Emiliana took another look around the room. “Where is Marcos?”
“He said he was tired of meditating and went to explore the castle,” said Ramira.
Chergoa’s wispy eyes closed, and it took her a while before she could say, ‘He’s three floors below us. Shenado’s with him.’
Emiliana nodded. She took a seat on the end of her bed and removed her mask in order to eat. Ramira and Alicia sat with her and continued chatting, mostly about Ramira’s espionage. Alicia seemed rather keen to hear about what certain cousins of hers were up to. Emiliana could see a shady partnership being born. She shared her silent amusement with Chergoa.
As the day drew on, however, Emiliana found herself growing more and more restless. And she began to understand why. Her mother’s words were there in the back of her mind, urging her quietly onward. Grow up quickly. Be prepared. Protect what is important. Who is important.
Mask on, she looked across the room at her little sister one more time before heading off to the solitude of the lavatory. She asked Chergoa to come with her.
She locked the door behind her. There was plenty of room to work with in here. Three pristine silver sinks. A pair of toilets, each one with its own offshoot room for extra privacy. A large ceramic tub with a separate shower. Ample floor space with a shaggy rug.
She took a seat on the broad edge of the tub and stared at her left hand, flexing her fingers in anticipation. She breathed deeply, clutched her wrist with the other hand, and concentrated on what she wanted. Flat subtraction was impossible, of course, otherwise that would have been her goal.
Her fingertips burned as she watched the claws grow longer, thicker, sharper. Just as she’d imagined them in her mind. She hadn’t thought it would be so easy. She had to stop before they became blades unto themselves.
She inspected her work. They weren’t so gnarled anymore. Rather, they had hooking curves to them, and their lengths were almost uniform, boasting a good five centimeters or so. Compared to her right hand, the difference was unmistakable.