“Do we have any of the Garzas with us?” asked Abel.
“A few, yes,” said Amaya. “Cousin Carlos is quite close with Socorro’s daughters.”
“So is Lorenzo,” said Salvador. “I remember wondering if he was going to ask one of them to marry him.”
Amaya smiled weakly. “Those two boys. I would not be surprised if they intended to have a double wedding.”
And for a time, no one seemed able to find anything else to say.
Asad hadn’t known Socorro very well at all, but it was enough just witnessing the impact that the news of her death was having. These people were well-acquainted with death, of course, but Socorro was one of their peers, someone they had grown up with--not just kin, but an old friend as well.
And this was the second time. Perhaps the Vanguard could claim Mariana’s death as incidental, but not so here. Parson Miles had killed Socorro in cold blood.
Asad wished he could do more for these people. Most of all, he wished his own kin could see them the way he did. Maybe things wouldn’t have turned out this way.
At length, the conversation resumed as they remembered the sense of urgency. Amaya spoke of finding Socorro’s daughters to deliver the news personally. Abel spoke of finding a private place for Ezura to regenerate Evangelina. And they gradually began to disperse.
It was Mevox who stopped everyone. ‘Ismael. We never settled the matter of your son.’
“I suppose we will have to discuss it further in Moaban,” said Ismael.
‘Not sure that’s good enough,’ said Mevox. ‘What if your son hurts someone during the journey?’
‘If only it were that simple,’ said Mevox. ‘I’d like to believe you; I really would. You probably think I’m just a cynical jackass trying to cause problems for you, but we have to keep your boy under guard. You must be able to understand that much, right?’
“I do,” said Ismael. “That is why House Blackburn will be the one doing so.”
‘That’s not good enough, and you know it. How can we trust your people to do what is necessary to stop him?’
“How can I trust that your people will not harm him?”
Qorvass floated forward. ‘Might I propose an apparent compromise?’
They waited for him to explain.