She had been staring at Victor for about ten minutes before he turned to her and asked, “Is there anything I may do for you?” Nine minutes ago, he had noticed her looking but dismissed it as her thinking. She’d been mentally gnawing on the problem of Emelian’s shade for weeks now. Two minutes ago, he decided she really was looking at him and debated interrupting her scrutiny.
Sarah smiled a little, “No. Just… keep being you.”
Another hesitation. There was a story there. Probably involving Alexi. “I can be nothing else.” He turned back to the computer, managing the tasks she’d given him.
She continued to contemplate him, this ghoul, randomly given to her by her absentee sire. She had wanted to reject him. Send him back. But Victor had proven valuable and unexpectedly needed. Why had Alexi given up such potential?
Sarah hated to admit it but, in the short few weeks of knowing him, she’d grown fond of Victor. Not just as a ward – a human-shaped cat – but as a person with quiet wisdom and the ability to get things done. He would make a wonderful Vizier someday.
Maybe someday soon.
The thought scared her. The desire to protect him as her ghoul. The knowledge that her fondness for him was a weakness. The enemies sniffing at the door. This wasn’t like her feelings for Carrie. This was a need to protect what she was responsible for.
Sarah wasn’t sure she liked this new feeling of fondness, of protectiveness... and she didn’t know what to do about it.
"Create like a God. Command like a King. Work like a Slave." ~Constantine Brancusi