“See,” Sarah tried to comfort Lady Miriam, “the Gods ported you. They aren’t mad at you.” Slowly Sarah led them away from the cliff edge and around the Willow trees.
“They torture me is all,” Lady Miriam wept. “They are making me live to bare my shame to the world.”
Sarah tried not to lose patience with the girl as they slowly made their way back to the Scout Compound. Thanking the Gods for having everyone at the Temple, Sarah led the way without any one delaying them. Not that Miriam was noticing anything at this point and Sarah set the girl up at the table while she busied about the kitchen to make tea and heat water for a proper bath.
Sarah, Jason interrupted her as she got the weeping Miriam into the tub. Where did you take Lady Miriam? You are needed for the debriefing.
I’m helping Lady Miriam through her breakdown, Sarah told him as she began to gently scrub the girl.
Is it that serious? Jason asked, General Hector...
Will have to wait, Sarah interrupted, because yes, it is that serious. The girl was tortured and forced, and she’s trying to process it. You promised Farquad she’d be healed, and I’m trying to do just that.
I did not promise, Jason reminded her.
And how else do you interpret ‘of course’ when he demanded that his daughter be healed. Sarah was furious. For God’s sake Jason it took me two years, more than two years and I didn’t go through half the stuff she did. You know what it’s like in that dungeon, don’t deny that you don’t...
Sarah, please, embarrassment tinged Jason’s tone. Princess Allmarah will take over.
No, Sarah stated flatly. I’m the only person here that has any inkling of what she’s been through. No one’s replacing me, and if your superiors really want to hear what I have to say they have to come here to hear it. I’m not going anywhere until I know she’s not going to kill herself.
In the stunned silence that followed Sarah stripped off her Willow cloth, the distance from the barracks to the castle great enough to cut their connection. Lady Miriam looked up at Sarah, her eyes wide and astonished.
Sarah took a deep breath and let it out as she helped the girl rise from the tub. “No, no, it’s okay,” she assured the girl. “My anger is not for you. They,” she gestured towards the castle, “they’re just being inconsiderate asses.”
She helped the girl dress in one of her outfits before setting her on the couch. Then, ignoring the girl’s stare Sarah quickly washed herself and dressed in another outfit. It was time to get back to practicing to be Jason’s wife. Glancing over at Lady Miriam Sarah smiled slightly as the girl yawned.
“It’s been a long day hasn’t it?” She led Miriam upstairs and settled her in the spare bed.
Lying down seemed to unleash a thousand questions, from why Sarah was now wearing a skirt, to why the Gods had ported her. Unfortunately, with that questions fears flooded back in and she began moaning about being pregnant. Sarah sorely wished for some sort of pregnancy test. There was no use in trying to tell her she wasn’t, especially as there was the possibility that she was. At last, the weeping exhausted Miriam and the girl fell asleep with her head in Sarah’s lap.
Sarah stoked her hair a little bit longer before tucking her in to let her sleep. She hoped morning would bring a better mood. Going back downstairs Sarah emptied the tub and began to busy herself making dinner. She had no idea when Jason would be home and though tired, she was also hungry.
A knock upon the front door startled her and she opened it to find Grand-Moyther Magdalene. “How is she?” the woman asked as Sarah let her in.
“Sleeping,” Sarah stated as they moved back to the kitchen.
The woman nodded and held out a packet. “When she next wakes make tea with this for her. It should help with her anxiety. If you can bring her to the Temple and sit with her under the Godwood, please do so.” She smiled as Sarah took the packet and laid a hand upon Sarah’s drooping shoulder. “The Gods appreciate what you have done and what you are doing, child. Do not forget that. Now,” she embraced Sarah, “I must get back to the wounded.”
Setting the packet of tea down Sarah followed the Grand-Moyther to the door. She waved good-bye and went back to the simple stew she had going. She was about to see if she could borrow meat form one of their neighbors when the front door opened.