Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I'm standing on the balcony - which is one of the largest I've ever seen - with Gareth and K'thyri, waiting for news of Raina. I'm facing her room, so I'm the first to notice when Star trots out.

"She's awake," are the first words out of her mouth. "If you want to talk to her, you'd better go now. Rowan has given her pain medicine, and she won't be awake long."

Gareth and Ky hurriedly make their apologies and head to Raina's room. I stay behind for the moment; Star is wearing a sleeveless gown and I can see what look like fluid-filled blisters - tinged blue by the remaining dye, but an angry red around the edges - all along her upper arms. The moons stand out in greater contrast because of their pale coloration.

"What the Hel happened to you?," I ask, horrified.

Star explains about the Bal-Char and I listen, more horrified still. "You risked your life for a piece of jewelry? Love, did Mortuis waste his breath when he told you that you can't act on impulse anymore? That was beyond crazy, and Tori would tell you that herself."

Her face sets in that stubborn look I know so well... but then tears begin to gather in the corner of her eyes - though she tries to hide them. My heart breaks a little at the sight. I take her hands, tug her close and just hold her for a minute. "C'mon, let's go see Raina."

"You go. I want to get Alise."

She runs off and I smile, bemused. How can she twist me around her finger like this? I shrug inwardly and make my way to Raina's room.

"Hi, stranger," I say as I enter. Raina raises her head and gives me a weak, uncertain smile - but a smile for all that. "Hi yourself," she says as Ky and Gareth move back so she she can see me without stretching.

"How do you feel?"

"Like shit on toast."

"I'm gonna go get Tannr," Ky announces and the Wyldfae is off like a shot.

Raina cautiously turns her head and winces. "Did you get the license number of that frost giant that smacked me?"

I give her a tight-lipped smile. "Nick turned him into shaved ice."

"Oh, good. Saves me the trouble. Where is Nick, anyway?"

I jerk a thumb at the window. "In bed. It's daytime."

"Oh. Is that what that shiny thing in the sky is? I thought it was just my head exploding."

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