Do not say the name!
Rey turned around as fast as her body allowed her to. And surprisingly, she wasn’t the only one who had problems with simple things like walking.
Elaine waddled all the way to them. It was now clearly visible, she was carrying a second life in her belly. But while her penguin walk was cute, Rey’s was just tragic.
Well, whatever. It was what it was.
S helped Rey get up from the ground at the same time as Elaine finally waddled over.
“How are you feeling?” She asked Rey. “I wanted to come to see you days ago, but they wouldn’t let me. Apparently, you needed a lot of rest.”
It was an excuse Brynn came up with on Rey’s behalf, so she wouldn’t have to deal with her parent’s constant attempts to visit. But she had no idea they would also use it to keep Elaine away.
“Yeah, I am fine,” Rey said. But after S’s sceptical look, she changed her answer to: “Well, not exactly fine. But better. A lot better.”
“Great, that’s great,” Elaine smiled blissfully.
Starring at the smile playing on her lips, Rey realised, she never even asked an equally important question: “What about you? Is everything okay with you and with the ....”
Same as she once had a problem with saying the word mate, Rey found out, it also applied to the word baby. No matter how hard she tried, the syllables just wouldn’t come out.
But Elaine understood her anyway: “I am fine. The baby is fine too, thanks to you.”
“I didn’t really do anything,” Rey shook her head.
“You got us out of there,” Elaine protested, “thanks to you, I was able to feel my baby kick for the first time. Oh, it is even kicking right now,” she beamed and put her hand onto her stomach. “Would you want to feel it too?” She asked and reached out her free hand for Rey to take it.
Rey didn’t know what to say.
Did she or did she not?
Her dilemma was solved by S as he pulled Rey towards him and said: “We are leaving!” There was something cold in his stare as he watched Elaine.
“What’s wrong?” Rey asked him.
“She might be all smiles and giggles now, but need I remind you, the last time I let you two alone, she wanted to kill you?”
Oh. So much had happened since that day, Rey totally forgot about the whole incident.
“But we are cool now. We talked it out already,” she reassured him.
But he was too much on fire to accept it: “Yeah? And how do you know, it is not only a game, she is playing? She might be waiting for the right time to hurt you again!”
Well, she might. But was she?
Rey had a hard time to believe that. Elaine had plenty of opportunities to hurt her already. She even went to her house and came out unharmed.
“I don’t know,” Rey admitted, “but I do hope so.”
“Yeah, well, that’s not enough,” S said stubbornly, “we are leaving!”
His plan to drag her away would be successful, had Elaine not stop them: “I am very sorry, I hurt your sister. And I know, you have no reason to believe me, but I swear to you, I no longer hold any ill intentions towards her. She saved my life.”
Whether it was intentional or not, Elaine definitely gained some points for calling Rey his sister, but not enough of them: “Maybe not now. But what’s to say, it is not gonna change, the next time Talon talks to her?”
“Se - little brat!” Rey was so shocked from what she was hearing, she almost called him by his full name. Luckily, she managed to avert the crisis at the last second: “Hadn’t I taught you anything? Where are your manners?”
As much as the boy was ready to fight a second ago, the will left him quickly. And Rey feared it was her fault.
She stopped herself on time, but maybe even the one extra vowel was enough to evoke painful memories inside him.
And judging by the distant look that overtook his face, it did.
At his thirteen years of age, S was not a complicated human being. If you loved him, he loved you. But his love had two very important conditions: one should never ask him what his full name was, and if he decided to share it, one could never speak it in front of him.
And Rey almost broke the second one.