We agreed to meet every day that we could for lunch. There is something in Coty that I recognize, and praise the goddess, I cannot read her. That means the world to me. I told her that, too, and was pleasantly surprised when she said the same in return. Coty possesses a similar gift to me. One that is mixed slightly with the ability to see the future.
I cannot think of a worse mix–to be able to feel someone’s emotions and to see their future as well? That is a recipe for madness.
Especially for someone who feels far more human to me than anything. I have made her a silent vow–I am going to do my best to be there for this new friend of mine. For as long as she needs me to be.
Everyone has a season, I believe. I was there for Jayi when she needed me most. And though we are still friends, she is busy with her healing duties and her new male.
I am not needed now.
But Coty…I sense we need each other as we navigate this new normal we have found ourselves trapped within.
We were just walking back from the dining hall Tuesday afternoon a month after the goddess had been found–and her return to us finally formally announced a week before, when something didn’t feel right.
Coty was faster to react than I was. She pulled me behind a stone column shaped like the Adrastos family crest with the sword carved into the marble. “Shh. They can’t see us, or we’re dead.”
She meant it. She had told me she had always been able to feel when danger was near. I believed her. Completely.
We sat there, two females who had no way to really protect ourselves in this world of monsters and males far too big for us to defend against. While we listened.
There were two of them. Neither of us could see them, either.
“Evalanedea needs to fall.” A harsh male voice with an accent I couldn’t quite describe said. It was in the characteristic hiss of our people, so I am mostly convinced he was as Dardaptoan as I am. I could not tell from the voice how old, of course, but he was definitely male. He sounded large. Frightening.
Coty and I stayed right where we were.
“Soon.” Another male voice said. I don’t know what made me open my senses to read him, but I sensed nothing but fervency. And youth. He was young, maybe even close to my own age. He was a warrior, as well.
“Listen, Black, you just do what you are ordered. My people will handle the rest. Make sure you don’t get caught. Understand? Or it will be those sisters of yours that pay the price.”
The youth smirked. I could hear it where I huddled. “You stay away from my sisters or I’ll cut off your balls and feed them to my dogs.”
“Mess with me, with the ones in charge of this, and it’s a good way to get yourself killed. Remember that. We’ve been planning this for more than five hundred years. You won’t screw it up.”
“You’re getting worked up over a damned myth.”
“It’s not a myth. Evalanedea must fall. Remember that. No matter the cost.”
That was the last they said. Coty and I stayed exactly where we were.
As I tried to process what we had heard, what I had felt.
“So…what is Evalanedea? And why must it fall?” Coty asked in a whisper.
I just shook my head. There was only one story I ever remember hearing about such a place.
Told to me by my mother so many years ago…