"This way, Beth." Emery hurried down the street, her eyes finding familiar landmarks that would lead her to the Carlysle Estate.
Beth's hand slipped into Emery's, and Emery could feel a tremble run through it.
"Am I really going home?" Beth whispered. "This isn't a trick? Or a dream? I'll see my Mama and my Dada again?"
Emery squeezed Beth's hand. "You're really going home," she said softly.
Beth was quiet for a moment as she trotted by Emery's side. Then a shiver ran through her again. "I'm scared, Em. Tell me a story."
Emery looked down at the white-clad figure and suddenly felt like curling up and crying. Emotions from the day swelled and crashed inside her like an incoming tide. Panic. Horror. Terror. Hope. Confusion. Fear. Love. Helplessness. Compassion. Power. Purpose.
Emery's breath came out in a choked gasp and she shook her head, willing the torrent of emotions to die down. Not now -- she couldn't cry now. Not when Beth needed her to be strong. Emery forced a smile.
But tears stung her eyes as she glanced as Beth's close-cropped hair and started her story.
"Once upon a time, there was a princess locked in a dark tower..."