“Listen, since you two have things covered here, I’m going to check in with Mara. I’ve seen so little of her since she left the compound all those months ago.”
“Sure, love, we’ve got this,” Jerrett said.
Velia turned her horse around, then headed back to the middle of the pack where Mara and Dixon rode near the twins. When she drew near, she patted Mara’s arm. “Would you ride with me for a minute?”
“Certainly.” She followed Velia off a distance. Then, “What is it?” she asked.
Velia’s brow rose. “I hesitate saying anything, but . . . Well, I noticed this morning that it seems something is bothering you. I thought you might like to talk, and— Well, the truth is that I missed you terribly while you were away. I’m so glad you’re back. I just wish I’d known what had happened. Maybe I could have helped.”
Mara offered her a half-hearted smile. “I appreciate it,” she said, “but I’m fine—just not feeling all that well. I’m still so tired from all the former traveling—and now, here I am, doing it again after such a short stay at the compound. Anyway, I’m sure there was nothing you could have done when I was injured.” She glanced her friend’s way. “Really, all is well, Velia. It’s just hard saying ‘good-bye’ to the place I’ve known as ‘home,’ for longer than any other of my life. Especially after having just returned there from so long a journey.”
Velia made her way around a puddle of rainwater left behind from the night before, then returned to Mara’s side. “Are you sure there isn’t anything more?”
“All right then. So . . . what do you make of these new powers the girls have?”
“Uggh. I’m sure glad I didn’t get saddled with them. The power of life and death? At a word and touch? No, thank you!” Mara grimaced.
At that moment, Basha rode up. “Mind if I intrude on your conversation?” she asked.
“Not at all.” Mara glanced her way, then back at Velia. “Honestly, I missed the two of you so much. When my memory returned, and after Dixon finally showed up at the Council meeting, one of the things I thought about most, was how I missed our ‘girl time.’”
Her friends chuckled.
“Me, too,” Basha said. She glanced over her shoulder, then turned back. “What do you say the two of you leave your men behind for a bit this evening and join me for a little nip?” Grinning, she pulled a flask out from her saddlebag. “I brought a little something along for us to share.”
“Consider it done,” Velia said.
“Count me in!” Mara exclaimed.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish