When I finished my work, I went down to the cellar. Lethia was there, seated at the small table. It was only her second time down here. Daedalus had grudgingly agreed that the girl had healed enough to allow her to watch Elmiryn sometimes. But only during the day, and on the condition that Daedalus check her well being before each shift. He also checked her often throughout the day, which Lethia complained was unnecessary.
I was inclined to agree with her, seeing as how the girl seemed strangely alert for having just finished a twelve-hour watch.
Then again, I’d be alert too if Elmiryn had nearly dragged me into the circle to do gods’ knew what.
“Lethia, you can go rest now. I have Elmiryn for the night,” I said.
The girl looked at me and smiled. I only stared back at her. I still didn’t know what to make of these congenial gestures. Just what did she expect? For us to be friends?
She stood from her seat and gestured toward the stairs. “Can I speak with you a moment?”
I frowned, bothered that yet another person felt the need to speak to me alone. What was it with everyone today?
Still, I followed Lethia to the steps where she stopped and I did too.
In a whisper, she asked, “You try to talk to her… right?”
I raised an eyebrow. “You mean Elmiryn?” I shrugged. “Not really. I don’t have much to say to her.”
Lethia pouted. “I suppose you wouldn’t.” She inclined her head. “What about Nyx? Do you allow Nyx to speak with her a little?”
I sighed roughly and fought the sneer off my face. As much as I resented the assumption that I would just consult Nyx for everything, I had to admit that in this case, it made sense.
“I’ve… tried asking my sister to come out for a little while,” I grumbled. I crossed my arms. “On top of being upset with me, she feels reluctant to speak with Elmiryn. She worries that doing so might set off another bad reaction.”
Lethia sighed and closed her eyes.
When she opened them again, she placed her hand on my arm and said earnestly. “I know you resent your time in the world being taken. And I know Nyx fears the truth she’s shared has hurt Elmiryn too much. But surely the two of you can see how important Nyx’s relationship is to Elmiryn’s recovery?”
I jerked away from Lethia’s hand and glared. “We know that. I’m willing to give my sister the time, but after the last set back, she’s unwilling to take the risk! Elmiryn’s healing, isn’t she? Daedalus says we’re past the worst of it!”
“Physically,” Lethia returned in a hot whisper. She pressed her hand to her heart. “But emotionally? The groundwork must be laid to give Elmiryn the will not to succumb to her addiction again. If we fail that, this will be for nothing!”
“I thought you said you were working with her!” I hissed back. “It’s your specialty to help with these kinds of things, isn’t it?”
“I can help with some of it, but I’m hardly a master. I won’t pretend as much,” Lethia shot back with a frown. “We all have to connect with Elmiryn on some level! Even you! She needs to realize the support that surrounds her is real and strong!”
She held up her hand and pursed her lips. “And the most important support will come from your sister.” She started up the stairs. “Tell Nyx that her trauma isn’t as problematic as she thinks.”
“She can hear you just fine,” I mumbled.
I watched Lethia go until she was out of sight. Slowly, I turned to Elmiryn.