A/N: Sorry, I skipped Friday. I have a really bad cold and had no energy at all.
“I guess you’re right,” Ophelia said. “She really likes me.” She turned to look at Kira who was still staring at the book with an expression that was equal parts confusion and shock. “Are you okay?”
Kira shook her head. “I don’t understand,” she said softly. “How do I know a bracelet that Kaylaria made? I didn’t think I was that old.” She eyed her father questioningly. “You’re not really my father?”
“Define really,” he said lightly. “But in the sense you mean, no.” He exchanged a long look with his mother. “She’s probably old enough that the risk is minimal at this point.”
“She is,” his mother said. “And she speculate anyway now she knows that much.” She smiled gently at Kira. “You’re Tilaran’s sister, Kirala. My eldest daughter.”
Kira looked at her with blank shock. “What? But… I-I… I thought that Kirala died.”
“So did we all until you turned up thirty years ago,” Tilaran said. “You collapsed in convulsions in mother’s arms and went into transition. You didn’t even have time to tell us where you’d been and then you went and stayed in the shell for another fourteen years. Whatever it was it must have been bad.”
“But…” Kirala look confused and her flame wings burst from her shoulders. “I’m Kithreia and that Kirala supposedly died at the same time as Kaylaria. She’d be human.”
“You’re not, you know,” Tilaran said.
“It’s a ward,” his mother said. “Created specifically to hide the fact you’re human even from you. You have enemies who would kill you for who you are. You’re a silver, sweet. You never wondered why that didn’t hurt?”
Kira looked even more shocked at that but then she nodded. “I never even thought about that.” She frowned. “Mother… this life’s mother… she doesn’t know?”
“Considering how she feels about humans and about Kelaria would you tell her?” Tilaran said. “I’d advise not telling her.”
“No argument here,” Kira said.
“Um,” Sera said. “Can someone explain what you’re talking about? Kira is human?”
“Kirala is my eldest sister,” Tilaran said. “She vanished around the start of the exile and everyone thought she was dead. She was also one of Kaylaria’s lieutenants. We’ve been hiding the fact she’s alive since she turned up again because she has powerful enemies.” He patted Kira’s arm. “You’re still kin, dearheart. Try not to let it bother you.”
“I’m not bothered,” she said softly. “Really, I’m not. I’m just confused. Do you think Alsia knows.”
“I think she called you Kithreia to me,” Ophelia said. “So unless she was playing along she doesn’t know you’re human.”
“I doubt my wards would deceive her,” Tilaran’s mother said. “She and Kirala were good friends there’s no way she doesn’t recognise her. She’s recognise the imperitive behind the wards as well so she was probably playing along.”
“It’s going to take me a while to wrap my head around this,” she said. “But we have more important things to worry about. Alsia has helped but how are we going protect Ophelia?”