Andrew didn’t think he’d managed to sleep properly at all since Emms kidnapped him. Not only was it hard to sleep while chained and sitting up but the situation as a whole was hardly conducive to getting a good night’s sleep. Still he was managing to doze fitfully when the sound of the door creaking open startled him into full wakefulness.
He opened his eyes, but the darkness pressed against his eye. All the same, he was certain that whoever had opened the door wasn’t Emms or Laxmi. The intruder also seemed to be hesitating near the door – he didn’t hear any footsteps approaching.
It’s the healer who tended Laxmi’s claws, Kimi said.
How do you know? Andrew asked.
I have good night vision and I recognise his smell. He smells upset.
Even as she spoke, there was the scraping sound of a match being lit and Andrew saw Simon’s worried frown in the glow as he fumbled with a candle.
“Laxmi told me everything,” Simon said softly. “It’s horrible and I’ve been so stupid. I knew something was wrong with his claims, but my brain seemed to have gone to sleep. Laxmi says he put my brain to sleep.” He shook his head angrily and walked over to the throne. “I’d help you escape if I could, but I have no idea how this thing works. Is there anything else I can do for you?”
Andrew looked up at Simon’s earnest frown and considered the question. What do you think?
Oh, that one. I like him. He’s a kind one, Naria said before Kimi could reply. He’s even kind to us dragons in spite of having heard horrible stories about us. Emms had him treat Dyntulan after a small one of those plane things shot at him.
Shot… Andrew shook his head. We can talk about that later, but is he trustworthy?
I think so, yes, she replied.
I do too, Kimi agreed.
“You could find my father and tell him where this place is,” Andrew said. Simon gave him a startled look and shook his head.
“Well, I do know how to contact him. I could teleport away but I only have a very general idea where this is. Jayden teleported us here…” He hestitated. “But I really can’t stay here – except I’m worried what Jayden’ll do to the others if I defect. He doesn’t take dissent well.”
“Do you really think he won’t find out what you’re thinking if you stay?” Andrew said. “He’s pretty good with mental stuff.”
“I know that,” Simon sighed. “Probably not. And Michael or whatever his real name is can probably find you, from what I know. I’ll need to time it right so Jayden doesn’t realise in time to move you.” He frowned to himself. “Though he’s rather busy recently. He might not notice.”
“And if you wait too long, he’ll notice you,” Kimi said.
Simon jumped and looked down at her. “You really talk! I thought Laxmi was joking about that bit. But you’re right – I’ll go and hope for the best. I think I can come up with a reason he’ll buy temporarily.” He gave a sigh and the tension went out of his shoulders. “Ah, I feel better. Wish me luck. I’ll let you go back to sleep.”
“Of course,” Andrew said. “And thanks, not that I get much at the moment.”
“No,” Simon said slowly. “I don’t suppose you would.” He hummed to himself. “I could help with that as well if you want. You need your rest – your family will need your help when they get here.”
He probably can at that, Naria said. And he’s right. You need to rest.
“You’re sure Emms won’t notice?” Andrew asked.
“I wouldn’t offer if I weren’t.”
“Then yes, please.”
Simon gave him a smile and gently touched Andrew’s forehead. Within moments a gentle fog seeped into his head and he began to doze. “Sleep well,” he heard and then Simon was gone.