Sitting across from Cazriel, eating a meal Gwendolyn practically shoved down her throat, she waited for the ancient Angel to answer her question.
She hadn't asked it, what to do about becoming queen, but she knew he knew what it was, and Angelica didn't have the time to get more than a hello out before Gwendolyn placed a plate before her and told her to eat.
So, really, she was waiting on him.
He must have read her mind, seeing as he responded, "You know, most people find it creepy when I answer questions they have yet to ask."
She just shoveled down another fork full of macaroni.
Cazriel sighed, leaning back in his chair. "In two days, the other three towns are going to arrive, and we're holding a coronation."
Angelica choked. Gagging on a noodle, her claws gripped the table, and she dropped her fork. Somehow, she managed to cough up the noodle, and she choked out, "Three other towns?"
"That's what you're surprised about?" Gwen questioned. "Not the coronation?"
"The coronation comes with being queen," Angelica said, regaining her breath.
"Fair point," Gwen said.
Angelica shifted her gaze to Cazriel, even though he could not see her, and she waited.
"There were eight of us," Cazriel said, "Two of them my friends, two of them my brothers, and two of them Gwen's friends that decided to leave and make our own country. Two of them are at the helm of each town, scattered across the coast. We stay separate to keep from being found, and to widen our reach to rescue more looking to escape the war."
"And you just decided to tell you now because...?" Angelica asked.
"Memories get jumbled," Cazriel replied, "I honestly thought you already knew.
Gwen sighed, and kissed her husband's cheek, settling into his lap. His arms wrapped around her waist as she said, "He's mixed up my birthdays before. Accidently wished me my four hundredth birthday a few years ago."
Angelica snorted out a laugh.
"Anyhow," Cazriel went on, "If it's any consolation, Damon is going to be at your side."
It brought a relieved smile to her lips.
Damon was going to be okay. Damon was going to be okay, and Damon was going to be at her side.
And she would need it. She'd be standing before a larger crowd than she'd ever seen, and she did not look forward to it.
Speaking of which-
"One hundred and forty two," Cazriel said, "You'll be standing before one hundred and forty two people."
Feeling a little light headed, Angelica braced her hands on the edge of the table.
One hundred and forty two.
Goodness, she'd never been in a room with more than twenty people, let alone one hundred and forty two.
"Oh, you'll be alright," Gwendolyn said, "Don't worry about it. You don't even have to say anything beyond an 'I do'."
She frowned. "I'm not getting married, am I?"
"As nice as that would be, no," Cazriel replied, something like pity flashing in his eyes.
That was not reassuring.
"And what does that mean?" Angelica asked.
"That is not a thing I'm allowed to say," Cazriel replied.
His eyes seemed to stare deep into her soul, and he said, Ahee Verue, Leorueli.
By some force that was not her own, Angelica nodded.
A very small, hardly noticeable pain bloomed in Angelica's abdomen, and she stiffened.
And then it was gone. The pain, the memory of Cazriel saying anything, all of the last five seconds.
Angelica blinked. With a snort, she mumbled, "That's reassuring."
"Don't worry about it," Cazriel said, waving the issue away, "You'll get through it."
Because that was even more reassuring. As a distraction, she returned to her food.
"Oh, and expect to dream tonight," Cazriel said.
Angelica paused. With a frown, she asked, "So you're allowed to tell me when I'm going to have a dream, but not what is going to happen beyond that?"
He nodded. "This has no repercussions if I tell you, as it's fairly harmless. Just, brace yourself for what you might learn."
Well. All the assurance was being given to her today.
Worry bloomed in her chest, and the temptation to ask welled up in her chest, but she decided against it.
She'd find out soon enough.
"Finish you food," Gwen said, "You're too thin."
Angelica disagreed quite a bit. She kept eating like this, and she'd end up gaining weight.
But Gwendolyn's cooking was absolutely wonderful, so she didn't protest, again digging into the plate of macaroni and meat sauce.