She looked up, meeting his eyes. Nodding, she knew he had a point. He’d watched his entire family die while he stayed the same. She still had hers.
She washed absent-mindedly, trying not to think about the state her mother might have been in. When she finally shut the water off, Robert was ready with a towel. She wrapped it around herself before throwing her arms around Robert and squeezing tightly. He held her, running his fingers through her wet hair.
“Everything will be okay,” he promised.
This time she believed him; with every fibre of her being, she believed him. She nodded against his chest.
“I know,” she breathed. “I know it will be.”
He tipped her chin up and kissed her. When he pulled back, he spoke.
“Let’s brush your hair,” he said quietly,
She let him lead her over to the toilet. He sat back down and she sat on the floor in front of him, facing away from him. When he began to protest that she was on the floor, she leant back, resting her head against him. After a moment he bent down to kiss the top of her head.
Robert started gently pulling a brush through her hair. The feeling was amazing. Beth closed her eyes, becoming oblivious to the rest of the world. Robert carried on, even after he was finished, obviously sensing how much she liked it.
When he put the brush down, her hair was as soft as silk and beginning to dry.
“Done,” he whispered.
“Mm,” was the only sound she could make, she was so tired.
“Mm,” she said again.
“Can you make any other sound?”
He chuckled. “You’re tired. Come on. Let’s go back to the waiting room and you can sleep there.”
“Mm,” she said as he pulled her up.
He dried her off and dressed her again. She didn’t open her eyes once. When he was done, he pulled her into his arms and just held her for a moment before standing up and carrying her out.
When Beth opened her eyes again, the sun was beginning to set through the window. Jack was pacing around the room and a couple of men were sat across the room. She was still lying in Robert’s arms. Sleepily, she glanced over the faces of the men across the room. She immediately recognised Onyx, and Mark after a little thought. The third man she didn’t know.
The door opened and a young girl ran in, with Isabella not far behind her.
“Uncle Robert!” the girl squealed.
“Hello, topolina,” Robert said quietly, the grin on his face evident in his voice.
“Elandra, hush,” Onyx said.
“Sorry,” the girl murmured.
Beth shuffled slightly and sat up a bit.
“Good evening, dearest,” Robert whispered to her, kissing her forehead.
“Did I miss anything?” she asked, stretching.
“Nothing urgent. We’re not allowed to go in and see your mother yet, and we were just discussing the new equipment we’ve got on the way,” he replied.