ExhaustionMature

 “Sarah?” Jason’s voice drifted from the front.

“In the kitchen.”

“You made dinner.”

Sarah looked at him, feeling his relief at that fact. “It’s not much.” She shrugged and helped herself to a bowlful before sitting at the table.

Jason pulled out another bowl and helped himself. He sat across from her. They ate in silence. Sarah finished first and she looked into her bowl. Feeling Jason’s gaze and sympathy, her eyes raised to meet his.

“What am I going to do about Miriam?”

Jason blinked and then shook his head. “I don’t know, but,” he sighed, “something will need to be done as General Hector and King Demetrioso have questions I couldn’t answer without you.”

Sarah grimaced. “I sure do know how to mess up your life don’t I?”

“Yes,” Jason sighed as his gaze returned to his bowl.

Blilnking back tears, Sarah stood. “I’ll be sleeping in the bed next to Miriam’s if you need me.”

“Sarah I did not mean it...” he began, his chair scraping on the floor.

“Yes you did,” Sarah turned on him, “and yes I do. Don’t you think I haven’t heard enough about of your disappearing acts to know how much of a pain I’ve been. I swear everyone who knows you has warned me about them. And yes, I realize I was extremely rude in not attending the debriefing, but I kind of thought it was important to keep Lady Miriam from killing herself. I don’t care how you phrase your words, Lord Farquad is expecting us to ensure her safety and that means making sure she doesn’t commit suicide.” Taking a deep breath Sarah let it out slowly.  “Jay, you know what it’s like in Wholawski’s dungeon.” She turned to face him. “He didn’t just show me The Wall and he told me...” Her eyes met his. “He told me of some of the things he’d done, to you.” The last two words came out as a whisper.

“Oh Gods,” Jason embraced her, pressing his cheek to hers. “He did not do anything to you did he?”

“No”

Jason’s relief was palpable. “Then think not of what happened to me.” He pulled back to look at her. “We will discuss it eventually.” A smile crept onto his face as he studied hers. “But you are right. Lady Miriam is our current concern. Her father may forgive us if we do not heal her, but if she dies he could pull his support from the Prince and that would be a disaster.”

Sarah furrowed her brows at him, trying to read his mix of emotions.

“Go on a get some sleep.” He kissed her cheek. “You need it as much as she and the bed will feel divine.”

Jason was right about the bed feeling divine. Between sleeping in an actual bed and being clean, Sarah almost felt as though she was in Heaven. No, she thought to herself, it's more like a comfortable Hell. Jason was downstairs and Miriam, Sarah looked to the girl, was crying in her sleep.

The next few days were a blur. Lady Miriam did not like being far from Sarah. She clung like a little child, starting and crying at unknown causes. Using the tea helped some, but only for brief bits, which Sarah used to make trips to the well. She couldn't get the girl out of the house, and their soups would have been meatless if Sarah's neighbors hadn’t been nice enough to go to Market for her.

Sarah was thankful for them. They had stopped by that next morning and Sarah had found herself telling them that Miriam had been forced and lying that she was Miriam's cousin. The women immediately offered their assistance. For his part, Jason spent his days at the barracks, often leaving before Sarah got up and returning after she was asleep. Not that she slept much, given Miriam’s whimpering and nightmares often interrupted it.

Sarah, Jason’s mental whisper disturbed her attempt to get rest, Sarah?

Yes? She rolled over and looked towards the door, but Jason wasn’t there.

Are you making any progress?

No, she sighed. She clings to me but doesn’t want to talk anymore, but I can tell things are still bothering her because of her nightmares and... Sarah let out a deep breath and took one in. I don’t suppose there is a way to confirm if she is pregnant or not aside from waiting nine months is there?

Stunned silence stretched between them and Sarah heard movement form the other bedroom.

No there isn’t, Jason replied at last. Get some sleep, Sarah. You need the rest.

The End

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