Current listening: A Poem for Byzantium – Delerium
Current reading: Stephen King, It.
So, many of my regular followers have been tuned in for the story line with Emma. I have yet to decide if she will be featured in a future book. Your feedback on her character is welcome. I don’t know that I’m completely satisfied with this passage because it feels rough but I hope you enjoy it! Happy Reading!
Emma woke what felt like hours later on her own couch. Her red-to-gold hair was a tousled mess and she was in a nightgown before a woman that could only be deemed royalty. Emma suspected this in the woman’s manners. Quiet power and authority were traits that were hard to hide no matter how skilled at deception one may be.
Night was still upon them she noted as she lifted her head to glance about the small parlor. The hearth now blazed and her compassionate invader sat beside her. “Only minutes.” That patient voice answered the flushed to the roots of her hair. “Forgive me, your guards were down for a moment. When was the last time you ate, child?”
When Emma moved to sit up, a force pushed her back down to the couch. “I could not say but could you stop mentally restraining me. I do not have the energy to try and break your hold. Clearly you’re not leaving.” The woman responded with a nod. “Very well then since you appear to be more stubborn than my last visitor and, based on your accent, from the same area.” Her words for some reason made the woman chuckle. Though her body was weakened, Emma’s mind worked just fine. “Emma Jacobs.”
“Alexandra Jade.” In the ensuing silence, the woman could have blown her home from kingdom come and left her for dead. Emma’s surprise was that complete. “And that was why I did not give you my name before you fainted. I dislike that reaction. I am as human as you are.” Though she was chiding the girl, Alexandra could not help but smile. What she felt of the girl was a stubborn sort of fortitude she admired. This girl was a survivor, Alexandra suspected. That nature was not foreign to her.
“What brings the fabled Lady Jade to my door?” Emma asked on hesitant tones as she pushed herself up on her elbows into a seated position. The hesitance in her voice and the concern were clear. She did not want this. This woman should not be here. She could guarantee her discovery. Emma knew she would have to leave the home she has always know after this encounter. No choice remained. She grew up in this house. Emma scanned the room. The structure was far from the grandeur of the noble seats of royalty that stood at each distant corner of the realm but it was home. Here she could still connect with Edward’s memory though she hid from his darkness.
A gentle hand on her shoulder stirred her from her tumbling thoughts. “Be at ease. I reinforced your wards when I arrived. The door will open to no one but you. Your safety is ensured. I will force nothing from you. If I did, I would be no better than what you hide from.” Alexandra’s eyes were a mix of curiosity and kindness as she spoke. “You bring me to your door, if you must know. You’re important though I am uncertain why.” Her own frustration surfaced in her voice as she spoke. As of late, her dreams had been a scattered mess. Two paths kept appearing in her dreams and neither answer was clear. “A single shadow haunts my dreams. That shadow turns to a light so bright I cannot fathom its origins. That beacon pulses here. I know you are a Starson by blood. I can sense my own magic in your wards. Who taught you?”
Alexandra burst into laughter when Emma eyed her with the shrewdness of a fishwife dickering with a docks man over the price of his catch. The Sorceress could tell the girl was taking measure of what information she chose to share. Alexandra could understand. “Fair enough. Allow me to feed you before we talk. You are quite correct that I am far more stubborn than your last guest. He found you when he was out looking for me.”
The woman stood as Emma absorbed the shock and moved through the house in search of the small kitchen where she could prepare food for her charge. When Emma attempted to stand, the room spun for a dizzying second. A few more minutes, she decided. Once she found the strength to rise, Emma found her bustling about to put together a simple repast. “Your brother?” One could not know of Alexandra and be unaware of her brother. The rumors that swept the land about the brother and sister were both frightful and awe-inspiring. Like many, Emma thought so much power should not exist within a single being.
“My brother. Our power has its pitfalls and the rumors tend to misplace our humanity.” Alexandra explained with a small smile. Emma was deliberate in what she allowed her to see. The thought almost prompted her to laugh once again. That telepathic care was so deliberate that it reminded her of her own dealings with fellow telepaths. Alexandra was not unaware of the whispers and opinions of the world around them. Such things were difficult to tune out after a time.
Soon enough, a plate of bread, fruit and cheese sat before Emma. The terse order that she should eat reminded her of her mother. Decades of habit prompted her to do just that. Her mother’s terseness was never disobeyed by she or Edward. The information she provided was minimal. The woman was clearly not going away until Emma gave her some bit of information. “Very well, I do suppose I can do you the courtesy of answering your question before I send you on your way. My grandmother was Sarina Starson. She passed the knowledge down to my mother. Mother had a few gifts. My brother and I, however, were born full blooded with the Starson gifts.”
Alexandra nodded before speaking on thoughtful tones. “My lineage is no mystery to most of the realm.” A wry smile curled the woman’s lips before she continued. “So, what would you choose? Return to the capital or stay here amid the terror that haunts your eyes.” Her perception was so sharp that Emma dropped the roll she had been tearing into. “Neither one of us has time to mince words, I suspect.”
“I…need to stay here.” Emma spoke after an awkward pause. How much could she divulge? What called her was not a duty she could dispense to another nor a burden she could share. Much to her reluctance, Duty called her all the same. “Something here is unresolved. I feel it. I also feel if I fight through and find what keeps me up at night that I will obtain some measure of peace. You will not force me?” At Alexandra’s laughter, Emma raised a curious brow. “And what have I said to amuse you, my lady?”
The laughter ceased at use of Alexandra’s formal title. The title reminded her of what awaited her in the capital, if not sooner. Her brother’s return, would not be kind, she suspected. “Nothing, dear girl, but the idea that I would attempt to force a practitioner of your caliber amuses me. We do not force our own. We do not force Fate’s chosen. All things occur in the Her time, no sooner. You hide who and what you are for your own reasons and I will not press you about them.” Patience reflected in Alexandra’s eyes. Years ago, that patience did not exist. “Come to us in your own time. I will say this, however.” Patience fled in the wake of mirth. “You would give our cousin, the Grand Cleric, a run for her money in stubbornness.” With that statement, Alexandra rose. “I have reinforced your wards, Emma. No one will get to you here. Call for me if you have need of me.”
With that statement, a puzzled look crossed the Sorceress’ features. “Another matter appears to have come to my attention. I look forward to seeing you soon.” And with that, the woman was gone. The Jade siblings both perplexed and intrigued her. The woman, at least, was not as fearsome as the rumors spoke. At the same time, Emma could see the restraint Alexandra used with her. The puzzle was interesting, to say the least. Distantly, Emma heard the front door close and settled in to eat and mull over the curiosity of her dreams.
Dawn was just cresting the horizon when Alexandra stepped out into the night beyond Emma’s home. A small smile curled her lips at what greeted her.