Chapter XXIII: The Siblings and the Sapphire (3/9)Mature

She sat in the chair opposite him, her legs crossed, her ankle swirling. 'Yet, instead of harming you, I have corrected a mistake of my subordinates and healed you. Does that scream murderer to you?'

Light flooded the room as a man with a face mask and a concealing hood entered, carrying a piping silver tea set towards them. Will saw their hands as they set the tray down at a table besides Sapphire, they were slimy and gristle grey, knuckle bones popping out from a thin membrane of flesh. He caught their eye through the mask, one was glassy and blind, the other green and bloodshot. Sapphire waved them away dismissively whilst she poured the tea one-handed, adding cream and three sugar cubes into hers, passing a plain one to Will. He hesitated, murderous magi who drink tea? 

'Anyway, Willow, it as I told you that night, we were waiting for you,' she smiled as she touched the silver to her lips and took a gentle sip.

'It was you,' he replied, 'you came into my dreams. You tried to find me -,'

'We never lost you,' she said quickly, 'for a day, perhaps our gaze slipped, but you were in our reach from the very beginning. We simply...bided our time.'

'How did you - how did you do it anyway? My dream, how...' he felt weak for asking her everything, but he had to understand what was going on one way or another.

In answer, Sapphire set her teacup down and raised her right hand. It was tattooed with an eye, but it was slightly different from the Evil Eye, the patterns within the iris were different, swirls rather than jagged shapes. He wasn't sure whether it was for this reason that Will could look at it for the first time without any pain. She held her hand in front of her eye, and the tattoo lit up.

'Every eye is connected to another, the world is a web of symbols and we are the flies tangled between. The eye is scarred on my hand, and it is scarred in your mind, together we form a bond. Your mind was simple enough to access...Princess Ilmatar's as well.' She took another sip and glanced at his cup, untouched, 'the tea is not drugged, so that you know. My associates may be so crude, but I possess a delicacy that is lost to them. Drink, you must be thirsty.'

Will continued to hesitate, but would Sapphire lie to him so outright? He raised the cup to his lips and took a sip. It warmed his system wonderfully, making him shiver as its sweet and vibrant taste dripped down his throat. Sapphire smiled with pearly teeth from behind her cup. 'You know who I am, don't you?'

'I - I've heard things,' he murmured shyly,

'It bothers me not,' she replied, putting her cup down and batting her hand. 'In our relationship, we ought to be honest with each other. I know much about you too, Willow Avaric. Particularly, I know you are stubborn, and I will not persuade you easily. But then again,' she smiled at him again, flirtatiously, 'I do so enjoy a challenge.'

The End

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