I nodded slowly and walked to the Jeep. As I climbed in, I locked eyes with his. They were eyes I’d recently started, and ended, so many days gazing into. “You have twenty minutes, thirty if there’s traffic, to convince me the apple fell far from the tree, or I’m burning down the whole damn orchard.”
I tried to pull away from his touch, but not with much effort. I looked up to catch his eyes and showed him the battle. He pulled me into his warm embrace and held me for a while. I didn’t cry, but his warmth filled me, and I felt more whole than I had in centuries. When I pulled out of his arms, we were both glowing slightly.
The entire walk has me thinking about tomorrow and what I am to do. I have no plan in place for what I am going to do when I meet L. What if I am captured? A shiver runs down my spine. That is a worse case scenario.
I shouldn’t have kissed Amy. It was less than eight hours since our date, and I already couldn’t make good on my promise to leave the past in the past. Not when Atë haunted my dreams, not when I knew she was in hell. I should be there for her. I should have ignored her when she pushed me away.
I woke up slowly, keeping my eyes closed and tried to roll over, but Luke was lying almost on top of me, his legs tangled in mine. I cracked open one eye and found him watching me. “You’re thinking too loud. It’s keeping me awake,” I groaned.
Her farmhouse-style cottage, surrounded by large sunflowers and rose bushes, was her retreat. It sat next to a small stream, overlooking a meadow. It was sheltered away from the city’s bustling sounds and had a very jagged dirt road leading up to it.
The final piece was a bright blue hakama that I asked the woman to slip into the pile without Dinlas seeing, and when he came out, I regretted none of it. Two embroidered wolves’ heads graced the shoulders, and he practically beamed as he admired his reflection.
Just like the winds stirred the sands earlier today, meeting Brady stirred my passions. These two introduced me to different aspects of myself. Brady invited exploration. Suzanne soothed my soul. The contrast captivated me.
The notes flowed from my fingers, weaving the sweetest melodies that would incite the mortals into a frenzy of rapture, my voice beguiling them as they cheered my name, a name that was not the one I was born with, all those centuries ago.
An opening appears, and I push through, Dorothy behind me. We arrive to chaos. People are pushing past one another, attempting to be the lucky ones to get on the lifeboat. I hold the boy closer to me, looking at Dorothy. Her face is not its usual joyful expression, but grim.
I curse Morrigan for forcing my hand and slowly start pulling. The tube makes a squishing sound as I pull it out of her. Ichor splashes me and falls down my face as I repeat the process over and over again. By the tenth cable, I realize the ichor is dripping from my chin, and is mixed with a stream of liquid that appears to be coming from my eyes.
Dikê. Goddess of Justice.
Yes, the chick with the scales. I’m around to make sure mortals play fair with one another according to the rules and lawful decrees. When they don’t, I step in and handle the situation. Yes, that could involve making it messy, aka bloody.
Equity comes at a price.
Balance is worth the cost.
Ever the reader, ever the researcher, I collected all I could. The tomes themselves exuded a rich, musty sense of history that I held invaluable. Being here made me feel complete, as if I were blanketed in the comfortable sense of order that comes from studying trials and tribulations from antiquity.
His eyes light up and he launches himself at me. His tiny hands cling to my front as he buries his spiked head beneath my chin. Little sounds rock his entire body as I wrap my arms around him and hold him for a second. My eyes close, happy that I have someone who cares about me.