Three – 07

[This post is from Kailey Astoris’s point of view.]

She lingered after Jacqueline had gone, sitting at the foot of Lin’s bed as he curled beneath the covers, staring at the closed curtains across the room. Once Jacqueline had enlisted her help in treating Lin’s wounds, silence had dominated—silence beyond phrases like “pass me the thread” and “move your arm, please.”

It had almost been enough to drive her mad, but now that she and her cousin were alone, all the questions she wanted answers to were questions that tasted like ash on her tongue, that stuck in her throat, lodged there and stopped her voice. Her shoes were on the floor and she hugged her knees against her chest, watching Lin carefully. There was a pallor to his face that she didn’t like, one that asked more questions than it answered. Jacqueline had given him some pills to take before she’d left. Kailey hadn’t seen him take them; she’d been cleaning up while Jacqueline got Lin loaded into bed.

“Who told you?” Lin finally broke the silence after what felt like forever. He still wasn’t looking at her, but she could tell that his focus was, more or less, centered on her despite the aversion of his gaze.

“Who told me what?” The question seemed absurd. Did it really matter how she’d found out?

He sighed and closed his eyes for a second. “Fine. Don’t tell me.”

“I just don’t see why it matters.”

“It kind of does.”

“How?”

He shook his head slightly and sagged into the mattress, pulling his blankets closer. “Just…never mind.”

“Oh no,” she said. “We’re not playing that game.”

“What game?”

“The one where you try to make me feel guilty for not telling you what you want me to tell you. I’m not playing it, not when I’m this worried about you.”

“Worried,” he echoed, eyes coming open. He peered at her from within his cocoon of blankets. “It’s just some scratches.”

“Those are more than just some scratches.” She leaned forward. “And you know it but you don’t want to talk about it.”

“That’s right.”

“That’s why you want to know who told me.”

“Bingo.”

“It was Finn,” she said. “And all of the others probably already know.”

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