesterday...

*
^*'*^*'*^*'*^
When darkness calls,
flee to the light.
Don't let it consume you,
no matter how great your fright.
^*'*^*'*^*'*^

(Fina's POV)
I watched Amber stop Vyse from going over to talk to Gilder, bewildered. I mean, sure, he's depressed, but surely talking to someone would help, right? Or at least you could stop him from drinking loqua or something... if it isn't that, then what's wrong with him?

Aika got up to leave, so Vyse and I followed her out the door. Just before I closed it behind me, being the last out, I looked over in his direction one more time. He was talking to Amber, and she didn't appear too pleased with him. Gilder was standing with his arms crossed, and his eyes... they scared me. Instead of the usual warm brown that seemed to be laughing, his eyes were like steel. I suppressed a shiver, his eyes reminded me of Ramirez's when we were in Soltis. I'd never seen him look like that before, and I'd never thought that I would.

Cupil make a squeaky noise, and I realized that the other two were much farther ahead of me than I'd thought. Letting the door fall shut behind me, I ran to catch up, having to go slightly slower because it was night, though the stars and moon illuminated my path fairly well. My silvery friend pulled Aika's braids in it's annoyance at leaving me behind. She fixed her hair, looking none to pleased, and punched our third companion for laughing his head off.

Another voice replaced Vyse's, and we looked up to see Clara on a nearby balcony, giggling at our antics. Aika started chatting with her, and Vyse leaned against a building looking somewhat bored. I tuned out a bit. Rude, I know, but I was worried about Gilder. A light snow began to fall from the sky as the redheads chatted. It got to the point where I couldn't stand it anymore. I had to know what was wrong. Quickly, I told Vyse where I was going, then whistled for Cupil and turned to back to Amber's.

When I reached the place and was about to go in, I noticed something as I put my hand on the doorknob. There were long, thin footprints in the thin layer of snow heading in the opposite direction from where we had found Clara. I knew that I should go ask Amber where Gilder was, but Cupil burbled, a sure sign that it wanted me to follow the footprints.

I walked for at least fifteen minutes before I reached the docks, where the footprints had lead. The snow was falling more heavily now, and there was about half an inch all over. A lone figure stood at the edge of one of the empty docks, covered in the falling powder.

I walked up to Gilder and stood a few feet behind him, waiting for him to acknowledge my presence. After a few more minutes, he spoke quietly, asking me why I was there. When I told him that I was worried, he grew silent again, continuing to stare at the moon. It came out from behind a cloud, bathing the harbor in a gentle red glow.

The captain of the Claudia slowly tugged one of his gloves off and raised the palm to the moonlight, inspecting it carefully. His skin, pale from being covered by the glove, turned an eerie hue, somehow affected more than the lighter stones that formed the city. Almost as if his hand was made of a crimson liquid, too thin to be blood, yet too thick to be anything else.

He shook his head and muttered something too quiet for me to hear, then replaced his glove and turned to me, a lopsided smile on his face again and his eyes sparkling in amusement. Now he asked me where Vyse and Aika were, and when I told him that they were talking with Clara, his face became an interesting expression.

Several seconds later, he laughed and told me to lead the way. Upon inquiry about his opinion of the fact that his 'stalker' was there, his response made me laugh.

"I can run."