Frowning, she felt her lashes and then lifted her eyelid. Nothing, still darkness.
Confusion filled Akira as she let her finger trace down to her lips and Seth's kiss suddenly came back to her. She pushed it out of her mind, wondering why she only saw darkness.
Hearing a door open she jerked her head in the direction of the sound. Footsteps approached from her right and Akira let her arm drop onto her stomach.
“Hello?” She asked, her voice sounded raspy and her throat was dry.
“Akira?” She knew that voice.
“Gina?” Relief flooded through her. At least one of her friends was okay. Then another thought hit her. If Gina was here then did that mean... “Is it over?” Akira asked hopefully.
“Yes, Haiden and his force pulled back just before our reinforcements came. That was just after you fell off…” Gina trailed off, seeming uncomfortable with finishing off the sentence. “Anyway, it’s been over three days since the battle,” she said softly.
“Three days?” Akira frowned. She heard a rustle and realized that Gina must have sat down.
“Uh huh, it was about time you woke up sleepy head,” Gina attempted to joke, yet Akira could hear from her tone of voice that although she was trying to be cheerful she was failing miserably
“Redemption?” Akira whispered fearing the worst for her dragon. She didn't want to search for his mind, just in case she wouldn't find anything.
“He's fine, had a few deep gashes but the healers got right to work. Seth's fine too. He got out with barely a scratch....” She trailed off and Akira could hear the tears in her voice. “Drake got pretty banged up. They're not sure if he'll be able to walk,” she sniffled.
“I'm sorry,” Akira whispered.
“I'm sure he'll be fine,” Gina attempted bravely. “He has to be,” she added with vigor in her voice.
There was a moments silence before Akira broke it. “Gina, how am I here? I mean, when I fell off that roof I thought I was dead.”
“I thought you were dead too when I saw you fall. You were so still,” Gina replied. “Redemption caught you though. The healers got to work as soon as they could. You were a mess,” she paused and Akira could imagine her shaking her head. “You’re lucky you only suffered burns and not any other major wounds. The healers have always found it much easier to treat burns than other injuries such as the ones Peter had. It’s clear your armor did a pretty good job protecting you, but you weren't wearing your helmet so...” She trailed off before resuming, “The healers really did a good job; it’s hard to see that you were even injured.”
Akira could tell by the tone of her friend’s voice that there was something she wasn't saying. “But what?” She asked, her tone clipped, but somehow she could already guess what it was.
Gina remained silent.
“I have a right to know,” Akira whispered.
Gina sighed. “The flames hit you square on. If you had been wearing your helmet things may have been different...unlike burns on the surface of the skin healers can only heal so much. Akira, your eyes were open when you were hit,” she paused. “There's a good chance you'll never regain your sight.”
Akira sucked in her breath.
“However, they did say it was possible...not likely, but possible,” Gina murmured.
“You mean...I'm blind?” Akira asked her voice breaking.
“I'm sorry,” Gina whispered.
Akira's heart squeezed as grief washed over her, grief that came with the realization that she would probably never see anyone she loved again. The colorful display of the sunset and rises would be lost to her. Replacing it all would be the dull darkness she faced now. She would be helpless, not able to do anything without having someone to show her the way.
Then a thought struck her. Did this mean she could no longer fulfill her duties as the Rider of Legend? Did it mean that Redemption would need to choose a new rider? Was this where she was given a pat on the back and told, ‘Good try’ and then abandoned?
“I want to see Ree and Destiny,” she whispered as she fought back tears that threatened to spill. She sat up and felt around, swinging her legs out from underneath the material that had covered her.