Autumn – Chapter 5 – 03

            Neve took a deep swallow from her mug, letting the hot tea burn a path down her throat, warming her chest on its way down to her belly.  She gave a little shiver and stared at the trees where the sun was slowly disappearing.
            “How much has Teague told you about all of this, Kira?” she asked softly.  “About everything that’s been happening, about the things that hurt him, all of that?”
            Kira snorted softly.  “I’d like to say everything, but I’m not stupid.  He told me enough to keep me motivated but not scare the crap out of me.”  She took a sip of her tea.  “I know all about the reincarnation thing, though.”
            Neve nodded slightly, finding herself strangely unsurprised that Kira would know that much, at least.  Teague may be a bastard about some things, but at least he’s honest.  Maybe he even felt guilty when they first got together, because he was drawn to her because of who she’d been, not who she was.  “What did he tell you about the war?”
            “Just a little,” Kira said softly.  “That it’s almost as old as you guys, that it’s why most retreated to their respective corners for hundreds of thousands of years.  I wanted details, but he slept through most of the drive here and I’ve been pretty busy making sure this place is snug and secure since then.”
            “You did a good job on that count,” Neve murmured.
            Kira shook her head.  “They haven’t really been tested yet.  So why did you ask about what I knew?”
            Neve shook her head slightly.  “I just never know how much to tell.  I’m not as experienced with this as the others.  I never seem to know what to say, how much to tell.  Hell, before I rescued Cameron on the road and brought him here, he thought I was just some college kid who needed his protection on the road.  I don’t know what he’ll think now when he wakes up.”  She fiddled with her mug.  “All I really know is that he’s a good man and maybe that I should have told him the truth.  He deserves the truth.”
            “He’ll get it,” Kira said softly.  “When he wakes up, he’ll get it.  I already told Teague that he’s going to have to answer any question Cameron asks him, even if he has to make something up.”
            Neve snorted.  “Teague won’t know what to do with himself if he has to make something up.  That’s not his strong suit.”
            Kira arched a brow.  “Really?”
            “Really.”  Neve smiled wryly.  “Phelan makes up most of his stories for him in advance, and I used to run interference with Father when Teague would get into trouble so he wouldn’t have to lie.  Father could almost always tell when Teague was lying.”  But that’s long ago and far away.  “I didn’t get into as much trouble as they did because of that, though.”
            “Sounds like you regret it.”
            Neve shrugged slightly.  “Only a little.  There was a lot I think I missed out on because of what I did for Teague.  I’m kind of making up for it now, but it’s different.  Those were different times.  More innocent.”  She exhaled softly and took another long swallow of tea.  It was slowly growing cold in the evening’s deepening chill.  “Maybe  a time like that will come again someday.”
            Kira looked at her strangely for a moment, then nodded slowly.  “Maybe,” she agreed, squeezing Neve’s shoulders.
            Neve shook herself and straightened slightly, startling her sister-in-law.  “I’m sorry, Kira,” she said.  “I’ve got no idea what’s gotten into me.  I’m not usually like this.”  She huffed a breath and shivered, then relaxed into Kira’s hug.
            “You’re just worried,” Kira said.  “I am, too, but we all deal with it in different ways.  I’m sure Cameron will be fine.  Teague said he’s through the worst of it.”
            “But was he sure?”
            Kira shrugged.  “He didn’t look like he was lying, so he must be telling the truth to the best of his ability.”
            Neve choked on a laugh.  I shouldn’t.  I shouldn’t laugh.  But I guess Kira knows why I find that funny.  She took another swallow of tea to buy herself time to calm down.
            Kira smirked slightly and squeezed her again.  “Are you going to at least come inside to eat?”
            “Are you going to take over tending the fire and open some windows?”
            “Hey,” Kira said, still smiling, “I’m the one who told your brother that if it didn’t get cooler in there, I was going to go sleep in the barn.”  She started to stand up.  Neve grabbed her hand.
            “Kira?  When I have to explain everything to Cameron…you’ll be there, right?  To help?”
            Kira sat back down.  “I’ll make you a promise.  I’ll be with you when you and Teague explain everything to Cameron if you tell me about this war that what’s left of the world is being sucked into.”
            Neve considered the question for a moment, though it was mostly an act.  She hoped the relief didn’t show on her face when Kira offered her bargain.
            She nodded once.  “Done.”
            They went back into the cottage together.

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3 Responses to Autumn – Chapter 5 – 03

  1. Seraph says:

    The importance of tea in post-apocalyptic circumstances is not to be underestimated.

  2. Antonious says:

    The simple meditative act of watching the wisps of steam is as good as any chemical tranquilizer

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