Lilly woke up to the sensation of a figure standing over her.
“Good, you’re awake,” Twila said. “Feeling better?” Twila put the wet cloth she was holding on Lilly’s forehead.
“I… I feel… Is it really okay for you to be doing this?”
“Don’t worry,” Twila said. “Mister Josa and Fang are gathering the books I need to check right now. I have time to look after you.”
“B… but what about… that is… Is Axra okay, you know, with this?”
“Why should Axra be concerned about it?” Twila asked.
“Well… with you she…” Lilly looked away. “Sorry… I’m not making sense.”
Axra walked in. “Lilly, you feeling better?”
“Oh… much,” Lilly said.
“Good, cause I brought you some apples,” Axra said. “Just hold tight I’ll peel one for you.”
“I… I can do it myself,” Lilly protested, trying to sit up.
“Calm down,” Axra said, gently pushing Lilly back. “You were in pretty bad shape for a while there. Just take it easy.”
“I’ll get started on those books,” Twila said. “I’ll trust you to look after her.”
“Say no more,” Axra said. “I’ll take such good care of her she’ll be running around in no time.”
True to her word, Axra spent the rest of the day looking after Lilly, in spite of the other woman’s protests. Lilly wasn’t sure how long passed, but the old scribe’s home eventually quieted and both Axra and Twila went to sleep on the floor nearby. Axra made Lilly promise to wake her if she needed anything.
Lilly looked over at the two of them. The house wasn’t large, so they were sprawled out close together. Fang was resting near their feet. The way Axra had taken care of her… could it mean? Before she could get too excited by the prospect, Bonnie’s words came back to her.
“We’re servants. Nothing can happen between us and our masters.”
“Are you okay?”
Lilly looked around, startled. That was when she saw a bird hanging on the couch above her, multi-coloured feathers glistening on its head.
“Gail?” Lilly asked. “I… is that you?”
The bird nodded. “This place is dangerous,” she said. “If these people try to hurt you… I’ll throw this entire sphere into the sun itself.”
“Hurt me?” Lilly asked. “Why would they want to?”
“They’re a sneaky, cowardly race,” Gail said. The bird shifted, revealing Gail’s humanoid form. She had to duck to avoid hitting the ceiling. “Rest assured, I won’t let them harm you.” She kissed Lilly’s forehead. “I’ll be watching from afar until I’m certain you’ll be okay.” Lilly suddenly felt really tired. She couldn’t keep her eyes open.
When she woke up, she could smell breakfast cooking. Neither Twila nor Axra was in the room. She got off the couch and walked to the kitchen. The old scribe was cooking with Axra cutting some ingredients for him, Twila was nowhere to be seen.
“Oh, you’re awake,” he said. “You must be feeling better. Sit down, it’ll be ready soon.”
“Oh, thank you,” Lilly said. “But I really should help.”
“No, no,” Kilieg said. “We’ve got it handled. Although you could get Twila for us. She’s in the basement.” He nodded towards a staircase.
Lilly went downstairs. The entire basement was filled with books. There weren’t any shelves. Instead, they were piled up in stacks. There wasn’t any furniture in sight except for a small desk. Twila was bent over it, reading a very new looking book.
“It… It’s time for breakfast,” Lilly said.
“Breakfast?” Twila asked. “Oh, right. I suppose it would be.” She marked her spot and moved carefully past the piles of books.
She put her hand on Lilly’s shoulder when she got close. “I’m glad you’re feeling better.”
“W… well you two both took such good care of me that I’d have to,” Lilly said.