((Continued from viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1648
Rollick was startled awake by hard, urgent knocking on their bedroom door. He gently disengaged himself from Uluki, who had fallen asleep with her arms wrapped around him; she murmured something unintelligible in her sleep as he moved her so her head rested on the pillow instead of his chest, and pulled the blanket up to cover her. Rollick yanked on a pair of trousers on his way to the door— at least he’d be decent enough to be seen, but he didn’t want to take the time to dress more fully and keep whoever was outside waiting.
“Julen?” Rollick’s head was a muddle of sleepy confusion. What was going on? Some sort of emergency? If so, why did things seem so quiet otherwise? Maybe Rosemary was sick, or…
When Julen relayed his clipped message about Kaydee and then shambled off as abruptly as he’d arrived, Rollick was if anything more confused. Was Kaydee the one who was sick or hurt? Or was she simply suffering the emotional effects of rejection, or… well, Rollick hoped it was rejection. If Julen had weakened, if he hadn’t been able to resist Kaydee’s charms, Kaydee was in for a lot more pain in the long run… as was Rosemary, and as was Julen himself.
Rollick had no idea what to say to Kaydee, but if she needed someone, he would try. He could be there, at least, even if they sat in silence. He was good at being there.
Uluki was awake now, though, and had already pulled on her chemise. “I’ll go.” She ran her fingers through her hair quickly. “You don’t need to wait up for me. Can I wear your sweater?” She didn’t care about how she looked, and she’d be warm without having to take the time to put on both a dress and a cloak.
“You should rest. All that healing, you’ll be exhausted tomorrow! I can…”
“I think Kaydee needs to talk to a woman right now,” Uluki said carefully, not wanting to make him feel she was dismissing or doubting him. “You’re a very wise man, but you’ve never been a teenage girl in love. I have, and sometimes… well, Kaydee doesn’t have her mother here, but I’m the closest available option at the moment. I should go to her. May I please wear the sweater…?”
Rollick nodded and passed it to her, and she pulled it on.
“Thanks. Go back to sleep, Rollick. I don’t know how long I’ll be.” They kissed quickly, and Uluki set off to find Kaydee.
Kaydee was a tragic sight, her beautiful beaded gown muddied at the knees from kneeling and her face streaked with tears. Uluki could tell the care that had gone into the hair, the dress— and she could see the pain in Kaydee’s eyes, eyes that must earlier have been full of hope.
Uluki knelt beside her in the dirt, looking no less out of place in her chemise and oversized sweater, with her small blue feet bare. “Kaydee, sweetheart…” But she didn’t really know where to begin. Instead, she simply held out her arms to offer a hug to the miserable young woman.