Divine glanced up from his coffee as Josephine walked in the kitchen. Interesting. Cora always woke in the morning like she spent the night standing up. Josephine, on the other hand, looked like she was run over, repeatedly. She trudged to him, grabbed his mug out his hand and tucked into his coffee. Divine was amused. He decided not to lay into her. Was she even aware of her unpleasant appearance?
Besides, Aliceanna will have a few words for her.
That’s good.” She sighed. She looked at Divine as though she hadn’t known he was there. “Good Morning.”
“Do you always look like this when you wake up or did you sleep on a bed of needles?”
She turned one eye to him. The expression did nothing for her haggard appearance.
“You’re worse than your sister. How hard it is to say, ‘You look awful?’”
Divine shrugged. “What would be the fun in that?”
“How’d you sleep?” She asked.
“I didn’t.” Divine poured himself some more coffee without milk and sugar.
Like Midnight Prysn, the house had everything he needed. Jugs of coffee, tea, orange juice and food sat on an old counter. Glowing red energy danced in the stone stove. It was hot. It heated his coffee. Divine prefered preparing his own food.
He also woke up to clothing folded in the corner of his room. His wardens must have supplies somewhere else. They transported it to Silhouette several times a day.
“What do we do now? We won’t find any answers here. We should find a way out of here.” Josephine said, propping her hip against the table.
It rocked. Divine griped the table before she knocked it and his food over.
Leaning against the table caused her shirt to ride above her hips. At least her underwear covered her bottom.
“And go where?” he asked.
They couldn’t return to their normal lives. He’d go home long enough to talk to Mom.
“Speaking of which, I think my parents knew this would happen,” Josephine said.
“Please don’t have a conversation with my thoughts,” Divine scratched his head. “Now that you mention it, my mom was acting strange the last time I saw her.”
Josephine stared at his mug. “Do you think they meant us harm?”
“No,” Divine said without needing to think about that, at least not much more, “We can read a person’s aura. We know when someone wants to hurt us.” He waited for her to nod, “I saw none of this from Mom.”
“What does that mean then because I know the thing that brought us here does mean us harm?”
Divine shrugged. He spent most of the night contemplating that and came up with nothing. Silhouette hadn’t changed. It was still a place meant to control not nurture them. Josephine was right. They wouldn’t find any answers here.
“But, Shade said my memories are here and I need them to get stronger.”
“You do know your Shade is a Del’Praeli.”
He nodded. “Apparently, they all aren’t animals.”
Something thumped on the second floor. He’d been surprised when Aliceanna and Blae decided they’d be the ones to share a room. He was even more surprised when he walked past that room last night and heard them talking amiably. It was strange seeing them act like adults.
Divine grabbed a banana from the counter and handed it to Josephine.
She shook her head. Divine didn’t withdraw. She hadn’t eaten since breakfast yesterday. Her aura was drooping. The house conjured the food for them. She might as well eat it.
Josephine took the banana. His patience and her lack of patience meant he always won.
“So, Josephine are you going to tell me about this nightmare or do I have to dig it out.”
Closing her eyes, Josephine sipped his coffee. He should stop calling it his.
“Dig it is,” Divine said.
He didn’t have the right to be so pushy. She was Josephine not Cora. He didn’t know this female. Still, Josephine wasn’t acting like this was a new relationship for the both of them.
Divine touched her mind. She jumped, knocking her mug. She caught it before the coffee spilled.
“We created a rule so the other wouldn’t take advantage of the connection.”
Divine nodded. “But, the rule doesn’t apply when one of us is hiding something important, something that disturbs them.”
She squinted. A devious gleam shone in Josephine’s eyes. She skimmed his mind, opening the information about his brother. Josephine turned down her chin and showed her teeth. She was going to ask him a question he didn’t want to answer.
“Going to tell me about the brother you think you have?”
Divine tried to control his expression. From the vindictive smile Josephine wore, he hadn’t succeeded.
Aliceanna pressed him for more information yesterday. He didn’t want to talk about it. From the feel of the connection, Divine was once good friends with his brother. Divine wanted to act as if he never discovered he had a sibling rather than live with the guilt of being unwilling to remember something so important.
Josephine was digging into his mind. Since she was so determined. He nodded. She pulled out.
“I think Mauve is being tortured for helping me,” she said to her banana. “I forced her to choose a side and she did. I dreamt about her people experimenting on her. I felt her pain. At times, she was angry with us— with me for putting her in that situation. Other times, she hated herself for being defective.” Josephine gave a sad smile. “The worst was those times she felt at peace for what she did, when she had no regrets. I could deal with the anger but not that. We were never worthy of being saved.”
Divine decided to keep his mouth closed. The thought of Mauve being tortured because of her disturbed Josephine. Divine, on the other hand, felt grim satisfaction.
He tucked into an apple. He wouldn’t say anything that would end up with them fighting, again.
“Why do you think you’re seeing this? You have no connection with her.”
He should’ve questioned why she thought it was happening. He never understood how, Josephine, someone who didn’t like outsiders could bond with Mauve, someone who clearly wasn’t to be trusted.
Josephine shrugged her response. “I don’t care why I’m seeing it. I wish I could help her.”
Divine hid his shock behind the apple. Josephine showed compassion before. She never voiced her feelings. She wasn’t Cora anymore. He needed to stop comparing the two.
Aliceanna walked in followed by Blae. Like Josephine, Aliceanna wore only a shirt, no pants. Her shirt though, didn’t cover her butt. She wasn’t wearing a bodice. Good thing he didn’t care much about the flesh.
“Get to telling her about our brother?” Aliceanna asked as she took Divine’s new coffee mug and his half-eaten apple.
He didn’t need Aliceanna and Josephine acting alike.
Aliceanna locked the apple in her mouth and poured more coffee in the mug then added a great helping of milk and sugar.
“How could you drink plain coffee? Tastes like a homeless person used it as bath water.”
He’d never drink coffee again.
Blae walked to the coffee jug. It was empty. He snatched the mug from Aliceanna and sipped.
“A little less sugar next time.”
These people had no respect for personal space. From Aliceanna’s deepening glare, she was about to flatten Blae.
Divine had enough. It was too early for all this.
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