50- In Which Elena Makes a Promise
Elena was partially hoping that Danver would be wandering around in the hospital floor so that she could give him a piece of her mind. But, she was also horrified of how he would yell at her if she tried. She figured that she'd encounter him eventually because she was his biggest piece of evidence against Wood so he'd have to look for her sooner or later.
She ran up the stairs and focused her energy on finding Anya. Her first guess was that she'd be in Jasper's room.
Luckily, Danver was not on the floor. And, even luckier, Anya was sitting by Jasper's bed. Things were already going well, so maybe she'd be able to get Wood out of the dungeon within the next ten minutes.
"What are you doing?" Anya demanded as Elena came in.
"Anya, I have a huge favor to ask you," Elena said without dancing around the issue at all.
Anya turned to look at Jasper, as if to pretend she hadn't heard what Elena said. So Elena cleared her throat and approached the bed. Jasper looked fairly typical for someone who was getting the treatment: pale, sick, fevered and extremely uncomfortable.
"Is he all right?" she asked meekly.
"He'll live," Anya replied. "After he regains consciousness, they're going to ask him if he wants to go through the process of building up an immunity."
"Doesn't that take a year?" Elena questioned.
"To get one as strong as Phinn's," Anya said. "Most soldiers get a three month regimen to make it so they can survive the poisoning. Children in the Elect do a six month one so their resistance is even greater. But some soldiers, like Wade, choose not to get it done at all. I would think he would have gotten it, considering how his father died. Maybe he was just too afraid."
There was silence as Anya only watched Jasper breathing.
"What was the favor?" Anya asked after some time waiting.
Elena gave a heavy sigh of relief. "Can you grant a pardon for someone who's been accused of treason?" she asked. "As the King's wife, I mean."
"No," Anya snapped.
Elena's anxiety instantly returned in a wave. "What?" she said simply.
"The King I was married to is dead," Anya said. "I can't give a pardon. I don't have that authority anymore."
Elena put her hand on the side of the bed as she sank down to the floor, staring at a place on the wall, hoping it would change. "Are you sure?" she whispered.
"Yes, I'm sure," Anya answered. "You're talking about that boy, aren't you? That boy, Alexander Wood?"
"You know about what happened?"
"Everyone knows," said Anya. "They're going around asking everyone about any suspicious connections between him and Hunt."
"Is there anything we can do to help him?" Elena asked.
"Help a traitor?"
"He's not a traitor."
"You know that?"
Elena stuttered. "I mean—yeah," she clumsily attempted.
Anya shook her head. "Captain of the Guard, isn't he?"
"Very nice young man? Fiercely loyal? Passionate? Friendly? Handsome? Personable? The very last person you'd expect to step a toe out of line?"
"That's what everyone thought about Hunt. No one could believe he was really a bad man. I hardly believed it, and I had all the proof in the world. If you want a pardon, you'll have to get one from Hayden or his wife, okay?"
Elena nodded and looked down at the floor. Anya made some compelling observations about the correlations between Hunt and Wood. But still, it was just so hard to believe.
"Have you thought about the Red Lady prophecy?" Anya asked abruptly.
"No," Elena said, putting her head in her hand. "I haven't thought about that at all."
"You should," said Anya. "It's obviously you, not me. If we're going to beat Hunt, we need to know what that weakness is, and we need to know who the Reviver is. It must be real or else Hunt would not be so afraid of it, you know?"
"If Hunt is so afraid of it, why didn't he kill the both of us?" Elena questioned. "With no Red Lady, there's no weakness, right?"
"No, not right," said Anya, rolling her eyes. "Even if you're dead, the weakness is still there, except no one knows what it is. Someone could stumble across it by accident. Hunt wants to find out what his weakness is so he can know to avoid it."
"Hunt doesn't know what his weakness is?"
"Of course not. If he knew, he wouldn't need the Red Lady."
Elena sighed as she rubbed her forehead with frustration. After a few seconds of silence, she looked up at Anya who was still focused heavily on Jasper.
It had been a while since she and Anya had talked to each other. Their friendly conversations were few and far between, but Elena did like the days when Anya was feeling social. Today, oddly, seemed like one of those days.
"You really care about him," Elena observed, hoping to keep the conversation going.
"I'd like to have my actual son back," Anya muttered.
"I wish he was back too."
At last, Anya's eyes shifted as she looked down at Elena still sitting on the floor. "Do you love Phinn?" she asked.
Elena nodded. "I love him," she said with confidence.
Anya almost laughed as she shook her head. Elena allowed her to do this and did not get offended by such a typical reaction.
"I'm serious," Elena said.
"I know you are," Anya replied. "And he loves you too."
Elena managed to smile at the thought. Not only at the thought of Phinn loving her, but also the thought of Anya being able to notice. "A long time ago, you told me Phinn wasn't capable of love," she pointed out.
Anya rested her hand on her knee. "I remember thinking that," she remarked.
"No, he hasn't," Anya decided. "He was always capable of it. I just couldn't see it, that's all."
Elena stretched out her legs and leaned her head on the side of the bed.
"If Phinn asked you to marry him, what would you say?" Anya asked.
Elena just didn't answer. Anya had a habit of asking this question fairly often so she had gotten into her own habit of simply not responding. The two of them had come to an understanding that Anya would go on asking and Elena would go on saying nothing. They both seemed quite satisfied with this.
"Elena, I'm going to tell you something," Anya said instead of dwelling.
"Before Hayden's wedding, Phinn was asking me a lot about weddings and what they were like by in the vision world. I figured he was asking me because he had never been to a wedding before and didn't know what to expect. But then he started to ask me about proposals, so I told him about how we do it. You know, man down on one knee, presenting a ring and all that, you know?"
Elena hesitated, but she didn't speak.
"I think Phinn intended to ask you to marry him after Hayden's wedding," Anya said softly. "Right?"
"I don't know," Elena said, trying not to reveal anything about herself.
"Things happened. He didn't get the chance. But…if Hunt hadn't attacked… if Phinn had gotten the chance to ask you to marry him after Hayden's wedding, what would you have said then?"
Elena felt her mind go completely blank.
"Answer without thinking," Anya said.
"I'm not thinking," Elena said.
"So answer. If Phinn asked you to marry him, what would you say?"
Elena didn't think.
"I don't know what I'd say."
Anya smiled privately to herself. "Well," she said, "that doesn't mean you wouldn't say yes, now does it?"
/end Book 7
A/N: Thank you all for reading and reviewing! If you have any questions, feel free to send me a PM or leave it in a review and I'll be sure to answer. And, as you've probably gathered, there will be a Book 8! Yay~! I'll start to upload that fairly soon so I hope you'll all come back for the next installment. I had a fun time writing it, so I hope you can have a fun time reading it. Thanks again, and I'll see you soon!