Chapter no 49 – Evie

Assistant to the Villain

When Evie stumbled into the office, her hair a mess, Becky was already sitting at her desk, scribbling furiously, probably signing the death warrant on a litter of puppies. The woman moved her elbow forward and winced, holding her stomach, and Evie felt a quick rush of sympathy.

She walked over to Becky’s desk, wringing her fingers until the bespectacled woman looked up.

“What?” Becky asked. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” Becky said, looking back at the stack of checks she was signing for payroll. “Tatianna fixed it.”

“She usually does,” Evie said, feeling wobbly.

“Always.” Tatianna’s warm voice carried over as she glided in and put an arm around Evie. The healer looked like a confection—a light-pink dress hugged her curves and fell into flouncy ruffles below the waistline. Her braids were tied back by the largest pink bow Evie had ever seen.

“You look—” Evie started, but Becky finished. “Pink.”

Tatianna frowned. “I always wear pink.”

“And very pretty,” Evie added with a supportive smile.

“And so pink,” Becky said, staring at Tatianna’s dress like it was a contagion that would spread to her drab outfits.

“Can’t a girl look nice without such skepticism?” The healer frowned and stiffened when Clare exited the boss’s office, looking forlorn.

Both Evie and Becky followed Tatianna’s eyes to the waifish woman. “Ohhhh,” Evie said, dragging out the word, scanning Tatianna’s outfit again. “Now it makes sense.”

The healer narrowed her eyes at both of them. “Nothing makes sense when that woman is here. I want her gone.”

When Clare glanced their way, Tatianna murmured quickly and mindlessly, “Is my bow straight?”

Evie laughed, and Becky had to press her lips together to keep from smiling. When the healer realized what she had said, she looked at them both angrily. “Say nothing.”

Clare glided toward them, looking ethereal in a light-blue dress that complemented her dark eyes and hair. She halted in front of them, giving Tatianna a once-over and then looking away, as though disinterested. But Evie didn’t miss the red tinge to Clare’s cheeks.

“Hello,” Clare said, her voice soft. “I was hoping to speak with you two.” Her pale hand gestured to Evie and Tatianna. “Perhaps in your quarters, Tati?” Clare gazed at her with a firm, purposeful expression.

Tatianna’s eyes widened like she was realizing something, and she said, “Oh yes! Let’s go, Evie.”

There was suddenly a nervous energy in the air that made Evie uneasy, like perhaps these two should work things out alone… “Are you sure you want me to—”

Tatianna gripped Evie’s arm, her eyes clearly saying, If the ship is going down, you’re sinking right down with me.

Evie blinked back. Stupid boats. Then said out loud, “Okay…let’s go.”

Tatianna kept her arm linked in Evie’s as they moved toward the hall that led to the healer’s quarters.

Clare entered the room before both of them, like she owned it, like it was hers. Tatianna’s response to that was exactly what Evie would have expected: blistering anger. Rolling her eyes, the healer pushed past Clare to a small rectangular box in the corner of the room.

Evie looked at them both, confused. “What’s… What’s in there?”

Tatianna smiled at her, but it was a grim one. “I’m afraid this will hurt, my dear.”

And then it did.

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