If you're coming in late, the story begins here.
Samina tried to get one more spoonful of mush into the baby's mouth, and finally gave up. Seven was too young to speak, but the way he writhed and turned his head aside was clear enough: he didn't want any more food. She did, but she could wait; she'd had enough to keep her for awhile.
She looked up, and found the Dayborn sitting on a stool that he'd placed just outside the kitchen, near the table where he'd set out the food. He was watching the children, but not with any particular attention: his eyes followed them, but his thoughts were elsewhere. Oberon was right, she decided. He doesn't care about us. In the hours that they'd been there, he hadn't asked for their names, or where they came from, or why they were out in the woods in the midst of a storm like this.
She turned her attention back to the children. Oberon had found a checkers board, and was patiently teaching Iulius how to play. Amarie, the blind girl, had curled up on one end of a couch with a plate of food, and was listening to the others. Grey was nowhere to be seen, but that was usual with her; Samina finally spotted her by looking for Rag, who had found a book and was looking at the pictures. Grey was beside him, reading bits of the story as Rag flipped through it.
It was past midnight, and the rain had trailed off to a light drizzle, but nobody seemed inclined to move. Samina didn't blame them; she was warm and dry and comfortably full, and going back out into the trees was just about the least appealing thing she could imagine.
Seven burped, and Samina set him down on the floor. She watched as he crawled over to the couch and began trying to pull himself up. Despite the windows and all the daylight they would let in, despite the Dayborn who lived here, the children were going to want to stay here. Samina knew she shouldn't allow it, but she had the feeling it was going to happen anyway.
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