Savin was gone, and in his place, Izak now slept upon the bed. He lay there, still, but breathing, and Tavia stomach churned as guilt flooded her; she found comfort in the fact that he was alive, but that was hardly any consolation. What kind of mess had she gotten involved in? Gotten him involved in?
Izak didn't have any outward injuries. If it hadn't been for the fact that he didn't wake up even when Tavia shook his shoulders and yelled at him, she would have believed he was only sleeping.
Abram had chosen to keep Izak in the lab rather than have him transported to a hospital. The Artificer was an expert in medical techniques, and had claimed he was better suited to monitoring Izak's condition than any doctor in a hospital. Considering the circumstances, he was very possibly right, but Tavia wasn't sure she trusted the man that much.
"What's wrong with him?" she asked.
She didn't care who answered, just as long as someone knew, but when there was no immediate answer, she met the eyes of the three people in the room, glaring at them until they looked away. Audri stood at the head of the bed, looking down at Izak, and Abram stood on the other side, opposite Tavia and Evos. She wasn't expecting an answer from Audri, but she had to hope either Abram or Evos would know what was wrong.
"The culprit was Ikarios," Abram said. "Which you would have known had you been here like you said you would be."
What was she supposed to say to that? He was right, but she had already planned to go to the exam even before Abram had asked for her help. It wasn't as if she had just left for no good reason, and she had returned as soon as she could. Hindsight was always perfect, and considering the things that had happened, her trip to the university was the worst thing she could have done.
"I find it reprehensible that you would just abandon your responsibilities like that," Abram said.
"Your friend is like this because of you."
She looked down, avoiding Abram's gaze. It wasn't as if she had done this on purpose. She hadn't thought anyone would get hurt. Besides, it wasn't like she would have been much help, right? Abram had expectations of her, but there was no way she could measure up to them. She had lost to Ikarios's minions once already, and she had lost to that Scarver too, there was no way her help would have made the difference. This was all supposed to be simpler. She would be gone for just a bit, and then return with no one the wiser.
"You didn't what?" Abram asked. "You didn't think it would matter? You think Ikarios having the most dangerous Demi in existence isn't important? Do you have any idea—"
"I never said anything like that," Tavia said.
Abram sneered at her, and she couldn't hide her flinch. He looked over her head, at Evos who stood behind her.
"Was choosing this woman really the right decision?" he asked.
"That's none of your business," Evos replied.
His voice was cold; harsher than Tavia had ever heard it before. She looked back at Evos, his silver eyes were glinting with an inner light, and his mouth twisted in a tight frown. He was just as upset that Savin was now in Ikarios's hands, but despite that, he hadn't even hinted at wanting to blame Tavia.
"Ah that's right, it isn't as if you have many choices, is it?" Abram said.
Tavia's face flushed and she looked away. Right, that was right. Evos needed a null-aura to work, at least that was what he had said. There weren't many null-auras around, even if he scoured the entire city, he'd be lucky to find another one old enough to be of use to him.
Evos's shoulders were shaking, but his anger wasn't showing on his face. A chill ran down her back. It was good he didn't share his emotions when he was in his human form; his anger, even if it was on her behalf, wasn't something she could shoulder right now.
Audri's voice cut through the argument. She had her arms crossed, and bad humor in her expression.
"Izak and I told Tavia she could go today, so we're as much to blame," she explained. "She was supposed to be back sooner, but it would seem something happened while she was gone that delayed her."
Tavia glanced back at Evos and he gave a small nod. When had he gotten the chance to explain what happened to Audri?
"That doesn't excuse—" Abram began, but even he seemed cowed by the aggressiveness in Audri's stance.
"You're right," Audri said. "There is no excuse. We agreed to be here to protect your son, but seeing as this was a decision we all made, I think we can all share the blame."
Abram was speechless. After a long moment, he turned his attention back to Tavia.
"I believe Ikarios used his ability to force Izak into a deep sleep," he said, in a stiff tone. "It would be simple for him, especially if the victim was caught unawares."
Though he had changed topics, his cold words were enough to show he hadn't actually moved on. It was frustrating to leave it like this, but the situation at hand was far more important.
"Where were you during all of this?" Evos asked.
"I was here, in the lab," Abram replied.
"So that means you saw what happened?" Tavia asked.
"I'm afraid I don't recall."
The look he gave Tavia said he was prepared to defend himself if she doubted him. There wasn't any need to be so defensive, but how could he say he didn't remember what had happened?
Tavia stepped forward and rested a hand on the edge of the bed as she tried to control herself. What kind of Scarver shit was that supposed to be? He had forgotten someone being attacked right in front of him? He'd forgotten his own son being stolen before his very eyes?
Evos put his hand on Tavia's shoulder, and she looked back at him. He had a solemn expression and he shook his head.
"It's not Abram's fault. He can erase memories," Evos said, and then added, "Ikarios, I mean."
"He can do that too?" Audri asked. "Controlling minds, erasing memories. Just what are these Demis, really?"
No one answered. Tavia certainly didn't have the answer herself, though she would have liked to know as well. Evos stayed silent, and Abram gave a stiff shrug as if the question didn't concern him. He didn't seem too upset about not being able to remember the attack.
She sighed and put a hand to her forehead. This was just getting ridiculous, wasn't it? From the rampant Scarver and the canceled exam, Izak being hurt, and now learning Ikarios could erase memories? Today was not a day of pleasant revelations. Scratch that, these past few days had been nothing but shock and surprise. What had happened to that simple trip Izak had promised her?
She looked down at Izak. He looked so pale and weak as he slept. What would Lenore say if she found out? Excuses could be made for a day, maybe two, but if Izak slept much longer than that, Lenore would begin to worry.
"How do we wake him up?" she asked. "Ikarios can't keep him asleep forever, can?"
"I'm...actually not sure about that," Evos said. "But I would assume keeping Izak asleep for an indefinite time would take a large amount of power, and even Demis aren't immune to exhaustion."
"So, he'll wake up, right?" Tavia asked.
"I believe he will," Evos said.
Good. That was...good. If she didn't have to worry about Izak, then that meant there was just one other thing to worry about. Ikarios had Savin, and it was all her fault. Audri might have told Abram otherwise, but Tavia wasn't fooled. She was the one who had chosen to go, the one who had chosen her own interests over helping her friends and keeping the murderous leader of a some twisted cult from getting a hold of the very thing he wanted.
It was Tavia's fault, and that meant, she was the one who would have to do something about it. She met Abram's eyes.
"We need to find Ikarios. I'm going to get Savin back."