Beth sighed and nodded. She dearly hoped that Robert was going to be okay. She closed her eyes, thinking of Monday night, when she’d held him. She could feel the softness of his hair, and the skin on his back. She could feel the scars on his back.
“How did Robert get those scars on his back?” Beth asked Onyx.
He didn’t answer for a little while, and Beth thought he wasn’t going to until he did.
“They are the price he paid for his position,” Onyx whispered, shifting slightly.
“You have them too, don’t you?”
He nodded, his jaw clenched.
“If you look carefully, it’s a symbol, a warning in our ancient language. It’s something we have to learn to control. We all have our own ways: Thorn smokes, I joke around more than the others, and Robert... he just hides a facade of indifference.”
Beth nodded and turned to the window. She remembered his expression in the biology lab the previous day when he’d attacked Rosalyn.
“Do you know Rosalyn?” she asked, not turning away from the window.
“I did, once upon a time, when she was quite nice,” he replied.
“What happened to her?” she joked.
“She grew up,” he said in all seriousness.
“You knew her as a child?” Beth asked, surprised, turning to him
“We all did.”
The rest of the drive was silent but Beth didn’t care; she was too busy worrying about Robert. What exactly had happened? Was he okay? How bad was it? The questions ran through her mind faster than she could keep track so she gave up, just hoping he was coming home quickly.
As Onyx pulled into the driveway of the house, everything seemed eerily quiet, as if the building knew Robert had been hurt. The trees moaned mournfully in the light wind. Opening the front door, she realised she’d left her bags in the car. She turned to go and get them but Onyx was walking towards her with them. She thanked him, mumbling some words. He simply nodded once.
As she stepped over the threshold, she cast a glance at Onyx again. The worry on his face was accentuated by the weariness. He put her bags down by the stairs. He sat on one of the wooden steps and sighed, running his hands through his hair.
“How bad is he really?” Beth asked, lacing her fingers together and looking at them.
“Worse. His heart’s crashed twice now and they’ve had to do surgery on most of his internal organs.”
“But you said he’d live,” Beth said, looking up at him, beginning to completely lose hope.
“Oh, they won’t let him die; they’d have their necks wrung out by a long line of people. We’d know if he was going to die, anyway.”
“It’s hard to explain,” he said, shaking his head slightly.
“Please try,” she whispered.
“We’re bonded to Robert by blood. We feel his pain, some of his emotions, we’d know if he was going to die.”
Beth nodded, taking his word for it. She dared to hope again, wishing, praying even, that he would be okay.