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Hin had been scrubbing the tiles in the back hallway for what felt like hours. Her knees and back felt as though they would fuse in this position. She made a mocking face as she remembered the Steward telling her it must be by hand, no mops, because the Prince said so. Like the Prince would ever walk this hall, she felt like screaming. The Prince had started making himself at home. Instead of appointing a regent more and more advisers had been showing up. She heard footsteps in the hallway, and fought her instinct to look back or look up. She continued to scrub. The footfalls fell in a confident rhythm. Hin held her breath and scrubbed faster. She saw the edge of a white robe pass then stop and come back. It stood right in front of her. She looked up with a question on her face.

"You're new aren't you?" The man asked sharply. Hin nodded, he reached down and touched the top of her head, "There is something about you, it pings. Odd."

Hin just stared at him with the same questioning look of stupidity and innocence. The man sighed and strode off. Hin let the breath she was holding go. As soon as she was done She limped off to her quarters for her bed. She could hear all of the whispers and knew something big had happened. She slowly walked past a larger group of workers and heard the news about Faris being captured and taken somewhere.

"Shit, shit, shit." she said as she sat on her bed.

"Shhh," Naseem said as she rolled over in her own bed.

"Sorry," Hin said absently.

Hin was close to panicking. She took a breath, then another. She then settled and wondered if anyone else knew. No one could reach Xander. They didn't allow the use of anything that would give away their city's location. But what about the others. She hadn't even talked to Alaric yet. She laid down in the bed and fell asleep with all her clothes still on.

"Hin," a whisper woke her. She turned to see Naseem dressed in black and staring her in her face. She sat up quickly.

"What?" Hin was confused.

"Come with me," Naseem said and then walked out of the door. Hin jumped up and followed her quietly.

They walked through hallway after hallway. Hin was thoroughly lost. She wondered what time it was, the whole place was so still. They reached a door that looked older than the rest, and it had a large ancient lock. Naseem bent down and started to pick it with little silver tools. Hin was fascinated. She had always wanted to learn this skill. Naseem finally turned the lock and the door opened stiffly with a loud groan. Naseem froze and looked down the hallway either direction. Then she went into the darkness on the other side of the door. Hin shrugged and followed. Hin could hear dripping water and it gave her shivers.

"Where are we, exactly?" Hin tried to whisper but it came out a hoarse statement.

"Shhh," Naseem looked at her crossly.

Hin heard movement ahead and someone groan. Naseem put a tube to her mouth stuck something in the end and blew hard, then she quickly reloaded, but then lowered it and replaced the tube and the small object separately in a pouch. Naseem then moved forward and caught the guard just as she was about to slump over, then softly put her on the floor. Hin was in awe.

"I was afraid of this, oh, Faris," Naseem's voice was soft and full of regret. She quickly took a key from the guard and deftly opened the cell door.

Hin took a couple of steps but stopped. She watched transfixed as Naseem checked Faris' well-being gently and then kissed him passionately.

"There you are," Naseem said as Faris weakly returned the kiss, and she smiled, "Please come here,"

Hin then went to their side, and knelt on sore knees. She grimaced.

"You need to heal him, he is weak. Too weak, and they left him no water." Naseem looked around frowning.

"I don't know how." Hin said feeling helpless.

"Just touch him and clear your head, his body will tell you what he needs." Naseem moved Hin's hand onto Faris' hand.

Hin closed her eyes and felt the same spark that she felt when she had touched Kenna, and just knew about the baby. She held on to that feeling, and information came rushing to her, too much, it was a scramble and didn't make sense.

"Too much," Hin whispered.

"Stay with it, concentrate on one thing," Naseem said in a steady tone.

Hin grimaced as she tried to chase down just one thing to understand. She could suddenly feel the bruising on his face and his broken fingers. She could feel everything now, and it hurt. All the pain seemed to be competing for attention, and it started to overwhelm her. Naseem laid a hand on her shoulder.

"Just think about putting things right, they will tell you what right is if you listen," Naseem whispered to Hin.

Hin pushed through the pain and tried to listen again, and then she could see a slight green light ahead of her then around her. It was warm and welcoming, and Hin caressed it and it playfully rushed to all the places she could feel in Faris.

"Good, now draw back slowly, not too fast." Naseem said encouraging her on.

Hin slowly made her way back, she wondered if back was her own body, did she really do what she thought she did? How did Naseem know how to do that? Who was Naseem? Who was Naseem to Faris? They were obviously fond of each other if not more.

Naseem Kissed Faris on his forehead and then laid him down to rest. She stood and helped Hin to her feet, and then led her out of the cell and locked it. She put the key back on the guard. Put her finger to her lips and walked back to the large ancient door. She moved it closed again. She fiddled with the lock until it clicked. Then she took Hin by the hand and led her through the maze of hallways to their room.

"I know you have questions, they will have to wait." Naseem said as she stripped and went into the shared bathroom and closed the door. Hin sat on her bed exhausted and confused.

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madpoet

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