You know, after being woken up at a butt-ugly time in the morning with people whooping and running up and down the halls- which I could hear EVERY SINGLE DANG ONE of their footsteps- you’d almost expect yourself to first be in a groggy state, due to just having been woken up, and then groggy and angry, since you’re no longer sleeping when you’re supposed to be, and then just plain angry when the noise keeps you from falling back asleep due to it being so loud. But no- when a bloodspattered but ecstatic Calum forcibly rips your door open with the help of Ophelia and some burly Mithrae and pulls you to a standing position so that you can rejoice that the person who’s been the source of your frustrations for the past few months joining the recently dead a few hours before, you push the aches of having just woken up aside and just start running with everybody else. I’ve never been to a bull run in Pamplona, but I imagine that the two events were fairly similar to each other, bulls replaced with the few guards who were still loyal to Allaketo and hadn’t completely broken down and given up like the vast majority of the other guards.
“So I hear that you and Emma have been accepted into therapy, Maxine.” I took a long sip of my steaming hot chocolate that Ophelia had handed to me after Maxine and I had gone off to go get a closer look at the freshly fallen snow outside in the front yard. We’d taken up temporary refuge- they still didn’t know what to do with me, and they had no flipping clue how they were going to break it to Constance’s parents that their only child was dead, let alone bring them in so that Constance could have a proper funeral alongside Yasmin.
“Yeah.” She scooted a little closer to me on the couch, her red scarf that she’d draped loosely around her neck brushing my left forearm. “First they’re going to do a bit of psychoanalyzing, which is supposed to be at least a hundred times calmer than anything the both of us experienced either on Zorphia or here in Soona Bris. And depending on if they find anything that could possibly be PTSD, we’re going to get proper treatment for once…” Her words trailed off, and she stared at the opposite wall for a few moments before she regained focus and gazed downwards in a pensive way. “Emma’s sleeping right now. I hope she can find some sort of peace.”
“Speaking of peace, aren’t you going to be one of the queens of Zorphia now?”
Maxine stood up then, brushing off her ebony-shaded dress and ruffling a few of her feathers. “I’ve already discussed this with Emma. I don’t want to be queen or have any responsibility for Zorphia. That’s her job.” She glanced back at me again. “But if in the future, some young female couple falls into the thrones, nothing’s going to kick them out again. At least that much can be done to honor all the crapola that this ‘war’ turned out to be.”