Karen sat on her bed leafing through a novel but if she was honest with herself she wasn’t really reading it. She was hyperaware of Lydia, who had fallen asleep almost as soon as they got home. With her eyes closed, her sister looked unchanged â€“ but her energy told a different story. Even though she knew it was a good thing, there was something distinctly odd about sensing a dragon without their hunger scratching at her skin. The fact the dragon was her sister just made it doubly odd.
â€œI can feel you doing that you know, Kaz,â€ Lydia said suddenly. Her eyes were still closed but she had rolled onto her back.
â€œWha-â€ Karen said. â€œI thought you were asleep.â€
â€œI was,â€ Lydia said. â€œUntil you started poking at my energy.â€
â€œUh.â€ Karen flushed as she realised she had been doing just that. â€œSorry, I didn’t mean to.â€
â€œWhat, you were poking at me without realising?â€ Lydiia sounded amused.
â€œPretty much,â€ Karen said. â€œI was thinking about how your energy feels but I hadn’t deliberately reached for it.â€
â€œI see,â€ Lydia said blandly. â€œWelll try not to think about it then please. It stings when someone pokes it and I want to sleep.â€
â€œOh damn, Lyd, I’m sorry.â€ Karen gave her sister a worried look and stood up. â€œI’m going to go downstairs for a bit so I’m not tempted.â€
Lydia opened her eyes and stared at her with those alien green eyes that washed away any illusion of Lydia being unchanged. Then Lydia gave a half smile and Karen realised that nothing important had changed â€œYou don’t have to do that, Kaz.â€
â€œSure I do,â€ Karen said. â€œYou need your rest, after everything.â€ She slipped out and headed down to the lounge.
Her mother looked around when she came in. â€œOkay, Kaz?â€
â€œI’m fine, but I accidentally woke Lyd up so I decided to come downstairs to let her sleep.â€ She hesitated, then told her mother what had happened and what Lydia had said about her energy being sore when poked.
â€œI can’t say that I’m surprised,â€ Sonia said. â€œThese transformations are primarily on the essence level and being pulled around like that has to hurt. We’ll keep an eye on her.â€
â€œYou’re right, it’s normal,â€ Lyrrekka said from where she was sitting. â€œIt’ll fade off in a few days with some rest. Of course it can last for weeks or months if you don’t get rest.â€ She scowled into space, proably at a bad memory.
â€œWe’ll make sure she gets rest,â€ Sonia said.
â€œGood,â€ Lyrrekka said. â€œI must say I’m surprised by her not being hungry. I mean, it sort of makes sense but it’s still unexpected.â€
â€œI think it surprised everyone except Aunt Sarah,â€ Karen said. She turned her attention to the television. â€œWhat’s the news like?â€
â€œMixed.â€ Sonia said. â€œA couple of psychic flare-ups which the team we put in place handled perfectly and the riots have died down, but on the down side the curfew is still in place and while some food is getting through, there are still shortages.â€
â€œWe need to get the crack closed as soon as possible,â€ Lyrrekka said. â€œThank goodness it looks like we can start on that soon.â€