Beth woke groggily, groaning slightly. It was still dark and she sleepily wondered why she’d woken up. Then she heard the voices from the living room.
“What exactly did you see in our Threads?” Robert asked. She instantly recognised his voice.
There was silence for a little while. “I guess it wouldn’t hurt for you to know,” a voice mumbled. It sounded like Lucius. “You remember what you were like when you came back, don’t you?”
“Mainly. It’s a little hazy.”
“That’s what binge drinking will do to you,” Lucius mumbled. “Well...” He sighed. “There’s really no easy way to put this, so I’ll just say it. You killed her.”
Beth woke a little more upon hearing those words.
“What? No, that can’t be right, I’d never do that,” Robert said quickly, panic lining his voice.
“You misunderstand. You weren’t you. You were him.”
“Oh,” Robert breathed. Then silence.
Neither of them said anything for a long time.
“I thought I had that under control,” Robert said quietly.
“Even the most controlled can lose it sometimes,” Lucius said reassuringly.
There was a sigh, and then more silence.
“Thank you, Lucius. For doing that.”
“If I hadn’t, the future of the universe would have been altered so dramatically that everything would slowly unravel.”
“She’s that important?”
“I don’t understand it, but yes. The Balance revolves completely around her and her choices. I doubt her parents even realised her importance.”
“But... why?” Robert asked.
“She’s the only daughter of a Shadow that hasn’t been Promised to the family. She hasn’t been Promised to the guild either. It changed the way the world was supposed to work.”
“What would happen if she turned?”
“I don’t know,” Lucius admitted. “I can’t see that far; it’s clouded to me.”
“What’s the furthest you can see?”
After a moment of silence, Lucius said, “Thursday.”
“Yes. Whatever Rosalyn’s got planned, it’s happening soon. The decisions Beth makes after that are not guided by Fate.”
“It’s already Tuesday. What you think I should you?”
There was another sigh. “You need to take her to the safe house.”
There was a very short pause. “I’m not taking her to the safe house just so Rosalyn can get her.”
“If you don’t, she will die.”
“Wait. You mean Rosalyn isn’t going to kill her?”
“For whatever reason, no.”
“I can’t tell you any more than that,” Lucius said.
“Okay,” Robert sighed. “Thank you.”
“It’s not a problem.”
There was a quiet sound that Beth couldn’t place. She drifted back to sleep fairly quickly as she tried to make sense of what she’d just heard.
“Beth,” groaned a voice beside her. “Beth, the alarm’s going off.”
“That’s nice,” she mumbled, pulling the duvet over her head.
“It just woke me up so could you be kind enough to turn it off?”
“You do it.”
“You’re in my way.”
“No, I’m not,” she murmured.
“You’re sleeping on my side of the bed, so actually, you are.”
Beth cracked an eye open to see that she was, in fact, on Robert’s side.