After breakfast, Jabeth plops me onto the couch to begin his lecture. Honestly I’ve had millions form my Dad, so this shouldn’t be too terrible.
“Alright, since you will be staying here for a week, we’re going to need to set some ground rules.” He clasps his hands together.
Forget that. “Rules? What rules would I possibly need?”
Jabeth plants his hands on his hips. “May I remind you that this isn’t some vacation. You came here on some accord, which you have yet to inform me of.”
I furrow my brow. “You said you didn’t want to know.”
I scrunches up his face. “I did?” He searches his memory for a second before brushing off the topic. “Oh, yeah. Well either way it’s dangerous for you to be here.” He motions Zuko over to him, who paws over to his side and sits rather stiffly. He’s no longer on fire when I first met him, I guess it’s a defense thing.
“Your kind isn’t welcome here.” He adds, stroking Zuko’s head. “So for you to be seen outside would be a downfall for not only you, but us, especially me and Xavier.”
I sigh and lean back on his-this is a really nice sofa.
“Anyway, we can’t allow anything bad to happen to you. So first, you are not allowed outside of this wing. That’s the most rule of them all.” He gestures to the large open space.
I scowl, pointing a finger at him. “Wait a minute, you said outside. So why can’t I-”
“Outside as in outside of this wing.” He says, tapping his foot impatiently. “There are maids, and butlers, and workers here. Not to mention my brothers and my Father.” For a moment he zones out again, the same lost in thought look I’m so used to.
But I can’t say I like it.
I snap my fingers to regain his attention. “Hey, Jabeth!”
It takes me a few tries but he finally snaps from it. “Huh?”
“What were you thinking about? You zoned out.” I feel utterly curious whats inside that brain of his.
He stares at me for a moment, but ignores my question. “Second rule..”
His voice drifts away from my ears. I know asking again would count as changing the subject, but I really am curious. I don’t understand Jabeth and for some reason I want to. But my safety should come first.. But then again, this may be my only other opportunity to explore the world I dream of.
I snap from it. “Huh?”
Jabeth sighs, frustrated before raking a hand through his dark brown curls. “I’m to help you, Josie. If it were my choice I wish you weren’t here at all.”
I feel a nick in my chest, like a small pinch.
“But I can’t do that when you won’t cooperate.” He spreads his hands wide. “Understand?”
I lower my eyes to Zuko, who stares up at his master. He trusts Jabeth, Xavier trusts Jabeth, even Jerny trusted Jabeth to take care of me.
Your goal is to stay with Xavier until you reach Jabeth. Once you’re with him, you will be safe.”
I furrow my brow. “How do you know?”
He looks down at his feet. “I just know.”
Jerny trusts Jabeth to keep me safe. Everyone trusts him. So why can't I?