It's All Relative
This girl was a puzzle. Beautiful, smart, comfortable wearing and destroying designer clothes, and if she was a day over twenty, Ellen would eat her boots. Yet, the competent way she handled fragile scrolls and the steady way she continuously transcribed the pages bespoke of years of familiarity and a talent for languages. And Ellen couldn’t help but wonder where such a young lady learned to handle disasters and texts with equal finesse.
“You should sit, you know,” the girl said, not turning away from what she was working on. She seemed to be wrapped in an eerie calm and Ellen pursed her lips.
She glanced at Jo, who’d sat and curled up against the bookcases as soon as Connor’d been taken away. Jo’s eyes slid to hers and they both shrugged at each other. How the girl knew that Ellen was standing idle was just a mystery then.
Ellen propped her hands on her hips and noticed the stiffness of her skin. She looked down and found blood drying from her elbow down. She swallowed, fighting nausea.
“You got a bathroom?” she asked hoarsely, fingers curling loosely. Connor had asked them to trust him, had been willing to give his life into the hands of these people. The least she could do was oblige him.
“Through there,” the girl said, pointing at a narrow doorway in the corner of the room.
“You got a name?” she asked, a little exasperated, even as she moved swiftly towards her goal. She’d never liked being covered in blood.
The girl finally looked up at her, face blank and a little shocky, before awareness rushed in and softened her, a little smile curling her lips as she said, “Dawn. And you must be Ellen and Jo. Connor-,” her breathing caught on his name, then she breathed out and continued, “Connor talks about you a lot.” Then she smiled brightly, shrugging at Ellen’s incredulous stare. “Well, as much as Connor ever talks, anyway.”
Ellen snorted, continuing into the bathroom. The room was small, just a toilet, a sink, and a small trashcan, but it was clean and it had soap. After she’d scrubbed, keeping half an ear on the library in case either girl decided to start talking, she braced herself on the edges of the sink and breathed.
She hadn’t raised Connor Angel. She wasn’t his mother or his aunt or any relation to him, really. But she had that sick twist in her gut that she’d always gotten when Jo had managed to get herself ass deep in alligators and ended up bloodied for it. She was beginning to suspect that it wasn’t so much that she trusted him, but that she cared
for him. She blew out a breath and made her way back into the library.
She made a decision, course correcting until she could pull out the chair beside Dawn and sat, stretching her legs out in front of her. Dawn watched her, head propped on her hand, with a bemused smile.
“So. Tell me about the Council,” Ellen said, hands resting against her belly. “Tell me why Connor trusts them.”
If she was going to care like he was her son, she might as well treat him like he was.