The scream brought Sarah running. It sounded like someone was dying very painfully. Before she got to the room, the scream ended, but that just made her more nervous. She burst through the door to find Thomas collapsed on the floor and Rebecca kneeling over him.
“What is going on?”
Rebecca gestured towards Thomas. “There was an accident. Thomas’s hand was severed.”
A sense of horror replaced her concern. “Where is it?”
“If I had to guess, I’d say about fifteen years ago,” Rebecca sighed.
“First help me get him to bed. I stopped the bleeding and helped dull the pain, but he needs sleep. Lots of it.”
Rebecca and Sarah propped him up between them and walked him slowly to a room Rebecca had set aside as an infirmary. They laid him onto a bed. After Rebecca assured herself that he would stay asleep, she led Sarah to the kitchen and poured herself a glass of wine.
“So what’s this about ‘fifteen years ago’?” Sarah didn’t sit down.
“Do you want the long version or the short?”
“Okay, the short version is that we traveled back in time about fifteen years ago. Coming back, the portal closed while Thomas was reaching through it. That’s how he lost his hand.”
“You went back in time? How is that even possible? And why fifteen years?” Sarah’s head was swimming with questions and overwhelmed by the implications.
“I don’t think I can explain how. They combined their gifts to…”
“Wait. They? Who else…” A thought popped into her mind, but it couldn’t be. “Where’s Julia?”
Rebecca sighed again and took another sip of wine. “Again, best guess? Fifteen years ago.”
Finally, she had to sit down. This was too much to take in. “She went too? Why would she do anything with Thomas?”
“He said we could save Jason.”
“That… makes sense. But why fifteen…” At first, she hadn’t realized why the number of years was significant; now it hit her, too. “Oh shit. You went back to his master’s house, didn’t you?”
Rebecca nodded. “Julia was furious. He said something about an attack.”
“Yes. That’s when I met him.”
“Julia decided to keep him from doing whatever he had planned. So she shoved him back through the portal and closed it when he tried to go back again. Thomas lost his hand, and Julia lost her only way back to the present.”
“I thought he had finally let it go,” Sarah said, not to Rebecca but to herself.
“Well, I’m exhausted. I’ll sleep in the infirmary tonight to keep tabs on Thomas.”
“What do we do about Julia?”
“I honestly don’t know. I can’t even keep my eyes open.”
Rebecca left her to her worries. Sarah grabbed a glass and poured some wine for herself. She had no idea Thomas was still obsessing about the attack, but she couldn’t ignore it any longer.