If you missed the beginning, you can go to my AUTHOR BLOG for a recap.
Chapter 1, continued
People packed the streets, as though they had all come from their houses to trace the source of the voice. Genna led Aisilyn through the throngs, anxious until she saw the high walls of their home. She breathed a sigh of relief when she saw her mother standing at the doorway. Her mother would have a solution.
Her mother wrapped both daughters in her embrace. “Come inside.”
Genna stepped into the house, her childhood home. Never before had she appreciated how safe she felt there. As they entered the main living area, her father, who had been sitting on a well padded chair, rose to his feet. He took Aisilyn by the arm and led her to the gilded chair by the fireplace. Her mother sat on the thick cushion at the foot of the chair. She put a hand on Aisilyn’s knee.
“You look pale, child,” she said. “I’ll have Sorai bring you water.”
“No, thank you.” Aisilyn put a hand on her arm.
Genna looked at her father. His deep frown was at odds with his trembling hands. He was nervous, she knew, but he would approach the problem with logic.
He didn’t disappoint. “The Council will check the birth records. I expect they will summon Aisilyn soon, along with any other women named Aisilyn.”
“How many can there be?” her mother asked.
“In a city this size?” He stroked his beard. “A dozen, perhaps, but I can’t be certain.”
Genna’s mother breathed a sigh of relief. “Then it may not be our Aisilyn.”
Aisilyn’s eyes found Genna’s. They didn’t realize, Genna thought. They don’t know.
Her father continued. “Exactly. I propose we not panic until we are given a reason.”
“What if it is her?”
Both her parents looked at Genna as though she’d grown a spare head. She regretted the words, but couldn’t keep them inside. She knew with a certainty that shook her that the chosen bride was her sister. She also knew Aisilyn felt that, too. How could she make them understand?
“Genna, child, you mustn’t worry your sister,” her mother said. “Your father is right. We don’t know yet who is the chosen Aisilyn. Besides, this isn’t the first time the City of Light has been threatened. We don’t know what is going to happen.”
“The Barrier of Light has protected our people from the demon’s agents for centuries,” said her father. “Even if he has a servant who can breach the Barrier, our soldiers could easily stop one, lone enemy.”
Genna thought of the soldiers, the peacekeepers of the City, who patrol in their shining armor but have not fought for generations. They have no trouble apprehending the odd cutpurse, but how would they fare against an enemy who could fight back?
She held her tongue; it did no good to argue with her parents, and she didn’t want to say anything that might further worry her sister. “Aisilyn and I made some purchases this afternoon. I’ll go help Sorai put them away.”