"Honestly Aidan, I thought you would at least have had the common sense to get rid of the dried blood. We started driving back when we got your message about being attacked by the Alterate, and we got here as soon as we could but couldn't you have done more than given her something to drink? Go to the sink and bring me back a bowel of warm water."
She finishes addressing Aidan, and turns back to me "What is your name dear?"
Aidan jumps off the counter and walks towards the other end of the kitchen, fetching a bowel from the cupboard on the way.
I turn back to look at Genevieve again, Aidan's mom. Upon observing her more closely, I see that she has a faint splattering of freckles across her nose and her hair is stick straight. I can see where Aidan gets his smile from that draws people in like butterflies to honey.
"It's Elena, ma'am. I really am sorry about coming here unannounced and messing my blood all over your nice clean kitchen and..."
She brings her hand up, stopping me mid sentence.
"Oh hush dear it's no problem at all, and please call me Evie. Aidan told us all about the...ah...incident last night. It's such a rare thing to find one of us who is unknowing with concerns to who they are; in fact it's more completely unheard of so we are more than willing to help. It's part of our duty as Fatalists to help out those in need, especially if the Alterates become involved as they always tend to do. Nasty bunch they are."
Aidan walks over, placing a steaming bowel on the right of me while his mom reaches into the box and brings out cotton swabs and antiseptic liquid. She pours some of the liquid into the bowel of warm water, dipping the cotton swabs in and soaking them slightly.
She takes my chin in her hands, tilting my face up into the light as she dabs lightly at the cut above my eye. Her feather-soft strokes are very gentle and she takes great care not to hurt me.
Nevertheless, the antiseptic still burns my open wound, and I flinch slightly as she brings a freshly soaked one to it again after discarding the old one.
Aidan's father, James, takes the empty cup of tea from next to me and goes to work refilling the kettle. Genevieve indicates to my leg, saying "Elena, would you mind lifting your ankle onto the table for me?"
I do as asked, lifting me leg gradually onto the countertop and she removes the bandage wrapping to scrutinize my ankle."Well Aidan, you didn't do a bad job with her ankle, I'll give you that much."
"Thanks for that vote of confidence mom; it couldn't have been done that badly if you were the one to teach me how to do it." He smirks in her direction, his eyebrows raised questioningly.
After putting the cups into the dishwasher, James rejoin us and points out to Aidan, "Don't get too happy son, we still have to discuss how the Alterate was able to find you in the first place. I thought we talked just the other day about keeping your guard up, keeping your aura closed off to prevent the other Clepsydra from sensing you."