Elements by Nia Markos – Chapter Eight
Aidan removed himself once he knew Bet had calmed Alexa. On his way to the gym, Alexa’s sobs tore at him. He felt her anguish, her pain. He knew his presence would only confuse or maybe infuriate her, so he entered Bet’s room asking her to go see Alexa. Bet was unsure she would be welcome. She agreed to go after he told her Alexa was distressed. Bet was surprised he was so aware of Alexa’s mood, but did not question him. For that he was thankful. He had no idea how to explain anyway.
In his room, he stripped off his clothes to shower. The sweat from the sparring with Elron was still coating him. Under the spray of the shower, he stood, his hand against the wall, letting the water run off him. He lost track of time, finally relaxing from the day’s turmoil. The cooling of the water snapped him aware of the time passing. He finished his shower, drying himself quickly. In his bedroom, he found a clean T-shirt and pulled it on. He was zipping up his jeans when the door opened, his mother entering.
“You could knock.” He admonished her, finishing dressing.
“You were presentable.” She responded.
Aidan retreated to the bathroom to comb his hair. He knew she would wait as long as she felt like it before giving any indication why she was in his room. He was not feeling particularly patient nor willing to put up with her at that moment. She would just have to wait.
When he came back into his bedroom, he found her sitting on the chair next to his writing desk. Her eyes followed him around the room as he sat to put his boots on. Blocking her feelings from him was a habit. Even now, being close to her, he sensed no emotions coming from her.
“Do you think she will be ready?” Her words broke the silence.
Aidan lifted his head, his eyes suspiciously meeting hers. She wasted no time in getting right to the point. He controlled the anger that rose at her mentioning Alexa. She did not need to know what was happening to him. Breaking eye contact with her, he calmed himself before answering.
“She has no idea what is going on. How can she be ready?” He finally answered her.
“Her mother should have better handled the situation. We are now at a disadvantage. You have to take over.” Her statement made it clear what she wanted of him. He bristled at her tone, the way she ordered him to follow her directives. If she told him all she knew maybe he would know what to do. The fact she held back made him wary.
He studied her, trying to understand why she was that way. She stared back at him unblinking. To get her to leave him in peace he responded in the only way he knew would get her to leave.
“I’m always at your service, Mother.”
Her eyes narrowed suspiciously trying to see what he was feeling. Satisfied, she stood, smoothing her tailored, linen, dusty-rose empire dress as she walked to the door. He saw not one wrinkle from her having sat on the chair. Impeccable as always, her hand rested on the doorknob, her back to him, she spoke a final time before leaving him alone.
“I’ll see you downstairs.”