again. After the second round of cold-damp-cloth-on-skin, Z started to feel warmth return to her cheeks.
“I don’t like this, Z,” Yara declared in a worried tone that was so unlike her.
“It’s probably just nerves.”
“But you never got sick.”
“I never got married either.” Z opened her eyes and meant to prove to her friend that she was okay, but as soon as she lifted her head, it spun around and the nausea returned full force.
Z pushed off the couch and ran to the toilet but at that precise moment the main door was opened, freezing her mid-stride. Fuck.
“Z?” Sam asked alarmed, as soon as she peeked inside the room. She was holding her intimate parts like a kid needing to pee.
Z had to ignore her surprised look; there was no time to explain. She lunged over the toilet seat, and spilled her guts out. Again.
Mighty Soartas! What in Hiad was happening to her?
“What’s wrong?” she heard Sam ask Yara.
“Don’t know, but I don’t like it,” Yara replied.
Zoricah felt cold hands hold her hair and forehead while another wave of nausea made its way into the toilet.
“Did she have the salmon?”
“I don’t think it was the food at the party. She was quite pale before then.”
“Yeah, I remember. Do you think someone tried to poison her?”
“I hope not, but it’s quite possible.”
“Damn it,” Sam cursed. “Who would want to poison her?”
Yara snorted softly. “Tardieh’s entire nation? Half of the guests in this party? Tardieh is still receiving hate mail every day.”
Z lifted her head and swallowed, testing the waters. “I think I’m OK now.” She wasn’t really but she’d had enough of staring at white ceramic.
“Let’s get you to bed then,” Sam said.
“No!” Z cried, but it came out more like a squeal. “I need to go back to the party.”
“Z, you’re in no condition to go back out there,” Yara said.
“But I must!” Z squeaked again and dragged herself up. “I’m not going to miss my own wedding, come on!”
The three of them had spent so many long days and nights preparing this event, so much effort had gone into it that she refused to let an upset stomach ruin it. At first, she had wanted a small and intimate ceremony, but then Tardieh reminded her that his guest list would turn intimate into overcrowded . He was the King after all, and all his royal subjects had to be invited. She ended up agreeing to a large party, but she didn’t give up on her ‘non-lavish’ condition. She wanted to show her future nation that there would be no room for pompous ostentations in her reign. And Sam and Yara had done a fantastic job at making this the most elegant and unpretentious party of all times – worthy of the front page of any gossip magazine in the supernatural world – without extravagance or pompousness.
“Z, we think you may have been poisoned,” Sam said in a somber tone.
Her blond friend looked at her Latin friend, then back at Zoricah. Oh-oh, that was not good.
“We haven’t figured it out yet, but it’s very plausible.”
Z shook her head. “Plausible but very unlikely. There’s no way any poison would have managed to get past Arthur’s military scrutiny.”
“When did you start feeling nauseous?” Yara prompted.
Z shrugged. “Don’t know … a couple of days ago.”
“What else are you feeling?” Sam asked. “Do your joints hurt?”
“Your skin feel like it’s stretched to the limit?”
“By Apa Dobrý, Sam, no.”
“Well, some poisons have other side effects,” she replied. “Maybe it failed to do any major harm but it’s still in your system – which could mean that we’re dealing with an amateur who doesn’t know much about dracos.”
“So, you’re saying that a spy managed to crack through Joel’s and Arthur’s security and poison me, but doesn’t know what he’s doing at the same time?” Z asked back.
Antonio Negri, Professor Michael Hardt