“This is different from the one you used to have,” she commented.
“Yes, we needed a larger table for all of the children.”
“We saw some of them outside in the yard. Who are they?”
Glancing at her charge, Clarimonde asked her, “Would you like to explain?”
Vida grinned. “You might say that they are my charges.”
Her eyes narrowed, Lucy reached for the pot of tea, filled her cup, and then passed it to Mara who sat to her left. “A member of the Select with charges? Ahhh . . . I don’t understand.”
“Well, over the past few years, Ethanward has been flooded with orphaned children. I grew weary of seeing them hungry and ill kept. So Clarimonde and I turned this place into a refuge for them.”
“But, Vida,” Reigna interrupted, “we’re hoping you’ll come to the palace with us. What will become of them then?”
Vida’s brow rose. “I’m not leaving the children.”
The twins glanced at Mara and Dixon, and then turned Lucy’s way.
“But she has to come,” Eden said.
“She is free to do as she chooses, girls. I told you not to get your hopes up,” Lucy said.
Reigna addressed Vida. “Can’t someone else care for them so that you can join us?”
“I’m sorry, I’m—well, that is, Clarimonde and I—are all they’ve got.”
“I’m sorry,” Vida repeated.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish