12: A World Without You

2.2K 63 172

"What does this word mean? I don't think I've ever seen it before," Sophie handed Fitz an open scroll with a furrowed brow. They were sitting together in his study in armchairs side-by-side, reading through official reports, and Fitz set his teacup down to accept the scroll. His eyes scoured the page until she pointed out the sentence, "Lord Hiram sent three hundred pounds worth of Yelter root to the Glockomore port which were received by his cognate, Sir Hoberts, and two-hundred-seventy-five pounds sold that day."

"What does 'cognate' mean?" he asked.

"I'm not sure either," she admitted, "I thought it was some official title."

"It's used like a noble title," Sophie watched as Fitz hummed in thought. "Why don't we look it up? There must be some book explaining it here."

She nodded, and together, they got up and searched the bookcase. Sophie couldn't tell how long they spent looking before she and Fitz both reached for the same, red-dyed leather-bound book.

"Maybe it's a sign," Fitz joked as he pulled it off the shelf, opening it. The title printed on the first page read A Guide To Advanced Telepathy, and the very last thing on the table of contents was Cognatism.

Sophie frowned, "It's part of telepathy? I've never heard of it, Alden never taught me about it I guess."

"Me either," Fitz flipped to the right page and read aloud. "Cognatism is a rare, powerful mental connection between two telepaths that cannot be rivalled by any other. Not everyone gets a cognate in their lifetime, but the lucky few who do can use this connection to strengthen one another's abilities far beyond what a single individual can achieve. Cognates must trust one another more than anyone else in order for their connection to remain stable and their common instincts strong. Cognatism occurs naturally and cannot be forced, and can often go unnoticed by those who are not aware of its existence. If you suspect that you may have found a cognate, answer the questions provided to see."

When he finished, she studied Fitz's face for a moment, and he asked, "What is it?"

"I might just be crazy..." she shook her head, ears glowing red. "Cognates are incredibly rare..."

"But so are you," Fitz finished for her. "Do you think we could be..."

"Maybe?" she said quickly, suddenly nervous. "I mean, we work really well together."

He nodded, "Almost inhumanly so. How about we answer the questions in the book?"

She nodded, and together they went back to their armchairs before Fitz started to read out the questions.

"Do you and the telepath in mind always end up spending a lot of time together?"

"I mean... I am your assistant," Sophie chuckled a little.

"And we did before that too," nodded Fitz with an amused smile. He read out the next one, "Do you and this telepath share secrets and/or intimate moments? I'd say yes to both of those."

She nodded, going over all the emotional moments they'd shared in her head, and Fitz moved onto the next one, "Do you and this telepath always seem to have what the other lacks in both telepathic ability and emotion?"

"Definitely," Sophie said without hesitation, gaining more confidence in the idea that they were cognates, "you showed up just in time and fought when I couldn't."

"And you saved me during the attack at the palace. You were strong when I couldn't be."

"You comforted me when I was lost after that fight with Dex and encouraged me to be my own person," she reminded him. "You guided me when I was lost."

Sovereignty and ServitudeWhere stories live. Discover now