Grinning, Mara nudged her. “Who would have thought it! Still, he seems entirely smitten with Chaya.”
“Yes, but he’s acting so strangely about it.”
“Oh? What do you mean?” Basha asked.
Velia repositioned herself, then added more wood to the fire. “Well, I rode at the front today, from time to time, with him and Jerrett. It seemed that whenever Chaya approached, Marshall went . . . cold.”
Mara’s brow dropped. “Why do you suppose that was?”
“I don’t know. He suggested she might help Adele with the cooking and all. You probably saw her doing that earlier tonight.”
“I thought maybe she just liked that sort of thing.”
“It’s possible. Anyway, I’ve tried to encourage her to get to know Nina and Erin. I would think they’d make fast friends, given that they are all Chiranian born, and all share something of the same history—having been enslaved there.”
“That was good thinking,” Mara said, “but don’t count on Nina’s warming up to her any time soon.” She waved away the flask when Basha offered it to her again. “Did you see the way she glared at Chaya during the meeting when she cautioned anyone against traveling to Chiran?”
Basha looked up at the sound of an owl hooting. “Yes,” she said, “but then Nina must be sick with worry about Carlie.”
“She is,” Mara agreed. “Actually, she’s a bit difficult to reason with just now.”
“I don’t understand why they treat women the way they do,” Velia said, reaching once again, for the flask from Basha. “It’s . . . disgusting. Jerrett says he and Marshall didn’t see a single free one while there.”
Just then, a long shrill scream rent the air.
The three Oathtakers all jumped to their feet.
“Let’s get back!” Basha cried as she sprinted toward the main camp, her friends at her heels. “That sounded like Felicity!”
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