Gem looked back at Luke. He was standing a hairs breadth away from her shoulder, assessing Jennet and Austin with cold eyes. She stepped back, entwining her hand with his. He looked down at their entangled hands with shock, then looked back up to her eyes.
She smiled, "It's okay. I think we can trust them."
Austin snorted, "Well, thanks for the fucking vote of confidence, and all that, but we need to fucking get moving."
Jennet patted his arm. "Calm down. Please. Trying to stop swearing too."
Austin scowled, "I can't fucking help it." Jennet stood up on the tip of her toes and laid a light kiss on his cheek.
"I know my love." She looked at Gem. "What now?"
Gem felt her eyebrows raise. "Why are you asking me?" Kale smiled at her, his arm resting lightly on Mary's shoulder.
"You'll figure it out. I think we should find Simon, Nina and Maximus, before we do anything else."
Gem shot him a grateful look, "I agree. I say we follow the carnage." It was obvious where Maximus had been at least. The blackened, scorched floors and walls were a testament to that. They started to walk through the house, sticking close to each other. Marisilia could be anywhere.
It wasn't until they got into the kitchens, that they found the true extent of the damage Marisilia had caused. Nina, was on the floor, arms wrapped around what looked like a mummified body. Sobbing, loudly. "No, Mi Marido!" Her body shuddered with the force of her tears.
Gem sank to the floor beside her. "Nina?" Nina turned to look at Gem, her face stained with a blood red river of tears. She sobbed again, clutching Gem, holding her in a tight embrace.
"Querida, The Master will be so happy to know you are okay." She stood, looking one last time down at the shrivelled body on the floor. "Simon, he- didn't make it." She sobbed again, before almost visibly shaking herself. "I'm sorry. I-" Her eyes fell on Jennet and Austin, "What the fuck are they doing out of their cells?"
Gem moved Nina away from what was apparently Simon's body. "They're cool. Don't worry." Nina looked at them with narrow eyes.
"I am not too sure Hijo, but if you trust them, I trust you."
Gem nodded. "Where's Maximus?"
Nina shrugged, "I'm not sure. In his room, I think. Healing. Marisilia left, when she realised you weren't here. After she-" Nina didn't finish the sentence.
Nina shook her head. "Gone. The Master is very upset."
Gem looked towards the stairs. "I'll go and see him. You guys, I don''t know, clean up or something." Gem made her way upstairs with a weary sigh. Luke trailed behind her. She looked back. "Stay downstairs."
Luke shook his head. "No, I'm coming with you."
Gem smiled, "I'll be fine. Plus, Maximus probably won't react well to you and me being together so, comfortably."
Luke nodded, stepping down. "I see your point. I'll wait down here."
Gem rapped lightly on Maximus' door, there was no reply. She walked in quietly, narrowly dodging the fireball that whizzed at her at head height. "Woah!" She held up her hands. "It's me, it's Gem."
Maximus stepped out of the shadows in the corner, face shocked. "I- I'm sorry." He was covered in cuts and slashes, and one nasty looking puncture wound to his chest. Not his heart. Thank God.
Gem nodded. "Yes. Look, we need you downstairs."
Maximus shook his head. "I am weak. I cannot let the others see me this way."
Gem bristled, "Are you so concerned with what they will think, that you cannot support your children? I thought you were better than that. Nina, she needs you. Simon didn't-"
"I know what happened. I feel the pain, just as she does." He sat down, face resolute. "You can do this without me for now."
Gem walked to the door, opening it. "Well, when you can be bothered to give a fuck about anyone but yourself. Let me know." She slammed the door, so hard, the doorknob and parts of the door came off in her hand.