She and Mara followed Dalton to the cabin where Saga had stayed. Once there, they examined her body. They found no signs of injury. Indeed, but for a bit of froth at her mouth, she appeared unchanged.
“She was pretty much a loner,” Lucy said as she wiped the foamy spittle away, “and to the best of my knowledge, she had no family.”
“So there’s no one we should notify?” Dalton asked.
“I suppose we could let someone at sanctuary in the City of Light know of her passing. She’d lived there for some time after all, so they might appreciate our informing them.” She paused. “Oh, goodness, but Leala and Fidel will be heartbroken,” she added in a whisper.
“What do you suppose happened to her? What are we to tell them?” he asked.
She glanced briefly Mara’s way. “I . . .” She paused, then said, “I don’t know. Just tell them we found her dead, and that’s all we know.”
His brow furrowed. “All right,” he agreed.
“Why don’t you get some help to get her body prepared for burial, Dalton?” Mara suggested. “We’ll hold a service for her this evening.”
“Certainly. I’ll take care of it.”
Lucy walked out and started down the pathway that led to Adele’s kitchens and just beyond, to her own cabin.
Mara rushed up from behind. “Lucy, what is it?”
“Something’s troubling you.”
She stopped short, then wiped her curly locks away from her brow. “I just . . . Oh, it’s nothing, really.” She stepped out again, pulling her shawl more tightly closed. Then she made her way around a group of Oathtakers packing one of the wagons for their journey to Shimeron.
“Wait, Lucy.” Mara, still following, grabbed her arm, then hurried up to keep pace with her. “I can feel it. Something’s bothering you. I’d like to help.”
“There’s nothing to be done.”
Mara pulled her to a stop.
Pursing her lips, Lucy shook her head. “I just feel . . . responsible, is all.”
“There was no way you could have known that Reigna would do what she did. Even if what you say about her power is true, you’re not to blame.”
“No, I mean, I feel . . .” She sighed, deeply.
“What? You feel what?”
Lucy held her gaze. “I said I thought I saw someone I knew.” She glanced across the yard. “If I hadn’t been distracted, I’d never have had that accident. And if that hadn’t happened, then Reigna wouldn’t—”
“You know better,” Mara interrupted. “You didn’t intend any of this, and you could hardly have anticipated it.”
Again, Lucy wiped her hand across her brow. “Still, it was all so foolish of me.”
Grasping her arm again, Mara urged her on. “Let’s go to my place. I’ll get you some tea.”
“I’m fine. Really, I—”
“Come on,” she said, guiding her around a corner, “I brought a good peppermint and lemon balm mix back with me from the city. It’s a pleasant change from our usual fare around here. It’ll lift your spirits.”
A minute later, upon entering her cabin, Mara directed Lucy to a chair. Then she retrieved a pot of water kept hot over the hearth, and set it on the table. She filled two tea balls with herbal leaves, dropped one into each of two mugs, and then poured scalding water over them. Instantly, a fresh, sweet, citrusy smell rose up into the air.
“Here, drink this,” Mara said, placing a cup before her long-time friend.
She grabbed the chain of the infuser in her own, and pulled it up, then dropped it back down. After a quiet minute repeating the procedure, all the while watching Lucy closely, she removed the tea ball and set it on a saucer. Then she picked up her cup to drink and looked out, over its edge.
“So, who is it you think you saw?” she finally asked.
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