8: Your Blood, My Hands

Start from the beginning

"I couldn't find him," the king panted as he set down the supplies, "he wasn't in the southwestern safe room."

"We'll do what we can," Della said in a hard voice, "he's losing too much blood for us to wait any longer."

Alden knelt next to Sophie and together the two of them began to wordlessly clean the stab wound as best they could before Alden turned to Sophie seriously and asked, "I've seen your needlepoints, I know you sew neatly. Are you comfortable with giving him stitches? At least temporary ones?"

With a shaky voice she replied, "Whatever it takes."

"Good answer," murmured the king, who then announced, "we don't know how conscious he is, so I shall hold him down while you, Sophie do the stitches, and Della, my love, would you hold a cloth to the other side of the wound while Sophie stitches one side?"

"Of course, but the tunic won't cut it anymore, and his jacket and waistcoat won't absorb blood well," mentioned Della.

Without a second thought, Sophie used the shortsword tucked into her belt to cut a section of the skirt of her dress off, and handed it to Della, "This should work."

When Della took the cloth, Sophie pulled the needle and thread out of her bag, and sterilized the needle with alcohol. Carefully, she threaded it as Alden leaned his son forwards so she could have access to the wound entrance at his back, Sophie then decided to transmit to Fitz, "I'm sorry if you're awake for this, it's going to hurt."

She was a little surprised when his telepathic voice weakly replied, "I'll survive. Whatever happens, remember that I trust you, and that the sooner we do this, the sooner it's done."

"What if I inflict on you so you fall asleep?" she suggested, his words making her feel more ready to give him stitches.

"...That would be nice."

"I'll see you when you wake up," Sophie gently placed her free hand over Fitz's heart and thought of all the times she felt so relaxed that she just drifted to sleep. Reading in the meadows with Edaline, story time with the triplets, going to bed after dancing with Dex at Biana's wedding - and then Fitz was asleep.

"Is everything alright?" Alden asked worriedly.

"He's asleep now," Sophie informed the king and queen, "I was just speaking with him telepathically, and then I inflicted peacefulness onto him so he could rest."

"Very smart," Della remarked wearily and Alden nodded in agreement.

With that, Sophie took a deep breath and began to sew the wound closed. She made sure her stitches were neat, even, and strong, and eventually learned to ignore all of the blood and efficiently focus on the task at hand: saving Fitz. When Sophie finished one side, Alden leaned Fitz back, and Della poured in the tissue regrowth elixir, as well as a bottle of water from the Fountain of Youth. Sophie then stitched that side, and wiped her hands clean on her skin before she prepared the bandages while Alden and Della sterilized the stitches. Then, Sophie handed said bandages to the king and queen, who worked together to wrap the injury sites securely. Just as they finally finished, a guard came into the safe room and announced that the Neverseen had retreated, and the palace was safe again.

As Fitz was carried to the infirmary, Sophie held his hand, and didn't let go of it unless it was absolutely necessary, and then immediately took it for herself once more. In the infirmary, she didn't leave his side like the dutiful assistant - no, friend - she was, and hardly greeted Keefe, Biana, Dex, and the triplets when they walked over. She didn't even fully acknowledge the nurse who came to clean the cuts on her neck and leg. When it was dubbed safe to move Fitz to his room, Sophie followed closely behind, gripping the bloodied fabric of her skirt, shoving Dex's hand off her shoulder when he tried to stop her so they could talk, only saying, "It's my fault he's hurt." before walking away from her adopted cousin to follow the guards carrying Fitz to his room.

Sovereignty and ServitudeWhere stories live. Discover now