“Tea, Mrs. Howard? Or would you prefer coffee?”
Back home, I had changed into something more suitable, yet casual, and was slumped into the living room sofa. My eyes bleary, I slowly dragged them up to look at the girl in the doorway. Even then, in the safety of my suburban home, she clung to her cloak as if it were a layer of skin. In her dark hand was a mug and on her face was an expression of worry; an expression which I knew all too well.
“Oh, I’m a coffee woman all the way.”
How can my voice be so lively even when my heart is at a loss?
The noise of the clanging of cups in the kitchen floated across to me, and soon after she brought in my steaming cup of coffee. Tenderly, I lifted it to my lips and tasted the perfect blend of boiling water and roasted coffee beans, ever so bittersweet. She had made a better cup then I, the natural-born coffee-drinker, ever could have done in my entire life.
The girl slid down beside me, holding her own clear glass of still water, her cloak clinging and hugging herself to the sofa.
Not that she would need to hug herself to the sofa; she’s confident enough.
I let the black coffee burn my throat before I finally broke our agonizing silence:
“So… Are you going to tell me who you are…at last?”
The girl sipped her water thoughtfully. There were probably loads of reasons why she would not trust me.
“Alright. But what I tell you, you must not repeat to anyone else. It’s…dangerous for me.”
“Anything to stop more deaths,” I muttered, “Of course, you have my word.”
The cloaked girl took another deep breath, preparing herself to talk.
“Thank you. My name is Chloe, and I’m sure you’d have heard of Minerva by now…”
“Yes, I have. Carry on…”
“Do you know-?”
“Wouldn’t it just be easiest if you just told me all of the facts, straight off? I do not know much, but I know a little, that’s for sure.”