Esmina scanned through her notes, examining every single number and mark. It checked out. She tossed the parchment aside and grabbed the other one. It had the same numbers and the same equations, and she looked through it as thoroughly as before. She had double checked her work, and both papers came to the same conclusion.
Three quick knocks on the door. “Are you awake, miss?”
“I am,” she replied. “Enter.”
The door opened slowly, Gaelin using his back to swing it outwards as he carried a tray precariously with his unbandaged hand.. It held a plate of food and a cup of tea. “Your breakfast isn’t quite hot anymore, I’m afraid,” he said.
She didn’t move anything from her desk. She didn’t even turn away from her work. “Thanks, Gaelin. Just set it on my bed.”
The Tenshari did as he was told. “It’s already an hour until the Shadow, miss. You’ve been sleeping in lately, I noticed, so I thought perhaps you need your rest.”
She tried to rub the weariness from one eye, but wasn’t about to tell him just how little sleep she had gotten. “I appreciate that, Gaelin. You’re very kind.”
“Miss?” he asked.
Esmina turned to look up at him from her chair. He seemed worried. “Yes, Gaelin?”
“I… Are you alright? You haven’t been yourself lately.”
She frowned. “On the contrary I think I’ve been more myself. Father hasn’t asked me to do anything in days, so I’ve been focusing on my research. It’s kept me up a bit longer than usual.”
“All because of that dot you found a few weeks ago.”
“Yes. And I think I’m onto something quite spectacular, you know.” She couldn’t contain her smile as she thought about telling him about her suspicions. “I may have made the discovery of a lifetime, in fact.”
“You already told me it seems to be a tiny planet. Like the sister-planet only smaller and further away.”
“If all my math is correct, it may be so much more than that, though. Look,” she held up one of the pieces of parchment. “This is the–”
“Miss,” Gaelin interrupted. “Believe me when I say that I am interested in your work. The things you’ve managed to come up with are quite impressive for a girl your age, but I’m afraid we can’t talk about it now. You see, your father has asked to speak to you.”
Her excited demeanor froze in it’s tracks. “I’m sorry?”
“He told me to bring you to his chambers some time ago, in fact. I managed to convince him to wait until you had woken and eaten, but his patience seems to be growing thin. It would be in your best interest to see him as soon as possible.”
She sighed and started organizing the notes on her desk into a neat pile. As always, her interests came second to her father’s command. “I see.”
“I’m sorry, miss.”
“No need to apologize. You’re not the one constantly trying to ruin my life.”
When he didn’t respond, she turned around again.
He stood in the middle of her room, staring downwards. She arched an eyebrow. “Are you sure you’re feeling alright, Gaelin? You’re being far more unusual than I am.”
“Oh, yes, I’m quite alright. I’ll just be about my business, then. Do hurry and eat your breakfast, miss. I’d rather us both avoid an unpleasant confrontation with your father.”
“I will. Thanks again.”
He nodded and left her in solitude, closing the door behind him.
The last few days spent in her room had been blissfully quiet. Nobody telling her to meet with any tutors, nobody making sure she was dressed properly to be presentable for guests, and no lectures about how she was wasting her time daydreaming. She had thought that maybe she had earned some time alone, or her father was too busy to give her any orders.
Whatever the reason, it was nice while it lasted.
Having cleared it of most of her notes, she got up from the desk and grabbed the tray of food. Sitting back down, she realized how famished she was, but the prospect of meeting with her father soon put her in no mood to eat.