“What you need to do is forget, little brother. It’s safer for you, for us all, if you do,” he whispered the words as he smoothed his hand through Relyt’s hair and tucked the errant curls behind his ear, encouraging his mind to slip further into sleep and to forget.
“Your Grace.” Lílrt turned with a raised eyebrow at Sheieh who was sitting up in his bed, legs folded, hands on his knees, those winter-grey eyes glowing in the darkness of the room. “Is my charge alright?”
He looked back down at his little brother and sighed. It was another question from the Guardian that he didn’t know if he should answer, if he wanted to answer. But the fact that he wanted to lie, that he wanted to keep silent, was why he didn’t. Sheieh couldn’t protect Relyt properly if the male didn’t know as much of the truth as Lílrt was capable of giving him.
“I am not sure, Sheieh. For now he should be but I fear that my mind magick will not hold for long.”
“Is something going on?”
That is a very loaded question.
“I am sorry I couldn’t get here sooner, Sheieh,” he said instead of answering because he didn’t have an answer. Not one that the Guardian could hear, not one that he trusted Sheieh to be able to handle. Which was just all sorts of bullshit and rude but it didn’t change how he felt about it. Didn’t change the reality of it. “I cannot stay long so this is a quick fix until I can find time to make it back here and sit with him while he’s awake and make sure the spell is seated with proper strength. The Many willing the time between then and now is not long.”
The quiet was soft and easy as he rose from the bed, careful to fix the blankets in his wake to make sure Relyt was fully covered. For even though there were heating spells built into the very framework of the Grand Palace, spells that weren’t affected by the random unpredictability of the Worlds’ ambient magick, it was still almost unnaturally cold in his little brother’s room. As though something, someone, was leeching any and all warmth it could get from the surrounding air and no amount it took was enough.
Lílrt pulled his attention from Relyt’s peacefully sleeping form and looked at Sheieh, unsurprised to find the Guardian looking not at him but at his brother. He stood in that easy, soft quiet and watched Sheieh watch Relyt sleep, watched and knew that he had chosen well when he’d picked the last of the Silvermend line to be Relyt’s Guardian. Though the more he got to see how Sheieh looked at Relyt, how the Guardian responded to the younger Soul Healer’s every move with the eye of a spouse looking for ways to make their counterpart’s life easier, Lílrt began to wonder if Sheieh’s loyalties weren’t beginning to falter. Wondered if they already had. And gods have mercy but that was the last thing he needed.
But now wasn’t the time to question Sheieh. He had to get back to the compound and to Rhyshladlyn. Needed to Heal Xitlali and get her and Hujiel together to figure out why the Grey Qishir was able to perform magick when the collar around his neck was supposed to make him as bare of magick as an Imènian. And that was just the beginning of his problems.
“If the magick starts to fail again call me immediately, Sheieh. Don’t wait until he remembers as much as he did.” He watched the other Soul Healer’s face go from open to stoic as he looked away from Relyt. It was like watching water settle after one threw a stone into it, when the last of the ripples faded away it was like nothing had ever touched it. “Had anyone come upon him in the Temple besides me everything would have unraveled.”
“Aye, Anointed One,” Sheieh answered and bowed low over his crossed legs until the back of his neck was visible as his braided hair slithered down over one shoulder. “My sincerest apologies for failing to do so this time. It is not a mistake I shall repeat.”
“All is forgiven, Sheieh,” he answered before he pressed his thumb to the coin in his pocket and let it pull him back into his physical body.
He sat on the floor of his rooms, waiting for the World to settle again and tried not to think of what Relyt had said in the Grand Temple and how fucked everything would have been had his little brother done that shit when anyone else was awake to hear it. Tried not think of what would have happened had he been delayed even another day and Relyt had acted on the want to throw himself at the mercy of the Grey Court who, if they’d believed him, would not have responded to his confession without extreme prejudice. It was too close of a call, one that made him nauseous in a way that had nothing to do with projection travel and everything to do with the sinking feeling in his gut that his careful plans were about to shatter to the fourteen winds.
Rubbing his face with both hands he pushed his fringe away from his eyes and absently made a note to get a trim soon though he doubted it would happen. Because on the list of his priorities, it didn’t even hit the same orbit. Not when he had a collar failing to contain the most powerful Qishir the Worlds had seen in millennia, a brother who was remembering shit he shouldn’t be, and the most powerful Otherborn to walk the Worlds back and without his kè to keep him in check.
Taking a deep breath he tilted his head back and looked through the skylight far above at the stars that danced across the ink-black night sky and did something he hadn’t in centuries if not longer.
I have no right to pray to any of You, but whatever gods still Hear the prayers of those like me, please if this entire shit fails, let my brother survive the fallout.
No answer came but that wasn’t surprising, he hadn’t expected one anyway. But he’d had to speak it regardless. Had to let the gods know that his brother didn’t deserve to go down with him because the only reason Relyt was even in this deep was because Lílrt had manipulated him and tricked him and dragged him kicking and screaming along for the ride.
And no matter what excuse he gave for why none of them mattered except that at the end of the day, he was just like every other Dhaoine in the Seven Worlds: no one wants to be alone.