The morning passed in a confusing whirl of names and faces until Cassandra had met almost everyone in the laboratory.
But she had still not yet seen the wolves.
She was only too grateful to find the little coffee shop where she had had her interview with Dr. Thorn-and it was almost surprising to encounter people that smiled in return at her, or took any notice of her.
"The world of humans," she said to herself, "is a strange and varied one. It must be the myriad of professions and experiences that makes them so different from each other." She took a slow, lasting breath as her eyes combed the cafe menu, written in pastel-colored chalk. "I am not doing this for fun. I have to remember that. When I see the wolves it will be different."
The coffee shop was bustling with life at noon. Wonderful aromas lifted from the coffee roaster, while the oven was redolent with smells of rising dough and sugar.
She took a seat by the window and watched two young women around her age having a chat and sharing a plate of pastries. She felt an unfamiliar pang as she remembered the special times she had shared with her friend Eliza-before she had fallen victim to human violence. Would she ever meet such a sweet spirit again?
"I like the way you look and dress," Mahalia had pronounced after a once-over. "You're obviously not one of those gothic people like Scar-like Dr. Thorn."
Cassandra felt herself shrink minimally at the charge. Dr. Thorn was not quite out of earshot-and Mahalia might be mistaken. Cassandra worshipped at the altar of Dianna-so a worshipper of Yeshua, as she plainly was by the large cross about her neck-might not look upon her kindly. She was glad she had taken advice of an antique etiquette book she had found and left off all traces of religious regalia in her attire, not to mention the cobweb-like shawls she favored.
She had been aware the whole morning that Mahalia was testing her out-listening to every word she said, watching her every move. Great-considering one of her goals might be to sabotage the whole operation, this was not ideal.