After Kimball’s confession, I was speechless, confused, close to panic, but he had asked if he could stay in one of the other rooms and then left, giving me time and space to process everything he had told me. After that it had been easy to live with him. He never mentioned our talk again, he just kept living in my home, seeking my company but never imposing his. At first every morning when I woke up, and every evening when I came back from training I hoped to find him gone, but as the days passed the hope turned to fear, fear that he wouldn’t be there waiting for me. I was surprised by all the things he could do, in the weeks since his arrival the house was looking different, he was always working on a new project, he had even built a stone oven in the backyard. He had taken over the cooking of my meals, he was an incredible chef, he cooked food with flavors than I didn’t even know were possible.
He had stayed out of my room after that first day, but he was always ready to come to me if I called him. I felt guilty, I felt like I was taking advantage of him, but he seemed happy. He found pleasure in doing all those little things that were necessary in the house and that I found so boring. That morning, as I walked down the stairs, I could smell breakfast waiting for me.
“Good morning Kaiserin.” It was nice to hear my own name again, with the Amazons calling me Pitonisa all the time I was starting to lose my identity, Kimball helped me to remind me who I was and why I was there.
“Good morning,” I said, as Kimball put a plate with fruit in front of me, he then put a basket with pastries on the side. I chose one of the pastries he had baked the day before, just one, even though I wanted all of them. As always, without me saying anything, Kimball had found out what my favorites were, and he always had my favorite meals ready for me.
“Thanks. Did you have breakfast yet?”
“No. Is it ok if I eat with you?” It was the same question every meal, he never sat at my table without an invitation, and I never failed to invite him. It was a behavior that sometimes I found exasperating, and others sweet.
“Of course, sit down.”
As every morning, we had a little chat, talking about nothing important; the weather, Alkaia’s daughter’s training, and other superficial stuff. After breakfast, I went to the Palace, I had a meeting with Alkaia and her advisors and generals. The Militaries had changed their attack patterns, they were attacking the Amazons’ farms. At first there was no damage, but recent excursion had destroyed several acres of crops. There had been no casualties, but some slaves had been freed, and the Amazons were worried, with the harvests and the men they had lost, all the Clan would be affected.
I kept silent during the meeting, I knew that they would reject any of my suggestions, so I just tried to figure out what the Militaries’ plan was and how we could counter it, once I could talk to Alkaia alone, I would say what I needed to say. After the meeting I was invited to eat with them, and despite knowing that most of them didn’t want me there, I accepted the invitation. As we were finishing our meal the world around me changed, I was no longer in the dining room, I was in another, familiar place. When I returned to the present I was met with several curious eyes, waiting to know what had caused my trance.
“Alkaia, what percentage of your troops is out protecting the farmlands?”
“Almost 80 percent is out, protecting not only the farms, but the mines and factories as well. Why?”
“I think the reason why the Militaries changed tactics is because they wanted to draw your troops out of here. They are going to attack here again, they were just waiting for your defenses to get low before trying to rescue Tank again.”
“They will never take him back.” Bremusa swore.
“Of course they won’t, don’t worry. I know how they plan to attack and how we can stop them, but we will need to be careful and have a good plan.”
“Don’t worry about it, I will take care of them.” Bremusa stood up, ready to go and face whomever would dare to try and take her prize away.
“Wait, don’t be impulsive, we have time. Derinoe, go and prepare the troops. Pitonisa, tell me everything you saw in your vision. They will try and take us by surprise, but they will be the ones surprised,” Alkaia said.
The Militaries attack would have taken us by surprise without my vision warning us. It was lucky that I had my vision while being with Alkaia, everything moved fast because of that and we were prepared for them. The Militaries attack was fast and strong, and if they had taken us by surprise it would have been successful, but they didn’t, and we were able to stop their attack. In just a few minutes it became obvious that their attack was a failure, the Amazons had managed to injure most of them and even capture a few of them. I wasn’t with the main defensive group, I was with a smaller one, protecting the slave’s quarters. A smaller group of Militaries tried to infiltrate the quarters and freed Tank, but Bremusa, a few warriors and I were waiting for them. Bremusa wasn’t going to let them take away her revenge, and I was there to help her stop Ace’s men from rescuing his son. We stopped them, but we couldn’t help but sustain some injuries during the battle, even me, because of one second distraction, had been injured; an enemy had clawed my leg, opening a deep, long wound in my calf. The wound wasn’t that bad, but it was hard to move with it, I blocked the pain, but still it was uncomfortable.
Once the battle was over I was busy helping assessing the damages and helping those injured. I joined them in the infirmary, but as my wound wasn’t bad I had to wait a long time for them to take care of my wound.
“I would like you to stay overnight for observation,” the doctor asked me while she dressed my wound. “It is a deep cut and even if I did my best to clean it, we still have to make sure there is not an infection.” She was right, but she had other people with worse injuries and I didn’t want to be in her way.
“I will be fine,” I said, “if I feel sick, I will come back or send someone for you.” It was then that I realized I was desperate to get back home, I kept thinking of Kimball, it was late and he would be worried, even if he didn’t know that a battle had taken place.
What Kimball thought of felt shouldn’t have worried me, but I had gotten used to him and I couldn’t help but thinking of him. Alkaia insisted on having someone drive me home, it took a while to get a car and then drive me home, but I couldn’t walk and I needed to take things easy if I didn’t want to make the injury worse. There was a lot of people on the streets and the trip back home felt longer than it was. Finally we arrived home, they drove to the back and two of them helped me to the back door. I entered through the kitchen and walked carefully to the kitchen counter, from there I could see Kimball, he was in the living room. I watched him for a while, he was training again, he moved with fluid and precise movements as if following an intricate choreography. I couldn’t move my eyes from him, the way he was moving was mesmerizing, he moved as if walking in slow motion, moving his arms and hands as if he was caressing the wind, he moved again and finally saw me there. His face split in a warm smile, he stopped what he was doing and moved closer to me.
“What was that?” I asked. “Is so different from what you were doing last time.” It was common to find him doing his weird training exercises, just a few days earlier, I had arrived to find him jumping up and down the room like he was possessed.
“Really different, last time was Capoeira, now is Tai Chi, different continents and ideologies.” He mentioned the names as if they would mean something to me. “Tai Chi helps me relax; it centers me. I needed that today, I was worried about you.”
“There were some problems that had me busy for a while, but everything is ok.” I didn’t know why I said that, why I wanted him not to worry about me. “You know that I can take care of myself.”
“I know, but still I worry. Let me heat the food, you must be hungry,” he said as he moved into the kitchen. “Just take a seat, your meal will be ready in a few minutes.”
“Thanks,” I said as I turned to walk to the table, but I put too much weight on my injured leg and stumbled. I almost fell, but Kimball was there to stop me from falling.
“What’s wrong?” His voice was concerned and serious, not like a few moments ago when he just sounded happy that I was there.
“There was a small fight and I got a cut on my leg, nothing to worry about, really.” I moved away from him.
“I can carry you to the table, you shouldn’t be walking.”
“It’s just a couple of steps, I will be fine. I had suffered worse injuries than this and still being able to move on my own.” I was trying to reassure him, but my words made things worse, he looked as if he was thinking of those times that I been injured and he was worried about those times.
Dinner was hard. The food was delicious as always, but Kimball kept asking what had happened, at first I had tried to keep things vague, but he wanted to know every detail and I didn’t want him to know. He offered to take a look at my wound, he reminded me that he was a doctor and he could help me, but I didn’t want to seem weak in front of him. I felt safe with him because we both knew that I could take him down in a fight, I didn’t want him to be in a position where he could have any power over me. I ended up compromising with him and allowed him to help me up the stairs, it really was easier with his arm supporting me, but I let him go as soon as we arrived at my room’s door.
I closed the door behind me, like every night, and went to my bed. I was tired, after the fight I felt drained. I laid down on my bed, but I couldn’t find a comfortable position to sleep, my leg was really bothering me. It took me hours to finally fall asleep.
I woke up drenched in sweat and shivering. My mouth was dry and tasted funny. I had a glass of water on the side table on the side of my bed, but when I tried to take it, I found that I didn’t have the strength to do it, he blankets felt too heavy and I couldn’t lift my arms enough to move them. My whole body was hurting, when I tried to move the sheets in my bed felt like they were made of sandpaper, not cotton. I tried using my mind to pick up the glass, I started to move it, but I didn’t have control over my powers and the glass fell to the floor and broke. It was then that I realized how powerless I was, I couldn’t move and my powers were out of control.
I felt really bad, I just knew that I was sick. Broken bones, injuries, bruises, those I could handle, but sickness? I couldn’t fight an infection or a virus. I tried to embrace the pain and move, but I couldn’t. I needed to think, but it was hard, I was weak, vulnerable and out of control, I could feel my mind getting clouded. It had been years since I had been so defenseless, I couldn’t even fight the memories of the last time I had felt this bad.