Low murmuring was the first thing to penetrate my senses, and I lay there for a moment, my eyes still closed, as I tried to work out what was being said. As usual, it was useless though, as the language remained the same, foreign and totally incomprehensible to me.
Opening my eyes, I saw Joe, Scotty, and Ollie seated together around a large wooden kitchen table. A little to the side, Katie sat on a bar stool, one elbow resting on the breakfast bar, Camden, as usual, standing close beside her.
A movement caught my eye, and I saw Beck pacing back and forth, his hand clasped behind his neck as he spoke quickly and quietly.
Harper sat on a lazy chair in a nook set back from the dining area, one leg curled under the other, which swung loosely over the arm of the chair, her hand absently stroking the fluffy head of Beck’s dog who was gazing up at her with huge puppy-dog eyes.
“You should tell her, Beck, and soon. Before she works it out for herself.” I recognized Harper’s voice, suddenly speaking in English.
“It’s too soon, Harp,” Beck disagreed, the frustration evident in his tone.
“Did you see how the Chimera affected her? She’ll be safer if she knows.’
I shifted slightly, trying not to make too much noise, in part because I didn’t want to draw attention to myself, but mostly because I wasn’t sure if the movement would bring about another burst of that awful dizziness.
“She’s awake.” It was Harper who caught the slight movement I made, and everyone turned towards me.
As if I couldn’t feel any more self-conscious!
In a second Beck was standing next to me, taking my arm as I moved to sit up.
“Take it easy,” he muttered. “How are you feeling?”
I looked from one face to another, each awkwardly avoiding my questioning gaze, nobody volunteering to say anything. I began to tap my fingers rhythmically against my leg, feeling the impatience beginning to bubble up from deep in my stomach.
“This must be a record,” Harper said, pretending to pick at an imaginary speck of dirt on her jeans, as Toby, obviously sensing the sudden tension in the air, paced over to a large dog bed and plopped down on it, resting his big chin on his paws, and sighing
“It normally takes her at least a couple of weeks. What’s it been this time?” She posed the obviously rhetoric question to Beck. “A few days? Hashtag lol!”
“Drop it, Harper!” Beck scowled at her, and the look he shot in her direction was enough to remove her sardonic smile.
“Sorry, brother, but you knew this was going to happen.”
I didn’t give him a chance to reply; I decided it was time for some answers.
“You’re talking like we’ve known each other for most of our lives,” I pointed out, feeling more than a little exasperated. “You two,” I waved a finger at Beck and Harper, “I met a week ago, by chance, in a coffee shop. The rest of you,” more finger waving, this time encompassing everyone else in the room, “I met this evening! And it’s not exactly been the most normal evening of my life, so, who’s going to explain, starting by telling me what is a Chimera, and why did you all think it was after me?”
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