Sanctuary

By Nomme_De_Plume

Action / Romance

Chapter 3

Sunday passed in a grey haze for Mya. Distorted faces slid in and out of view, and occasionally liquid slid down her throat without taste or temperature. Her dreams were a muddled mess, all bitter teas and wetness on her thighs, a hot stuffy room with the barest amount of light filtering in through shuttered windows. The images swirled around her head faster and faster, bleeding together like she had bled, voices screaming like she had screamed, and finally Mya bolted upright, a hoarse cry on her lips.

Her head swam, throbbing, and for a moment the urge to retch was so strong she went to clamp both hands over her mouth. One cooperated; the other- her right- was bound tightly to her chest with linen, bound in plaster, and the way it ached made her eyes well.

Sunlight leaked through the curtains hanging in front of the window over Mya's bed, and she rubbed her face. She'd slept long but felt no more rested than she had these past six nights since she'd left the Vale. Don't get used to it, she warned herself. Soon as you're able you're heading out again. Don't become even more in debt to these folks. She pushed herself up, sitting crosslegged. Her thighs burned, stiff and aching, and she pushed her tangled black hair away from her face, wincing at the knots of pain in her back You've gone from 18 to 90. You're creaky and stiff as an old woman. She swung her legs over the edge of the bed, pleased to see they’d still hold her, and took a few halting steps towards the window. Mya pushed the curtain open, letting morning sunlight flare through the room.

This room was small, the bed tucked under the eaves of a sloping roof. A battered trunk was pushed up against the foot of the bed, and next to the door was a dresser. The top of it was cluttered with a small vase of flowers, a small pile of needlework, a familiar-looking gunbelt toy pistols, and a few rocks. A braided rug all but covered the floor of the room, but where it didn’t, Mya saw even slabs of worn, reddish wood. A small easel was propped in one corner, a half-finished watercolor landscape displayed on it.

When Mya looked out the window she couldn’t help but smile. The scene spread out before her was idyllic. The sky was full of puffy white clouds, the grass emerald green. In the distance, craggy blue-grey mountains jutted up, capped with snow on the highest peaks. Between the barn and the house, chickens pecked at the dirt around a coop, their feathers ruffled by a light spring breeze. Nearby, several children were bent over in a large fenced-in garden, plucking weeds from the barely-sprouted plants. One of them looked like the younger girl from the kitchen, the one with the brown braids. The other two were young boys, both with rich copper hair. Several large dogs, one of them the black wolf Mya’d seen upon her arrival, tussled over a bit of bone, playfully nipping at each other.

The door swung open and a tall girl was framed in it. It took Mya a moment to place her fair skin, high cheekbones and sunset hair. “...Sara, right?”

The girl smiled and stepped into the room. She had a graceful figure; you could see that even under her plain yellow dress and thick, woven shawl. Tucked under one arm was a bundle of clothing, and the other hand held a pitcher of water. She set both on the dresser.. “Sansa. I’m glad you’re up. Mother and Robb’ll be happy."

“Me too. Feels like I’ve been sleeping for a week.”

Sansa smiled, a shy, bright thing. “Not a week, but straight through since Sunday. Are you hungry? Mother was asking if you think you can stomach some food, and I’ve brought some of my old dresses. They should fit better than what you came in, she said. If you’re feeling up for it, I’ll help you dress and come downstairs. The younger kids are curious about you, and they'll be off to school soon.”

“I...I think I could eat.” Mya ran a nervous hand through her tangled hair. “I can’t believe I slept so long. You all must think I’m a sack of lazybones.”

“Oh, hardly.” Sansa waved a hand. “Robb said that you’d been on the road for awhile by the looks of it. Tomorrow’s bath night, but I’m sure if you want, Mother will have the boys bring up some hot water from the springs today.” Her fingers were undoing the buttons on the long nightgown Mya wore as she spoke. “Truth be told, Arya could stand to have a few more baths a week. So could Rickon, for that matter.”

Mya’s mind groaned to life, struggling to remember who Arya and Rickon were. “That’s...the girl with the braids. And Rickon is the dog.” She lifted her arm as Sansa tugged the nightgown over her head, the morning air soft on her bare skin.

Sansa smiled. “Rickon has a dog. And if you want to call Arya a girl, then yes. We all have dogs. Rickon’s the youngest though, and Shaggy’s half-wild. He never disciplines him like he should.” Sansa shook her head, pulling two dresses from the pile on the dresser. “Which do you like better? The brown’s newer, but the blue one would go so much better with your eyes.”

“Um.” Mya blinked as Sansa handed her the dresses. The stitching was beautiful, perfect and even and it wouldn’t have looked out of place in a store in town. “The...uh...the blue, then. Did you make these?”

“I did. Mother doesn’t have a lot of time to do much sewing, not with everything she needs to do around here with Pa gone, and Arya would sooner eat a button than sew it. So I do most of the sewing and mending.” Sansa’s tone was matter-of-fact. “Here, let me help you. I’ll work it over your head.”

“Thank you...I’d be stuck in that nightgown till my arm’s stitched back together otherwise.”

Sansa was smiling again when Mya’s head re-emerged. “It’s nothing, honest! And anyway, Arya wouldn’t let you stay in that bed, were she here. Sleeping in the boys’ room’s got her all in a twist. Ready to go adventuring or some nonsense.”

It took a moment for what Sansa was saying to sink in and when it did, Mya felt a boulder of guilt form in her gut. The toy pistols, the needlework… “Oh no, this is your room, isn’t it? Yours and hers? Oh no, I’m so sorry. You should’ve just put me out on the porch.”

“We’d never! Now here, sit.” Sansa finished fussing over the buttons on Mya’s dress and picked up a hairbrush, gently and patiently working out her tangles and knots. “Your hair’s in a sorrier state than Arya’s. ‘Course, you have an excuse. You’ve spent gods know how long traipsing in the woods.” Sansa’s touch was gentle, sending little shivers down Mya’s spine. “There now, that’s much better.” Sansa efficiently twisted Mya’s hair into a long braid and pinned it in a bun at the nape of her neck. She smiled to herself, trying to remember the last time someone had done something for her, even something as simple as fixing her hair. “C’mon down for breakfast then.”


The next few weeks seemed like a blur to Mya as she adjusted to life at Winterfell. The ranch was steeped in routine, and Mrs. Stark ran it like a captain ran his ship. Everyone had their chores, and for the most part they were done without question or much complaint. The younger three children did their tasks before they left for school in the morning, but Sansa, at sixteen, had graduated the previous winter and stayed home to help her mother. There were five Stark children in all, Mya learned, plus Theon and a half-brother. Robb was the eldest at nineteen, and very much the man of the house while his father was away. He and Theon would ride out most mornings to do a fast survey of the Stark land, but neither of them liked being away from the homestead when they were undermanned. One afternoon Robb explained it to Mya.

“My father and half-brother, Jon, they’re out riding with the Wall.” He leaned on the fence surrounding the corral, where Theon was working with a high-spirited palomino yearling. At his feet his dog, a large grey wolfish creature like the others, rolled in the new grass.

Mya raised her eyebrows. “They’re both with the Wall?” She’d heard about that even in the Vale. It was a band of men dedicated to keeping the Wildlings off ‘civilized’ lands. They’d earned a reputation as hard, stern men who lived by a strict moral code - no families, no possessions, no real homes. Mya’d heard that there used to be thousands of them, trekking back and forth across the mountain range that marked the edge of settled land and the beginning of Wildling territory, but the life proved a hard one, and now all the rumors said there were only a hundred left or so.

"Nah.” Robb shook his head, the soft early spring sun glinting in his auburn curls. “My uncle is. My pa takes Jon or me an’ sometimes Theon out every couple months to do a pass with them. Jon wants to join up with them though.”

“What about you?” Mya looked at Robb. “You want to ride the range for the rest of your life?”

“No, I’ve got...other responsibilities.” Robb answered, propping a foot on the bottom fence rung. “This land. It’ll be mine someday. I’m not about to give that up. ‘Sides, why would I want to get saddlesores and go for weeks starin’ at nothing but a bunch of ugly faces when I can stay here and stare at pretty girls instead?” He gave Mya a rougish wink, and she couldn’t help but laugh. She liked Robb - he had an easy smile and an easier laugh, and always found time in the evening to play a game of checkers with one of his little brothers, or teach Arya some new roping trick.

Mya didn’t want to flatter herself, but she couldn’t help but think that Robb might return her affections. Whenever he had free time he sought her out, always asking if her arm was bothering her, or offering to take her into town. He seemed disappointed that she always declined, but it was just too soon. Somehow, someone would recognize her. She was sure she’d see her face on Wanted posters all over the place. It was safer this way, to stay away from as many people as possible.

One morning, Mya went`to the barn to check on her still-nameless gelding, whose leg was healing nicely so far. She was feeling proud, having been able to dress herself that morning with no help from Sansa or Arya. Her hair still left something to be desired, but patience had never been her strong suit. She rested her cheek against his velvety muzzle and smiled. “You like it here, buddy? They treat us real nice. A lot better than before…”

“So what’s his opinion?”

Mya’s gaze jerked up and she smiled nervously at Robb, who was leaning easily against the stall door. “I didn’t hear you come up.” She patted the horse’s neck and stepped out of the stall, shutting the door after her. Robb stepped aside, tucking his hands in his pockets. He had a streak of dirt across his cheek, and Mya fought off the urge to clean it up for him. “He likes it. Good hay, he said.”

Robb chuckled and picked a piece of straw out of her hair, letting his fingers linger a little. “Glad to hear it. His leg’s doin’ real good, Cassel said.” He nodded at her arm. “How ‘bout you? Need me to fetch Doc Luwin at all?”

“No, no.” Mya shook her head and tried to ignore the way the sweet scent of hay and leather was rising off Robb. She held up her casted arm. “It’s getting better, look.” She managed to wiggle her fingers. “Almost fixed. Doesn’t hurt a bit.”

“Now that is somethin’.” Robb smiled broadly and brushed his fingers over hers. “Soon as you’re all healed up, we’re goin’ out for a ride. You, me, and this guy here.” He nodded at the horse.

“Are we riding double, or are you getting your own?” Mya couldn’t help but giggle. It felt unnatural, and she cleared her throat.

Robb leaned a little closer, his blue eyes twinkling. “Which would you prefer?”

Mya swallowed and hoped she didn’t look as warm as she felt. Up close, she could see every facet in his eyes, the little smile-lines around them, exactly how full his lips were. She found herself drawn closer, and closer still. She tried to remind herself that she was supposed to be a proper lady now, that she should know how to behave herself. But... “I’d ride with you.”

“Good.” Robb’s lips brushed hers tentatively, and when she didn’t pull back he pulled her closer, her chest pressed against his. Her fingers instinctively went to his hair, brushing his hat off as she tangled them in his curls.He tightened his arms around her waist with a low groan, and Mya’s heart sped. Everything about this felt good - it was something she wasn’t used to, even after years of being used for pleasure. Men paid just to fuck her, and something as simple as a kiss was a rarity.

A sudden burst of childish laughter erupted from outside, mixed with shouts and feet running. Robb jerked away from her, his eyes wide. He looked towards the barn doors, then back at her, alarmed. “I- I’m sorry, Alice, I didn’t mean...”

Mya felt her heart sink a little at his guilty expression. She’d been hoping he liked it as much as she had, but...she just shook her head and gave a rueful smile. “There’s nothing to be sorry for.” Maybe it was a good thing he didn't like it. It wouldn't do for them to be caught kissing or worse by one of the children. Mya had little doubt that Mrs. Stark would have her out on her rear end so fast her head would spin. She didn’t seem like the type of woman who would suffer a loose woman under her roof. If only she knew...

“No, I shouldn’t have done that.” Robb stooped to pick up his hat and dusted it off roughly, nearly punching it. “Not at all.” Before Mya could respond, he stuffed it back on his head and strode stiffly out of the barn. She could hear him yelling at his little brothers outside, and her shoulders slumped a little. Her gelding nuzzled her shoulder, and she reached back to pet his nose, wondering at the stone of hurt building in her stomach.

But then a small figure raced into the barn, brown braids flying. "Al- Miss Ali`ace, you should come and see! Bran an' Rickon caught a toad out in the fields and they hid it in one a' Sansa's shoes and she's fixin' to whup them good!"

Despite herself, Mya gave a rueful smile. Planting a quick kiss on her horse's muzzle, she smoothed her shirt and followed Arya.

At ten, Arya was the next youngest after prim, proper Sansa, and she as as far from prim and proper as Mya had ever seen. She was a skinny, spindly, rough-and-tumble girl, all dirty knees and scraped elbows. Her dresses were largely patchwork and it was evident Mrs. Stark made her do the repairs herself. Where Sansa’s needlework was fine and perfectly spaced, Arya’s was roughshod and distracted, her patches scattered and uneven. The girl always made Mya laugh with her antics, and she was always hanging off Robb or Theon’s arm, begging them to let her ride the range with them. Theon would always shake her off, irritated, but Robb would be more gentle with his sister, laughing and telling her “Maybe next time.”

“You always say that!” Mya overheard Arya one morning as Robb and Theon were about to head out to the barn. She was in the kitchen, awkwardly tying herbs into bundles to dry, and out the window, she saw Robb crouch down, eye-level with his youngest sister on the porch outside. She'd been at the ranch about a month now, and despite a new awkwardness around Robb, she was finally starting to feel at home here.

“We need someone to look after the ranch while we’re gone. If trouble comes knockin’, you’re the best shot in the house.” Robb’s tone was serious without being patronizing, and even though Arya’s jaw jutted out, so did her chest. “If Wildlings raid us, you know Ma’s gonna be busy getting the boys in the cellar, and Sansa’s no good with a gun. So you’re it, little girl.”

“Don’t call me that.” Arya groused. She was more annoyed with being reminded that she was a girl rather than her small size, Mya knew. In the yard, Mya saw Theon scuff a foot in the grass and spit.

“Get a move on, Stark, ‘f you wanna be done by noon.”

“Just hang on.” Robb glanced at Theon, then back at Arya. “When Pa comes back, you ask him if I can take you out on the range, alright? If he says yes, then we’ll ride out to the western pasture. Might go out by Deepwood Motte, alright?” Mya couldn’t hear Arya’s mumbled response, but Robb grinned. “There’s a girl.”

“Robb, I swear to God if you don’t quit lollygaggin’...”

Alright, I said.” Robb rose and brushed dirt off his knees, ruffling Arya’s hair. “Arya, you go help Miss Alice gather up the eggs like Ma wanted, y’hear? We’ll be home before long.” He glanced at Mya as he set his hat on his messy auburn curls, and followed Theon to the barn. Too late, she tried to make herself look busy with the herbs she was tying, but for a moment their gazes locked, and Mya's cheeks blazed as he turned away. Ever since their kiss, Robb had been trying to distance himself from her. Even Mya could see that - he made a point of never being alone with her again, or if he was, he found an excuse to run out to the barn, or back to the house, or he suddenly heard Rickon and Bran fighting and had to break them up.

“He fancies you, y’know. Robb does.” Arya told Mya matter-of-factly later as they stooped in the chicken coop. Mya paused in brushing hay off her skirt, her eyebrows and hopes raised. “When you’re not lookin’, he looks at you the same way Jory looked at Miss Dacey and they wound up havin’ to get married last Wintermas, and then in the spring Miss Dacey caught twins, a boy ‘n a girl. Sansa wanted her to name them Abel and Mabel but I thought that made them sound like a pair a’ prize hogs.” She looked peevishly at Mya, swiping a lock of brown hair off her cheek. “Me an’ Sansa got in a tussle after that and I pushed her in the pig yard and Pa took a switch to me.’

“I…” Mya felt her cheeks blaze as she gently pushed a plump brown chicken off her nest to gather the speckled eggs underneath her. The hen scolded her with a warbling cluck and pecked at her hand. “Stop that.” She didn’t want to discuss Robb, especially not with his littlest sister. “I’m sure your Pa just didn’t want you and your sister fighting.”

Arya set her half-full basket down in the hay and picked up a chicken feather, twirling it in her fingers. “Sansa’s just dumb. All she cares about is lace and flowers and songs and she never wants to go out riding with me. An’ Miss Dacey doesn’t have time for it now neither, not with the babes.”

Looking at Arya’s petulant expression, Mya realized she was in horribly over her head. She didn’t have any siblings. The other girls at the brothel...well, other than Randa, they just barely managed to not tear each other to pieces. She cleared her throat and stuck a finger under her cast, trying for an itchy spot. “Who’re Miss Dacey and Jory?”

Arya picked up her basket again, tucking it against her narrow hip. “Jory’s a sharecropper for Pa, and Dacey...I dunno. She raises the children, I guess, and tends house like Ma. She’s out in the field with Jory’s shop a lot.” She looked up at Mya, squinting as they exited the chicken coop. “I don’t think Jeyne’ll be too keen on Robb liking you, though.”

“Who’s Jeyne?”

“She ’n’ Robb are gettin’ married, come August.”

Mya stopped dead in her tracks and had to force herself to take a breath. “She’s his fiancee?”

“Mmhmm.” Arya bent to pick up a long stick, trailing it in the dust as she walked. “She’s down at Lannisport visiting family but she should be back in a few weeks.”

“Oh.” Mya replied faintly. “Arya, can you take these eggs back up to the house? I…” She gestured lamely at the outhouse and Arya nodded, picking up Mya’s basket and balancing it carefully on top of hers before running off.

Mya bypassed the outhouse and crossed to the wood pile some yards beyond it, sitting on the old stump used as a chopping block. This explained why Robb got so skittish after he kissed her. Of course he’s engaged. A good, honest man like Robb, well, women would be lining up to marry him. And there’s nothing good or honest about you, a niggling voice in Mya’s head reminded her. It sounded annoyingly like Lysa Arryn, and the stone she’d been carrying in her gut for days now doubled in size. You’re nothing but a lying, thieving whore.

That night she lay awake on an old camp bed, listening to Sansa snore small, delicate snores while Arya mumbled in her sleep. Mya had volunteered to sleep on the davenport in the parlor, but Mrs. Stark wouldn’t hear of it. So while the Stark sisters huddled together under a patchwork quilt Mrs. Stark’s mother had made, Mya watched a white patch of moonlight move across the wooden floor.

She was bone tired and knew that she should sleep. Her body was begging for it; she wasn’t used to the kind of work living on a ranched entailed, even for a woman. Back in the Vale, her work had been demanding. but in a different way. Once her mother had sold her to the brothel, the other girls there--years older and far more experienced--had given her what sanctuary they could for the first few months. Lysa Arryn had taken little notice of her until her 13th birthday, when she’d sold her virginity off to a drunk, greasy cattleman. She’d cried when he had pushed into her, and he’d given her the back of his hand. The next day Lysa had screamed at her for having a bruise.

Mya had learned quickly that no matter what her mood, no matter what her last customer had done, she was expected to hitch up a smile and charm the next gentleman out of his wages. Almost as quickly, she learned that no one would rescue her. The fairy tales she and her friends had whispered to each other during her few years of school were just that - stories. There would be no handsome prince riding in to swoop her away from the brothel, and those little schoolfriends had vanished as quickly as dandelion fluff in the wind.

She rolled over on her camp bed, wincing as her arm shifted. Once, a man who’d come to the brothel had told her and the other girls about something called ‘karma’. “You reap what you sow,” he’d said. His eyes had glinted in the uneven light of the bar room as he glanced at Mya. “Usually when y’least expect it.”

Maybe that’s what was happening now. She was being punished by having Robb placed right in front of her, where she couldn't touch him at all. The thought soured her stomach a little and she shifted again on the thin bed. Mya had never really known for sure where she stood on the idea of the gods, a benevolent family watching and judging her every move. It had never seemed right to ask the town's septon about it when he visited her bed, either. But would they be this cruel? Surely, if they were omnipotent, they'd know she hadn't wanted any of it - she hadn't wanted to be a prostitute. All she'd done was run for her freedom, for her life.

You're overthinking this. She chewed on her lower lip. You're being silly. You're not in love with Robb. He's a nice man is all. He's your friend. And he's getting married. He's off-limits. Resolving to think on it no more, Mya closed her eyes and waited to sleep. There will be more like him. One that will be available….

And yet, as she drifted into the darkness, a little voice within her was not so sure.


Later that week, over dinner, young Rickon Stark piped up as he swirled his fork in some mashed turnips. "Miss Bessie's stopping teaching us at the end of the month."

Mrs. Stark looked at her son sternly. "Don't play with your food, Rickon. Where's Miss Bessie going?"

"Her pa's sick, and her ma called her back to White Harbor to help with the post office there." It was Arya who answered. " 'S ok, she wasn't a very good teacher anyway."

"She's better than nothing. Pass the bread, Sansa." Robb accepted the plate of bread his sister offered him and glanced around the table. "Who's gonna take her spot?"

"Some girl from down the Riverlands way." Arya spoke around a mouthful of deer meat, and earned a look from her mother. She swallowed loudly. " 'Scuse me. Anyway, they're sending her up in June and she's gonna stay with us."

There was a long beat, and Mya glanced from Robb to Theon to Mrs. Stark, suddenly wishing she had an excuse to leave. Mrs. Stark set her fork down and cleared her throat. "I beg your pardon?"

"Rickon volunteered us." Bran explained. "Can she stay with us, Ma? We've got the room. She can bunk up with Miss Alyce in Sansa and Arya's room."

"She most certainly can not!" Sansa flung her napkin down on the table. "Where is she going to sleep, on the floor? Crammed in that camp bed with Miss Alyce?"

Theon chuckled. " 'F she's pretty enough she can bunk up with me." Mrs. Stark shot him her third and most stern look, and he had the good graces to blush. "Sorry, ma'am."

"You're not my son, Theon, but I do expect you and Robb to act like proper men while Mr. Stark is out on the range, not wildling boys."

"Yes ma'am." Theon cleared his throat, and Mya smiled. During the weeks she had been at the ranch, she'd noticed that Theon had a certain swagger and arrogance about him, and she believed he thought he was on a level above everyone else. Except Mrs. Stark, anyway. She could wipe his cocksure smirk right off his face so hard it'd take a few hours to creep back.

Right now though, he'd caught Mya's small smile across the table and glowered at her. Before he could say anything, Mrs. Stark went on. “Also, Theon, I want you to bring Ellie out for Sunday dinner. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen her and she’s such a sweet girl.”

Theon looked for a moment like his deer was going down awfully hard, but nodded. “Yes ma’am.”

“Who’s Ellie?” Mya asked after a moment.

“Theon’s fiancee.” Catelyn answered when Theon didn't. “Ellie Tyrell. Her father’s a shopkeeper in town.”

Laughter bubbled up in Mya’s throat at the way Theon squirmed, but she disguised it with a cough. “Seems everyone’s getting married out in these parts.” Her eyes unwittingly locked on Robb’s, and despite herself, she was pleased to see him blush.

That night after the dishes had been cleared and the younger children had gone to bed, Mya slipped out onto the back porch and leaned against the railing, looking up at the night sky. The stars hadn’t changed, although the air wasn’t as crisp and cold as it had been in the Vale. She used to try and count them when she was little. Her mother told her it was pointless, no one could count them all, so instead she’d gone to the Eyrie’s small, dusty library and had borrowed a thick leatherbound book with faded pictures and stories behind the names of the constellations. She'd read it religiously, losing herself in the stories of the Moonmaid, the Sow and the Stallion, the Ice Dragon, all of them. Another girl at the brothel had stolen it a year or so ago, and had traded it for opium. Mya had been devastated and had wept for a week when she was alone. The book had been the one thing she had that had been hers, even if it really was just years overdue from the library.

The kitchen door squawked open behind her, and she gave herself a shake as footsteps approached. Glancing over her shoulder, she felt a little twist in her stomach. Even though she'd resolved not to let her feelings for Robb, whatever they were, develop, he'd still made a point not to be alone with her. Until now.

He held his hands together, twisting his thin fingers in an almost supplicant manner. His shirtsleeves were rolled up, and she saw a long white scar twisting around his forearm. She'd noticed it before, but had never asked how he got it. Leaning against the porch railing, she crossed her arms over her stomach. For a long moment they just looked at each other. Finally, she cleared her throat. "How'd you get that?" She nodded at his arm.

Robb glanced at the scar like he'd never seen it before. "This? I fell into some barbed wire when I was ten or eleven." He rubbed his arm, nervous as any boy Mya'd ever seen. "Listen...Alice...I owe you an apology-"

Mya was already shaking her head, the knot in her stomach turning into something between mercy and pity."No, it's alright, really."

"Just let me say it, alright? I should've told you about Jeyne, and I never should've...should've kissed you. It wasn't right, and it wasn't fair." Robb's hands clenched briefly, and he leaned on the railing next to her, looking out over the garden, the barn. "My parents raised me better than that."

"Robb." Mya put her hand on his arm, squeezing lightly. "It's alright. It was just a kiss. It wasn't my first, it hopefully won't be my last, and my honor remains unbesmirched." She forced a smile, fighting back the taste of bile at the lie.

He looked over at her, blue eyes glancing down at her smile before he exhaled. His lips turned upward slightly, and he covered her hand with his own. "You're a good girl, Alice Longmire."

My name is Mya. Mya Stone. Mya bit her tongue hard enough to taste blood and pulled her arm away. "I'm also a tired one. I'll see you in the morning."


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