“Oh,” Beth said, instantly sobered.
“She had incurable meningitis,” he shrugged.
“Was it peaceful?”
“No, she had a fit.”
What a way to destroy the happy mood, Zeke...
“Is Storm still at the safe house?” Zeke asked.
“No, he went home a couple of days ago,” Beth told him.
“Just wondering. Are we going?”
“I’m quite comfortable here actually,” Beth said.
“True. I feel a sleepover coming on. Slave,” he grinned, directing it at Caelan, “go get your stuff.”
“Oh wise and powerful master, of course,” Caelan replied, rolling his eyes.
“Caelan, will you get my bag?” Beth asked.
“Where is it?”
“It should be on top of the chest of drawers in my room.”
“I’ll see you in a bit then,” he said, disappearing.
Beth stretched on the bed.
“So, Caelan tells me you used to have your ears pierced,” she grinned up at Zeke.
“Which one?” she asked.
He pointed to his left ear, which she only noticed now still had three little holes in.
“You ever put them back in?”
He shrugged. “Not very often.”
“Just don’t. They’re not really me anymore. I used to the aggressive kid that everyone else was scared of. It’s why I don’t have very many friends. Most of my friends are from the time when I was with the Covenant.”
“How come?” she asked, curious.
“You get to know people really well when you go through training together. We were forced to do these command tasks that involved working together but in complete silence. You had to trust that everyone else knew what they were supposed to be doing. In the Circle, it was different but—”
Zeke stopped and fell silent immediately, as if he’d let slip something he shouldn’t have said.
“The Circle? You were a part of that?”
He looked at her quietly for a short moment, weighing up the tone of her voice.
“Don’t tell Caelan,” he simply said.
Beth’s eyes popped in surprise. “He doesn’t know?” she almost exclaimed.
“He doesn’t like to talk about it. He usually asks not to if the subject ever arises. It’s why I don’t tell him about some of my dreams.”
“What about the rest of the dreams?” she challenged.
“The rest… The rest are either about him or my mother. They’ve been getting worse.”
“Have you always had nightmares?” She rolled onto her side, touching his arm gently as she tried to encourage him to tell her.
“For as long as I can remember. When I was very little, I used to have night terrors. I still do, very rarely though thankfully. The terrors got worse between the period that my mother died and Caelan was born. I used to cling to my dad all the time because I was terrified of being alone.”