Quin slumped into a chair. "Where did you last see her?" he asked, his worry-filled voice tight.
"It actually wasn't too far from here. We were going to come into town for a night, see Ros's family a bit before heading home. But no one has seen her - I've been asking everyone I've seen."
"We should look for her." Quin began to rise, but Daril put a hand on his shoulder, stopping him. "We should go now."
"It's no use. We couldn't find her."
"It's plenty of use! This is my mother, and I will find her!"
"Quin..." Isadora began from the top of the stairs.
"No, Isa. You're not a part of this. And neither are you!" He rounded on Daril. "If you hadn't whisked my mother off her feet with tales of a better life, we wouldn't be in this situation!" He rose and made for the door. "I'm going now, and no one is going to stop me. And I'm not coming home unless Ros is with me. Goodbye, Isa, Lilia."
Isadora raced forward in her nightgown and bare feet. "Quin! Quin, please!"
The door closed in her face.
She raced out into the night. Cold air stinging her face, she caught up with Quin's quick and angry stride.
"Please, Quin. Come back." She grabbed his arm, feeling goosebumps she wasn't sure were from the cold.
"Isa, I need to do this. You'll be safe with Arin and Lilia . And I'll come back just as soon as I find Ros. But please, don't make this any harder for me. I know you're brave, and I know you're tough, but you've also come from nobility. And I just- I just don't want you to get hurt." He raised her chin with gentle fingers so that she looked into his eyes. "Isa, please stay."
"Quin, I want you here with me." She saw the tears in her eyes, and struggled to meet them. Quin pushed a stray hair behind her ear.
"I love you, Isa. I don't want to lose you."
"I'll wait for you, Quin."
As he walked away, she added in a whisper, "I love you too."