Samara gasped sharply as icy – no, hot – no icy pain shot through her hips. “What are you doing?”
Asa was silent for a moment, continuing to manipulate her hips. “I’m sorry, Samara, you were worse off than I had believed. I’ll show you to your room, and you’ll need to come back for me to check you again, tomorrow. I’ll be waiting outside while you make yourself decent.” He very gently covered her backside again, and slipped out of the room.
I don’t understand what’s going on. Samara sat up and re-tied her clothing. She gingerly took a step up to walk forward and – That’s strange. So much of my pain is gone. Maybe he knew what he was doing. She staggered forward a few steps to straighten out her pelvis before gaining control of her steps enough to open the door.
Asa was waiting for her there. His face was inscrutable, giving no sign of his thoughts. Samara followed him, unsure what to say, as he smoothly glided across the lawn to a set of doors. “These will be your quarters, Samara, while you are in training. Please, get some rest and allow your body to heal. Tomorrow will come quite early.”
Samara opened the door to the room and inhaled. This is far larger than any rooms at the house of Mercy. This is truly just for me?
“I trust it will be sufficient for now. This is an outer space for when you will need to receive visitors, and the inner room can be more fully secured.” Asa slipped in and showed her the inner doors. “Whatever you keep in this room will not be bothered, and no one has the right to come in this room with you. If anyone has a delivery, or anything to bring you, they will come only to the outer room. Goodnight Samara, get some rest.”
Samara stood staring at the space. Not one spare set of clothing, but ten lined the wall. The bed looked far larger than one person should ever need. I don’t know who they think I am to be worthy of this space. Suddenly she heard some voices outside the window, and they sounded familiar.
“Is she sleeping yet, Asa?” It was Ethan’s voice. Deeper and commanding.
“Probably. She had a very rough day, Ethan.” Asa sounded annoyed, anger bubbling up. “You know she is far too fragile for this.”
Ethan sighed. “She didn’t complain, Asa.”
“Her hips were almost completely dislocated. On both sides.” Asa’s voice was steely.
He did know. How much does he know about my pain?
Ethan balked. “She never said a word. She followed me and rode with me just like any other recruit. You’re not giving her enough credit, Asa.”
“You’re going to have to go easier on her, Ethan. You know…” Asa’s voice trailed off as they were too far from the window for Samara to hear.
Is he going to tell Ethan how I’m just a cripple? How riding a horse dislocates my hips? How I’m not strong enough to walk after riding, and the food was just an excuse? Samara tried to let herself relax into the large bed, and fell asleep.