Chapter IV: Fall and Rise Again (Part 2)

THE GIRL RESTED peacefully even when Luke had returned from his work. The way things were going they would soon have to leave. He was on a secret mission with Lessye, the woman whom he confused the younger girl with, but he shortly realized that they were two completely different people. He walked over to the kindling fire that he started a couple hours prior and threw another log on it. That was all the fuel it needed to start a new once again.

“Is she finally asleep?” Luke turned his attention to the door where a woman in her early forties stood. Her hair was auburn just like the slumbering girl in the bed, except the older woman’s was slightly butchered from a recent cutting.

Luke nodded before pointing to the woman’s hair. “Lessye why did you cut your hair that short?”

The woman gave a sigh before tossing the dagger down near the hearth. “It was something that had to be done. Don’t ask me of it anymore.” She walked into the house and shuffled through her bag of supplies.

“Give these to her in a spare pack.” She handed him a simple white dress with a brown sash just below where the bodice curves into the hips. There were a pair of fairly new sandals near the door and Lessye pointed at them. “She can have those as well. Her clothing from the shipwreck was too damaged to bother tending.”

Luke gave his partner a bemused look. “Aren’t you curious to know who she is? Normally you are cautious around new comers, especially ones who appear out of the blue.” He pointed to the sleeping girl’s face and then at the older woman’s.

“I thought it might have been a trap since she obviously looks like you from your younger days. Even her hazel eyes are bright like yours.” Lessye scowled at his observation.

“You must have hit your head just as hard as she Luke, we look nothing alike.” She pulled her short hair to make that obvious. “I’ve never met her in my life.”

Luke just shrugged. “Whatever you say Lessye, I am going to town to see if that girl’s friends are there. Maybe they got beached on the North side and are looking for her.”

And like that Lessye was left alone with the sleeping girl in the futon. The fire danced upon the subtle expressions the girl was making in her sleep, and Lessye gritted her teeth. She knew she shouldn’t walk over to the sleeping girl but there she was. She knew she shouldn’t kneel down and push the girl’s bangs out of her face but she was doing it. She knew she shouldn’t show a concerned expression for her but there was no stopping it.

The younger girl in the bed mumbled incoherently in her sleep before turning her head softly into the older woman’s palm. It was then that Charlotte opened her eyes in a semi-conscious state. She looked straight up at the woman before slightly smiling.

“Papa…” Charlotte murmured before sleep had overcome her again. Lessye stared down at the girl before gritting her teeth.

“What are you doing here Charlotte? You shouldn’t be involved in this anymore. Why?” She whispered before getting up. Lessye had grabbed her backpack and shuffled to the bottom of her backpack where she pulled out a small black velvet box. She knew she shouldn’t do what she was thinking of, but the world had denied her every luxury. Besides Bryan was singing from inside the box that this was what he wanted.

She opened the box and there were two bright shining stones. One was a bright orange while the other was dark black. Grasping the vibrant orange stone in her hand Lessye looked down at her daughter with grimace.

“I need you to keep him safe for me Charlotte. I’m sorry for everything that will come for you—but you’ll be strong. I know you will since you take after Bryan.” Lessye placed it over her daughter’s sleeping chest. Concentrating, the older woman pushed the stone into the skin and winced when the sleeping girl began to writhe in pain.

“Come on.” Lessye pushed further, “You are the only one capable of accepting his stone without problems.” A blinding white light engulfed the room and Lessye fell away from the sleeping girl. Charlotte was still asleep but the pained expression was evident on her face.

“Lessye!” Heavily breathing a panicked Luke had slammed the door open as he barged into their residence. The older woman snapped her hazel eyes up to Luke before grimacing.

“What?”

“It’s Nico. Her crew just ported at the town. I came back as soon as the fires started.” His attention snapped to the open velvet box and noticed one of the stones was missing. He gave her a puzzled look before looking at the sleeping girl.

“Luke do you trust me?” Lessye asked. Luke looked back at her and nodded.

“You entrusted his stone to the girl, didn’t you?”

“She has the potential to stop the Stones powers when she is able to control it.” Lessye looked into the fire before turning to the velvet box. “She just has to awaken it on her own. Bryan will help her.” The black stone that was accompanying the orange stone was eerily singing for her to use it, but she ignored it.

Luke noticed her staring and grabbed her hand. He stared at her hazel eyes and then back at the girl. “I do not doubt your judgment, so we must now do our best to keep the original Relic Stone at bay. It is our duty as the protectors.”

Lessye snapped the box shut and dropped it into the contents of her backpack. “We leave with the girl now. Let’s move.” Lessye went to pour water over the fire that was kindling while Luke had gone over to the futon to pick Charlotte up in her sleep. Her head lulled over Luke’s shoulder into his neck as Luke shifted her comfortably in his arms.

Lessye grabbed their belongings and touched Luke with her hand. Closing her eyes she imagined of a safe place where Charlotte could be left in good hands and when she felt a tug with those thoughts in mind Lessye immediately jumped on it, teleporting into the night.

۞ ۞ ۞ ۞ ۞ ۞ ۞ ۞

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