Thia leaned against the cavern wall, watching the others sleep. Drozan was an interesting addition to the group. She didn’t trust him, not yet, but they’d needed his help to fight the golems and gargoyles. For that, she was glad he’d shown up. However it happened.
She turned her head to scan the hallway beyond the room. Nothing. At least here I don’t have to worry about Drow showing up, she thought.
Someone stirred and moved toward her. Keeping her attention down the passage, she waited. Whoever it was, they’d say something. Eventually. It was only an hour into her watch. If they were awake, it wasn’t because they needed to be.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Jinnaari sit down on the opposite side of the opening from her. She felt the muscles in her back stiffen.
“So, Thia, how are things with you?” he asked, his voice low.
Snapping her head around, she stared at him. “Is that your measuring stick? How I answer that question? If I don’t answer it the right way, whatever that is, you kill me?”
“What are you talking about?”
“I know what Kelemvor asked you to do.”
“Oh.” He paused, “Thia, you should know–”
“Know what?” she interrupted him. “I should’ve known before Lolth told me! That He asked you to kill me isn’t the problem! It’s that you didn’t trust me enough to be the one to tell me!” She stared down the hall. “Death doesn’t bother me. I don’t fear it. If She had turned me, what was left of who I am now would’ve welcomed it. Especially if the blow came from someone I trusted, was friends with. Instead, I find out from Her.” She took another breath. All of the anger and frustration she’d felt since coming out of the cocoon threatened to boil over. “I thought you trusted me as much as I trusted you, Jinnaari. I thought we were friends. Then I find out you kept that from me, made it so Lolth could use it against me. It was the last thing She showed me, after the drugs wore me down. Then, we get out of there and end up with Pan’s family. Surprise! You’re not just a prince, you’re the Prince! You didn’t bother to tell me how high up in the royal family you were connected. You invite Helix,” she gestured back toward the room where everyone else slept, “to court. Someone you’ve told me more than once that you didn’t trust. And then, after my uncle’s murdered, you say you’re going to just walk away. Go back to your chapter house or court or whatever. Because you had a ‘job to do’ and it was over, so you were done babysitting. Was there really any friendship here? Or was it all just something you had to do because Bahamut and Kelemvor told you to do it?”
He took a deep breath, exhaling slowly. “Are you done?”
“Thia, my family is not something I would’ve picked for myself. Just like yours is…well, yours. In my life, I spent years of study and careful consideration before choosing to walk in the light of Bahamut’s grace. I choose who I trust with just as much contemplation. You and Adam have earned that trust. I never doubted you would stay the course. What you did under the influence of those drugs was not an indicator of the purity of your heart. That’s why I went for Lolth before I went to you. Most of the party looks to me for direction. I look to you and Adam. You are the family I have chosen. I never thought being in court would be something you would want. I’ve always taken you for someone that would despise that life as much as I do. We are warriors on a quest to rid the world of evil. Court is the last place you can change the world. As for Helix, I know he can be returned to his original path. He would thrive in that world, whereas you and I would not.”
The anger she’d nurtured for days lessened, and her muscles began to relax. “You’re probably right about the whole court thing. I had enough trouble figuring out what spoon to use at the one meal with Pan’s mother,” she chuckled. “But why not tell me about what Kelemvor asked you to do? I should’ve heard about it from you, not Lolth.”
“Kelemvor is not my God. I do not take direction from Him. I’ve always known I would not have to intercede. Just because you have Drow blood doesn’t mean there’s evil in you. You just don’t. I have never doubted you.”
“I do that enough for both of us.” She looked at him, turning serious again. “Helix let me read his journal. Our suspicions were correct. The time he spent with the Hags has made him evil.”
Jinnaari shifted his legs, “We can take care of that when the time is right.” He looked at her. “Are we good now?”
“Yeah, we’re good.”