Lys: Shattered Peace

Aithne smiled when she saw the girl leave on horseback. I knew it. she thought. And bareback, too. She'd only known the girl a week, but when one is rarely drawn into conversation, one begins studying the people in one's sphere. The Guttersnipe's heart was not on horseback. It was in the horses themselves.

Standing up, she picked up the water skin and carried it to where Master Lucius was sitting. She kept well away from him and his books, lest she drip on them, but she wanted to put it with the other supplies gathered in a group nearby. She squeezed her hair to get the excess water out of it, and wrung her hem as well. Oh, it had felt good to sit in the current and let it wash over her. With her eyes closed, it almost felt like home.

"You're half-selkie, Aithne!" her father used to laugh. But she didn't care. It was water, and it brought life to everything. She wondered if Master Lucius would be helped by a soak, but she didn't dare suggest he leave his books.
She'd heard tell of a Roman-British town with healing waters, but she did not know how they could be better than any other water.

Now would be a good time to wash Cu, soaked as I already am. But with the Guttersnipe elsewhere, she didn't want to take Cu away from his duties. So instead she laid out in the grass behind her master, letting the sun dry her out. The journey had put some color in her once-pale skin, though her shoulders had burned. Since then she'd kept them covered whenever possible.

It was a beautiful sort of peace- all were occupied in something pleasant, and she felt content for the first time in... a very long time.

Presently she heard hooves galloping back, and she raised her head to see the Guttersnipe. "Have a good...time...?" The words trailed off. The girl had ridden in as though hell itself was chasing her, half-clothed, and spattered in a red substance Aithne hoped she had misidentified. In an instant she was up and as close as the colt would let her come. "What happened? Are you hurt?" She frantically looked for wounds of any kind, looked behind her for others coming, then back to the Guttersnipe, asking again. "What happened?"

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