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This Drop Of Time

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Amon wasn't there when Robin opened her eyes. She shut them again, held her breath, and listened. The electric hum of their small refrigerator, the faint sounds of traffic outside, but nothing and no one else.

She released her breath and opened her eyes again, staring up at the ceiling. What time was it? She'd been up late last night -- they both had -- and had come home exhausted. She'd fallen asleep to the sound of Amon's footsteps as he checked his security measures one last time.

And now he was gone again.

Robin sat up abruptly, clutching the blanket close to her naked chest. Through the doorway, she could see the kettle sitting on an unlit burner. Her clothes lay folded on the chair where she'd left them, halfway across the room, and the closed laptop next to them. She hesitated and held her breath again, listening. Still nothing.

She sighed at herself, and threw the blanket back. The room was cool enough that she hurried to dress. She had the laptop open and booting when the door opened near-silently. Amon came in and closed it, raising his eyebrows at her. "You're awake."

"Mmm." Robin left the laptop long enough to cross to the stove and turn on the heat under the kettle.

Amon set a cardboard box down on the table, and sat down in front of the laptop, typing some sort of command into the waiting prompt. Robin watched him for a moment, then looked over at the box. "Donuts?" she said.


"I didn't know you liked them." She abandoned the kettle to open the box -- all glazed buttermilk, the sort she used to bring in to the STN-J. She fetched a small paper plate from the cupboard, set two donuts on it, and put it at Amon's elbow.

He glanced down at it, then up at her. His eyes softened for a moment, and he obediently picked up one of the donuts and took a bite out of it. Robin caught herself smiling, and looked away, down at the table, an old scarred thing she'd gotten for cheap from an equally old neighbor.

The kettle chose that moment to whistle.

She could feel Amon's eyes on her as she fixed the tea. As she turned around with the two mugs in her hands, he said, "You do not have to do this."

"You brought the donuts," she said, and smiled at him.

He met her eyes for a long moment, then turned back to the laptop. The rattle of keys resumed. Robin set down his mug and her own, then chose her own donut. She'd forgotten how light they tasted.

She'd finished eating, and was considering what to do with the remainder of the donuts, when Amon abruptly stopped typing, and said, "Robin."

"Is something wrong?" She rose and came around to look over his shoulder.

"No," he said tightly.

On the laptop screen was The Dark website, the one they'd found some weeks ago. Amon had agreed to send the address to the STN-J a few days ago: he and Robin could not process all the information found there, not on their own, and Robin, at least, trusted Michael to keep hedges around what they found.

Apparently she had trusted him too much. Or not enough. She didn't know which.

To: Eve, the posting said. We thought you were gone. Are you there? Can you hear us?


"What is this?" Robin murmured.

"A website," Amon said. "Another website. I cannot know what sort unless we go there."

"Could he track us?"

"Perhaps." Amon looked up at her, eyes dark and focused the way they got before a Hunt. "Probably."

"Can you track him?"

Amon's lips thinned, and he began typing again rapidly. Robin sank down, perched on the edge of the table. If this was from would mean coming out of the shadows. Solomon believed they were dead, so far as Amon could tell: if the STN-J found out for certain that they were not, how long would it be before Rome learned as well?

"It's him," Amon said. He was watching her again.


A moment's silence, then Amon rose to his feet and leaned over her, one hand braced on the table next to her thigh. "Do you trust him?"

"Yes," Robin said, and met his eyes. "Yes."

He brushed her hair back out of her eyes, and smiled down at her. "Go pack," he said softly. "We may need to run." And he sat back down and typed the string of numbers in.

"Yes," Robin murmured, and went.