The wind howled and the rain beat in sheets against the window. Ricky tried to see outside. “What do you mean she’s on the scaffold?”
“She was hungry," Nevin said with a little shrug. "Djinns feed on the wind. You know that.”
“But that thing looked ready to collapse.” He headed for the door, no time to grab a jacket.
Nevin tagged after him. “It’s sweet of you to worry, but you need to trust her. She’s much older than you, you know.”
Ricky did know, but this was no time for logic. He made for the elevator, then remembered it was slow and sprinted for the stairwell instead. He took the stairs as fast as he could, stumbling and holding onto the handrail.
Nevin kept pace easily. “This really isn’t necessary. You’re going to get hurt.”
Ricky shoved open the heavy door and ran toward where he had seen the workers earlier in the day. The rain soaked his clothes and chilled his body but the only thing that mattered was the rickety structure ahead and Kalila’s faint silhouette, barely visible in the pounding rain. He stopped at the base of the trembling structure and shouted up at her. “Kalila!”
The scaffold swayed, whether from the wind or the shift in Kalila’s weight as she made to climb down, Ricky didn’t know. He waited, drenched and shivering, yearning that she were just a little more normal, just a bit more like a human girlfriend.
But then she was on the ground before him, her hair streaming and her eyes alight. He no longer noticed the needles of rain pelting his skin or the way his shirt and jeans hung cold and sopping off his limbs. Kalila was fire in the rain, heat in the cold, and even in a moment like this as the scaffold gave a shudder and broke up behind her, Ricky noticed nothing but the way her scraps of clothing clung to her wet skin.
“Did you want something?” she asked.
Ricky shivered and it wasn’t from the storm outside but the one within. “Dinner is over,” he said. “How about you come inside?”