Sarah waved good-bye to Ryan as Lady Abigail led her down the path to the drive and onto the street. It had clearly rained the night before and the sky threatened more. It wasn’t until they had begun walking past the Barracks that Lady Abigail spoke.
“Do you understand the purpose of your staying with us for two nights and a day?” she asked.
“The purpose?” Sarah asked, surprised that it wasn’t just tradition. “I can’t say I do.”
Lady Abigail sighed, “Do you know the purpose behind Tri-Luna?”
“It has to do with learning to live with one another no matter what your mood?” Sarah hoped she remembered what the Grand-Moyther had told her.
“Yes,” Lady Abigail looked thoughtful.
They walked for a short while until she stopped before Jason’s house. Sarah studied the Phoenix engraved upon the shield on the door. She could feel Lady Abigail’s eye studying her intently.
“Do you know what pleasures of the flesh are?” Lady Abigail broke the silence.
Sarah blinked a bit startled by such a forward question. “Yes.”
“To what extent?”
“Um,” Sarah raised her eyebrows very uncertain as to how to answer the question.
“Child, I am not here to judge you,” Jason’s mother spoke kindly, “for the Gods have clearly chosen you but I must know what you know. I must be both your mother and your mother-by-gods, and so I need to know what you do and do not know of the fleshly pleasures, both their good and bad sides.”
“So be blunt then?” Sarah asked and the woman nodded. “Okay, I’ve had sex before, pleasured a man and been pleasured by a man. I have also been,” Sarah struggled to get the words out, “abused through sex.”
Sarah found herself in a warm embrace. She looked startled down at Lady Abigail. The woman returned her gaze with soft green eyes.
“Are you fully healed from it?” She asked stepping back, her hands lingering on Sarah’s shoulders as her eyes searched Sarah’s face.
“It was two years ago,” Sarah laughed, “more now I guess, I can’t remember how long I’ve been here. I’m healed enough.”
“Physically surely,” Lady Abigail stated, taking Sarah’s arm in hers and they began to walk again down the street. “But are you ready to open yourself fully to my son as you begin your journey towards marriage and your life together?”
Sarah pondered what Lady Abigail said as they walked. Rain had begun to fall again when Sarah at last spoke. “I wasn’t, not with Edward, but Jay’s different. Different from every guy I’ve known, or been with.” Lady Abigail nodded. “I mean, in a way I’m already mentally open to him. Before I came here, when the only place we met was in the Grove, I would pour my heart out to him. My joys and conquests, my failures and downfalls, he heard them all. It was to him I ran for comfort after my attack.” Sarah found tears were beginning to mingle with the rain on her face as they approached the city house.
“Hush child,” Lady Abigail soothed her as she knocked upon the door in a certain rhythm.
It was opened by Margaret who ushered them inside. “Bath is all waiting in Lordling Jason’s room. Her things ought to be up there by now as well.”
“Thank you,” Lady Abigail nodded as she began to lead Sarah up the stairs, “but I need a pot of cammy tea sent up as soon as possible.”
“Oh dear!” Margaret quickly headed in the direction of the kitchen.
They walked up the first flight in silence and as they started up the next Sarah had banished her tears, but Lady Abigail spoke.
“So my son has been told of the violation against you, but I ask will you tell it to me now?”
“Why?” Sarah asked feeling her emotions welling up again. “I feel as though I’ve talked about it enough; to Jay, the psychiatrist... Someone paid to help you solve your problems by having you talk about them,” she quickly explained.
“Would you humor me, by doing so?” Lady Abigail asked. “I know to you, who are not from this land it may seem strange, but you are not the first I have counseled as such, and the ritual telling and bathing does heal.”
“I,” Sarah hesitated. Would it really hurt to tell it one more time? She hated to open the wound again.
Trust my mother Sarah, Jason’s voice encouraged her. Have faith. It will heal.