Crossbreeds 3: Chapter 49 Back to Work by RedPhantom ()
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While Nim slept, Jo went with Sapphire, Dae, and Ti back to the home.
When they arrived, they found the place very quiet. There was no one there. Bria and Ghin had come to watch the kids since they had no idea how long the meeting would last.
“They’re next-door,” Ti reported. “Ghin said they were almost done and would be back soon.”
“Almost done?” Sapphire looked confused. “Almost done with what?”
Ti shrugged. “He didn’t say.”
He and Dae went to take care of other responsibilities.
The door burst open and the kids along with Bria and Ghin returned.
“What were you guys doing next-door?” Sapphire asked. Up until this point, they didn’t have much contact with the neighbors.
“The kids didn’t have enough to do so we thought they could help the old couple next door. They had plenty to keep the kids occupied. I hope that’s okay,” Bria said.
Sapphire nodded. “That’s a great idea. What trouble did the kids give you?”
“Oh, not much really. They were just starting to act up. We thought we’d better prevent problems rather than try to end a fight.”
“A fight? Chormi?” Sapphire guessed.
“Sort of. Fenta was picking on Lamdi. Chormi was trying to get him to stop.”
“I guess I know who I need to start with,” Jo said and called Chormi to her office. Sapphire had a “talk” with Fenta while she made lunch.
The afternoon went well. Jo was able to talk with most of the kids. The rest, she would see the next day. For the most part, they were responding well. Some simply needed the stability they could get there, others needed more help.
Chormi was one who was struggling. He seemed to truly want to be good. He wanted to be at the home, and he wanted a better life after he left there than what he’d seen with his dad. He was still undecided about finding his mom. Having met Ann’s missing dad a few times, he was less sure she had to be bad, but he still wanted to trust that his dad hadn’t lied to him. Jo also suspected he was afraid his dad hadn’t lied and he’d be disappointed. Jo reminded him he didn’t have to look for her at all.
Lamdi was making progress. She was quite proud of her new gloves. She wanted to shake Jo’s hand. She still didn’t want to talk to her, but Jo was able to get her to answer some yes and no questions.
The girl said she was doing her exercises and they were helping. She had expressed concern over Nim by drawing a picture of him getting out of bed. She wanted Jo to give it to him.
“How’s Thailyn’s heart?” She asked softly just before she left.
“His heart?” Jo asked. “His heart is fine.” Lamdi shook her head. Jo sighed. “You felt that and figured it out? It’s as fine as it can be. But, this is a secret, okay? Don’t tell the other kids okay?”
Krila was another Jo was concerned about. Emotionally, she wasn’t ready for the baby that would soon be coming. Jo wondered if it would be better for her to give it up. Here, though, an orphanage wouldn’t take a child if either parent were still alive. Rejenn had expressed a desire to adopt. Perhaps, that might be the way to go. She would pass her thoughts on to Sapphire and let her and Pt’this decide whether or not to recommend it to the girl.
While she had been working with the kids, Nim had woken up. Ti had relayed that he said he was fine. Ann was with him, and Jo didn’t need to rush home. Dae had confirmed it with Ann. Sapphire encouraged her to stay and visit for a while.
“You’ve spent the last several days in that sick-room with Nim. You need to get out a little. He’s fine. He knows you’re here. If there’s a problem he, Ann, or Thailyn can contact Dae or Ti.”
“But what if I need to get back there in a hurry? It’s quite a walk,” Jo protested.
“I’ll take you back.” Ti shrugged. “We’d be there in minutes. Stay for a bit.”
“Nim is fine. He said you should stay,” Dae added. “He’s worried about you too. He says you’re acting like a hermit.” She smiled at that last part.
Jo sighed. “Okay. I’ll stay for a bit.”
“Krila, set another place for dinner,” Dae called.
“Dinner? No, I can’t. It’ll be dark by then,” Jo protested.
“I’ll take you back,” Ti assured her.
“Well…” Jo still hesitated.
“If you don’t like the dark, I’ll transport you back,” he offered.
Jo smiled. They weren’t going to take no for an answer. “Okay, I’ll stay.”
Jo had a good time. She worried a little about Nim but didn’t dwell on it.
When it was time to go, she and Ti went outside. They walked to the road where there was enough room for Ti to change. Jo stayed back as he did to give him room. She heard a noise behind her and jumped. She turned, fearing the worst but it was only the neighbor. The woman waved, and Jo waved back.
Ti bent his head to her. “Do you want me to transport you back?” He offered.
“No, that’s okay.” Jo shook her head.
“That’s not what Nim just said.” Ti smiled.
“She startled me. Really, I’m…”
“Do not say fine. Everyone says that. They never are.”
Jo nodded. “Ever since Nor’than abducted me, I’ve been a bit jumpy after dark. I’m okay inside, usually, or with if I’m with a big group. But alone, or with just one or two people, I don’t do so well. In the summer at the boarding house when everyone would be gone, I have trouble after dark inside too.”
Ti shifted back to human form. He reached for her hand. “I understand. Nim’s not the only one who has nightmares of Mr. Creepy. I’ll transport you back.”
“No. I need to get over this. There will be days I need to work late and I’ll need to get home then too. I can’t have you take me every time.”
“You not only can, you will. It’s not safe to be out alone at night, especially for a woman. Prince Remtani has improved things a lot, but there is still no way you’ll walk back alone after dark. If something happened to you, Nim would kill me. If you got back safely, Pt’this would skin me for letting you go alone. Nim would probably help. If you want to fly, we can, but if the dark bothers you, we can transport. If you want to be out at night alone, go to the garden at the palace. Even Dae doesn’t go out alone without flying.” He took her hand and cast the transport spell. As he did so, Jo looked away, hoping to avoid most of the flash. She noticed the neighbor lady still watching.
Ti brought her to the third-floor balcony. “Thank you,” she said as her eyes cleared.
He nodded. “Like I said, this is for my safety as well as yours.” He transformed into a dragon. Jo glanced away as he did. She watched a moment as he flew off, his golden scales reflecting the lights from the palace. Then, she saw another dragon join him. It was hard to see be sure, but she thought that it was Pt’this.
She hurried up the stairs to her own dragon. He smiled when he saw her. “Have fun?” He asked.
She nodded. “You?”
“Loads. Andy was trying to teach me to play a game called chess. It’s kind of confusing.”
Jo smiled. “I never could get the hang of it. Andy’s not that good either if I remember correctly. Where did he get the set?”
“He didn’t. We were using empty potion vials that he labeled. That’s part of why it was confusing.”
“Maybe next time, you should try checkers,” Jo suggested.
“He suggested we try that next,” Nim said.
She curled up next to him. “I missed this.”
“So did I.” He kissed her forehead.
Jo relaxed in his arms. She hadn’t been sleeping well since the surgery so it wasn’t long before she drifted off to sleep.
Image Comments (4)
zaqxsw () 1:19PM | Tue, 15 June 2021
Nice installment. Looking forward to the next twist you throw at us.