Reesa had been worried sick about “her” kids for days, but had tried not to show it. As soon as the group found the Marquis of Blades, she wanted to sprint to the house and check on them. Once the Marquis told them that Kincaid and Janos had gone to the house after the Morlian attack, she had felt hopeful.
As they had moved through the city, toward her house, Reesa felt like things might be okay… right up until they found 11 year old Nell being marched around by a Morlian patrol and some multi-legged draconic beast. It had twisted her gut back into knots and she had channeled that energy the best way she knew how, into combat. After they defeated the patrol she tried to speak to Nell, but the poor girl was in shock and couldn’t tell Reesa anything.
When the group finally got to the house it looked like it had caught fire and been boarded up. For the space of a breath, Reesa’s heart dropped and she felt like someone had stabbed her in the stomach. Then she realized that it would have been the perfect way to hide a house full of kids. After some knocking and whispering through the door, the group was let inside by a relieved Kincaid.
She had been so glad to see the kids that she had nearly burst into tears. After hugging each and every one of them, she found out from Kincaid that Janos was gravely ill and wounded, which was why they hadn’t moved the kid’s back to the Marquis’ stronghold. He had related his original plan to her and they had decided to move the kids at 4 AM, when the patrols would be few and far between.
Once a plan was in place, Reesa sat down with Melia to find out how all the kids were doing. The poor girl looked exhausted. Her normally crimson skin was ashen looking and there were dark purple circles under her eyes. Reesa had left her in charge and Kincaid had said she was the only one he allowed out of the house to raid for food and supplies.
“Have you gotten any rest lately?” Reesa asked her gently.
She shrugged and sighed. “I have been trying to make sure everyone is okay.”
Reesa felt proud of her and sad for her in the same moment. “I know, and you have done a great job. How have all the younger kids been doing? Have there been problems?”
“Well, Cerise, Ishi-Avox-Nia and Dorian are just terrified in general and haven’t really been talking to anyone. Grady, Lere, Nell, Torc, Nessina, Allina and Rey-Nassah all resisted Kincaid in the beginning, but after he screamed and ranted at them they backed off. Except for Nell, who got so upset that she ran away. I’m so glad you found her! Me, Siman, Selinia and Jamil have just been trying to keep everyone calm, safe and fed. It would be easier if Kincaid was really helping. At first I was really glad him and Janos were here. They helped us torch the front of the house and board it up. But, as Janos got sicker, Kincaid just got more frustrated and he started drinking a lot and just complaining about how we never listen to him. If you hadn’t shown up, I don’t know what we would have done. Especially since at least a couple of us had dads who drank and got angry. It is kinda scary for kids like Dorian and Nell to be around somebody like that again.”
Reesa’s face darkened and she tried to keep her voice calm. “Has he laid a hand on any of you?”
Melia shook her head. “He just yells and complains.” She paused for a minute and then just blurted out. “I’m really glad you came back and you aren’t dead.”
Reesa hugged her tightly and said “I was so worried and I came back as soon as I could. You know I would never leave you.”