Catriona arrived the morning after Joris’s sending spell, just as the cleric concluded his early services. The three left Firil to mind the temple and retired to the vestry.
“It’s true,” Catriona said. “Malcanthet has Faodhagan in Shendilavri.”
“How do you know?” Joris asked.
“The Court of Stars has friends in many places,” the eladrin said. “That’s all ye need know.”
That made Joris’s mind race. Were there eladrin who treated with Malcanthet? With her enemies? With friends of her enemies? It didn’t matter in the end; he trusted Catriona, and she wouldn’t have come if she wasn’t sure…
“Do you know where in Shendilavri?” asked Kalisa.
“The Scarlet Saray.”
“I know it well,” Kalisa said with distaste. “The Queen keeps all her favorite playthings there.”
“Is that why she’s kept him alive all this time?” Joris asked.
Kalisa nodded, her eyes on Catriona. “She’s perverse enough to find pleasure in violating an eladrin hero. Forever.”
“I know a little more,” Catriona said, color rising in her cheeks, “but before I tell ye, tell me what ye plan to do with this information.”
“I’m going to save him,” Kalisa announced before Joris could say anything.
Catriona’s hands went to her hips. “Are ye now?”
“I am. I know every portal in and out of the Saray. I know exactly where I’d stash him if I were Malcanthet. I can have him back in Arvandor before anyone knows I was there.”
“The place may have changed.” Catriona ran her fingers over an old tapestry as she spoke. “It’s the Abyss, after all.”
“Maybe so, but only Morgrith and the Queen herself know it better than I do.”
That name was new to Joris. “Who’s Morgrith?”
“The balor who runs the Saray. Malcanthet sent him after me when I turned stag. He’s probably still sore with me…”
A balor with a grudge? Joris caught her hand in his. “Kalisa, are you sure about this?”
“I can do this, Joris.” She squeezed his hand and moved closer to him. “You know I can. I’m meant to do this.”
“I don’t doubt that. But I don’t want you doing this out of guilt.” Or because you’re still in love with him, he thought.
“I’m not in love with him,” Kalisa replied.
Get out of my head, Joris thought.
<<sorry>> “I’m doing it because it’s the right thing to do.”
“Fine,” replied Joris. “Then I’m coming with you.”
“And I,” said Catriona. “I’ll go ‘cause I’m still in love with him.”
The succubus smiled. “Good. Then we might have a chance.”
“Shouldn’t we get Haden and the others in on this?” asked Catriona.
“Can’t,” replied Joris. “They’ve left Sigil; I don’t know where they’ve gone. It’s up to us.”
Kalisa nodded. “Then let’s go.”