Through the afternoon, Basha and Therese stopped in from time to time. They demanded that Dixon and the twins eat something. Finally, to bring an end to their insistence, the three agreed that Adele could prepare lunch for them. Adele, who’d joined Mara’s group when the girls were infants, had become the compound residents’ favorite cook, always offering new and wonderful taste sensations.
When lunch arrived, the smell of beef stew, and of puffy fresh rolls slathered in butter, filled the air. Though the fare made for the perfect meal choice for such a drizzly day, the three ate sparingly and in silence.
Hours later, as Reigna sat bedside, dripping water into Mara’s mouth, she moved.
Dixon rushed to her side. He took her hand while the twins stationed themselves on the other side of her cot.
Mara’s eyes opened. Clearer now, her focus seemed more determined.
He smiled. “How are you feeling?”
“Fine.” She cleared her throat. “I’m . . . fine.”
“You had us frightened there,” Reigna said.
Mara turned her way. “I’m sorry.”
“Nothing to be sorry about. We’re just so glad that you’re awake.”
“What happened?” she asked.
“You were hit by an arrow, then fell down a precipice and hit your head on a rock,” Eden said. “Dixon carried you back here, and Kayson healed you, but you’ve been unconscious for the past three days.”
Mara’s brow furrowed. “Hmmmm. I don’t remember.”
At that moment, the door opened and Basha stepped in.
Dixon glanced at her, smiled, and then turned his attention back to his patient. He brought her hand to his face and laid it against his cheek. “It’s all right,” he said. “You’re going to be all right now.”
When she drew her hand down and then pulled her blanket up further, he helped her to readjust her coverings.
Basha stepped to his side. Looking down, she smiled at Mara. “Well, it’s about time,” she said. “I feared you were getting lazy, what with this three day nap of yours.”
Mara looked at her latest visitor, then turned back to Dixon. “You brought me here?”
“That’s right.” He glanced at Reigna and Eden. “Would you two let Lucy know that she’s awake?”
“Sure thing,” Reigna said. “We’ll be right back.”
Mara’s eyes followed the twins as they made their way out. When the door closed behind them, she turned back to Dixon. “They’re lovely young women.”
Smiling now, tears sprang to his eyes. “They certainly are,” he agreed.
“Who are they?”
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