I hesitate for only the briefest moment before lifting the heavy latch and pushing the door open. I step back and Caden enters first. I follow reluctantly, shutting the door firmly behind me.
The room is identical to the room I slept in at Mione’s home, so this lessens the blow somewhat. But I knew that that room wasn’t real. This one, I know, is. This is my childhood room and I feel a tightening in my chest and throat that I struggle to suppress.
Caden is already through the sitting area and is attempting to pull the bed covers back without putting Sara down.
I hurry over and pull the blankets back. Caden lowers Sara down and gently removes her shoes, placing them on the floor beside the bed. He brushes her hair off her forehead and over her shoulder before leaning down and placing a gentle kiss on both her scars before placing a chaste kiss on her lips.
He straightens up and leaves the blankets pulled back, lest they become stained with Sara’s blood.
Caden follows me over to the sitting area in front of a large fireplace. The chest of firewood is just where I remember it, resting against the wall beside the fireplace. I find the tinderbox sitting conveniently on the mantle.
Between the two of us we get the fire started in a matter of minutes. We’re so used to working together that we don’t have to speak. We work flawlessly around each other and are soon settled into the plush chairs, staring into the flickering fire.
Caden scoots down until he’s sprawled inelegantly in his chair, arms thrown out over the arms. I shift myself until I’m leaning sideways in the chair, ankles crossed, elbow resting on the arm and holding my chin with my hand.
“We need to leave as soon as possible.” I say. Caden looks over at me and hums in response.
“How can I justify leaving right now? I’ve only just won back the crown. How am I supposed to leave right away?” I question. Caden tilts his head back and stares at the vaulted ceiling, thinking.
“I don’t know, Ayers.” He says after a while.
“I may have a solution.” A new voice echoes around the room. Both Caden and I jump up in surprise, Caden holding out his sword.
“Over here. The mirror.” The voice comes again. I turn to the wall next to closet where a large mirror resides.
It’s Mione. Caden and I walk over and I marvel at what the mirror holds. It’s like looking through a window. I’m looking at Mione in a messy bedroom, clothing strewn everywhere and the bed rumpled and unmade.