Emiliana didn’t love the idea of having to sacrifice a hand just to practice, but she supposed the reaper had a point. Her hands couldn’t be made much worse than they already were, anyway. She’d tried to hide them with gloves, but when her claws didn’t get stuck on the cloth, they just ripped right through it. Instead, she’d gotten into the habit of hiding them in her pockets.
Aside from training, there wasn’t much else to do. Emiliana wasn’t allowed to leave the castle, nor did she wish to. Her thoughts often went to Alex. She’d only gone on one date with him before everything happened. Now, she could hardly imagine what he must be thinking. She hadn’t even spoken to him since then, but he’d surely heard the news about her family. Perhaps he thought she was dead. No, it was probably too soon for him to believe that.
“Hey, Emy,” came a distant voice from below. “What are you doing up there?” It belonged to Alicia Redwater, Octavia’s granddaughter.
Emiliana looked down from her high perch among the West Hall’s shadowy rafters. Lately, it had been difficult to find places where she could be alone. Red Lake Castle had felt huge and empty at first, but now, people were everywhere, most of them members of the gigantic Redwater family. Even Octavia and Wendy seemed to have trouble keeping track of them all. The vast majority of them, however, were non-servants like Alicia here.
“...How did you find me?” Emiliana asked.
“Your little brother,” said Alicia. “He’s worried about you.”
That stung. He was worried about her? She’d heard Marcos thrashing around in his bed at night, heard him whimpering and crying in his sleep. The brat had his own problems. He wasn’t supposed to be worrying about hers.
“I just wanted a quiet place to meditate,” said Emiliana.
Alicia squinted and turned her ear up toward her. “I can barely hear you. Would you mind coming down? How did you even get up there?”
Emiliana shifted her leg over the beam. ‘Chergoa,’ she called. ‘I’m done.’