Adela's last words to him echo in his mind. He wishes he could tell Maya he revealed his truth out of desire, out of a want to reconnect, but that isn't at all on the list of reasons why she is sitting in the dark of his hotel suite. If the old woman hadn't took it upon herself to so relentlessly harass him these last weeks, he would have no clue of anything that had happened in her life, and certainly no inkling of what was to come.
But here now they sit, and his cornered animal eyes hold her gaze. A certain sort of warmth still lingers in those dark pools, sunk to the bottom where the light no longer reaches. Year by year it has cooled, risen up in moments for the few people who keep the loving parts of him alive.
"She misses you," he says. "She is never far from you..." His hands gently squeeze at hers. "She loves you very much."
And he pauses. The air hangs pregnant between them. He doesn't want to tell her what he has been told, what he saw with his own dreaming eyes. But that is why she is there with him now. Whether or not he wanted to be part of this no longer matters. He can be monstrous, heaven knows, but not so monstrous that he would leave someone so kind and innocent to a fate so cruel it seeks to destroy her.
In a little jingling of bells, a vibrant bengal cat emerges from the darkened hall that leads back to the suite's bedrooms. She jaunts across the open space and leaps upon the coffee table to look at Maya with wide green eyes. A quiet, deep purring pulses in the cat's throat.
Mihai glances to her, then back to Maya.
"Maya, you are in danger. There is a man... I saw what he did." He pauses again, the pressure of his hands growing tighter around hers. "He is coming for you. I do not think it is safe for you to be alone."
Every piece of him screams silently. Tell her to go to friends. Tell her to surround herself with people who love her. People who will sacrifice for her.
People who, he knows in his heart, ultimately will be powerless to help her alone.
He swallows heavily, because he trusts no one, and says: "I think you should stay with me."