“So, what are you all up to anyway?”
She leaned over and glanced at the ring that Mara still held. “Oh, I see,” she addressed the three sisters. “You’re going through some of your mother’s things.”
“Yes,” Vida said.
“These rooms here that Mara and Dixon are using, your parents used to share,” Lucy said as she waved her hand to indicate their surroundings. “When we moved in, I went through them. I had some of your mother’s things packed up for storing in the lower levels. Some day, if things ever settle down, we can go through them together.”
“I’d like that,” Eden said.
“Thank you, yes, so would I,” her twin agreed.
Vida merely nodded and smiled.
“Oh,” Mara said, jumping to her feet as a flash of lightning shone through the window, “there’s one thing more I found amongst your mother’s belongings, after her death. Maybe Lucy knows something about it.”
She went to her closet and pulled out from the top shelf, a box. Upon returning, she placed it on the bed. She took off the top and folded open the crinkling tissue paper inside.
“Here we go,” she said, pulling something out.
Lucy grinned. “That old thing?” She held her hand to her chest. “Oh, goodness, I didn’t know you still had that.”
“Old!” Reigna cried, running her hands over the softest, whitest cashmere cape, in a most intricate cabled weave. “Why, it’s beautiful!” she exclaimed.
Eden nodded her agreement. “This was our mother’s?” She picked up the item and turned it over. It’s spotless. Gorgeous!” She turned to Lucy. “You laughed about it. Why?”
Lucy picked up a corner of it. “Your mother got this years ago, when she was even younger than the two of you are now, from a vendor at a market in a village not far from Polesk. The woman went by the name ‘Skelly.’ Great Ehyeh, but I’ll never forget her! She told the wildest stories—and was believed to be mad.” She locked eyes with one of the twins, then the other, all to the sound of rumbling thunder. “In any case, Skelly had followed your mother and I around, along with your mother’s first Oathtaker, all day.”
“What was his name again?” Vida asked.
“Her first Oathtaker?”
“That’s right,” she said. “I remember him—vaguely.”
“So, this . . . Skelly . . . What about her?” Eden asked.
Lucy sat at the edge of the bed. “Well, as I said, everyone thought she was less than sane. When we couldn’t seem to shake her tailing us, Sheva stopped to ask some of the locals about her. The vendors told him that Skelly was harmless—but crazy. So finally, when she drew near once more, Sheva turned around to face her, a scowl on his face and his Oathtaker’s blade in his hand.”
As Lucy spoke, she stood and demonstrated what he might have looked like, an expression of intensity on her face. Then she burst out a great smile.
“Honestly, I thought the woman would jump right out of her skin, he so surprised her!”
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