Mathanus vomited on his own feet; Justinna huddled on the floor in incoherent shrieks. Temmin would have begged for Allis's life, but the stickiness filled his mouth; all he could do was cry. Nerr was going to kill her, to whip her to death, and it was his fault--beat me, kill me, Lord! he begged silently. "She bears responsibility too, never doubt it," said Nerr, raising the strap and bringing it down again. "She must bear the pain alone if she's to be of any use to My Sister."
Ansella sighed and settled back onto the couch; it was already growing cold where Ibbit's solid body had been. The warmth and security Ibbit brought never lasted long after the priestess's departure. Yet in the last few spokes, especially since Wirdun's health failed and the competition for Eldest Sister began, Ibbit's attentions were more suffocating, her conversation more pointed. Something was not quite right between them, to the point that Ansella had suffered unfamiliar bouts with nerves. She didn't eat when she was out of sorts; she'd taken to wearing tippets to hide her protruding collarbones. Though she still loved Ibbit, she withheld more from her now.