The air clotted in Adewole’s throat; the room pulsed and swayed. When he recovered his voice, shaky and horrified, he said, “I did not mean to wake you, Alleine.”
“Then why’d you feed me?”
“How did I do that?”
“Don’t you know? The ichor. You fed me ichor. I wish you hadn’t.”
She must have absorbed the lantern’s black mercury, he thought. “I am sorry. It was accidental. I was not sure what I would find.”
“So you didn’t come for me,” said Alleine in a small voice.
Adewole wiped his face on the back of his hand. Dust from his glove smeared across his damp cheeks and eyes, and he pulled out his handkerchief to wipe away the angry grit. He sat down on a flat boulder in the rubble. “No one knew you were here, child, not for a very long time.”