work to do, part 3 of 4

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It had been six months since Sofia had called Dahlia into her world.  They had procured many fascinating, and powerful, items in the intervening time.  Sofia had spent every free moment either pouring over those items and enhancing her knowledge or working on her relationship with Dahlia.  She could tell that Dahlia didn’t see her as an equal yet.  It seemed like she was nearly there, though.  They were more comfortable with each other and while Sofia hadn’t yet told Dahlia the reason for all their little gathering ventures, Dahlia had guessed it.  The creature hadn’t seemed upset, either. 

Sofia was coming to understand that while Dahlia was bound to her, Dahlia was more free in this world than she had been in her slumber in the darkness of the other world.  To be trapped in dreams certainly didn’t sound appealing to Sofia, anyway.  Sure, some dreams were fun but part of that fun was knowing you were going to wake up.  If you never woke up?  If the dream wasn’t fun?  And endless swirling of nightmares?  Or, worse, endless nothingness?  Sofia didn’t like to think about that. 

Besides, Sofia was still hoping and working towards giving Dahlia complete freedom.  She just had a little more to learn, a learn more to understand.

Chief among that, she needed to know why Dahlia had chosen the shape of a snake.  She had been looking for clues but had not yet come across any.  But once she had that key piece of information she was sure she could release Dahlia without fear.

She was hoping to do that before she had completed the task she had summoned Dahlia to help with.  That particular hurdle would be better if Dahlia acted in support on its own.  But, if not, so be it.  One way or the other Dahlia would help her achieve her goals.  Every day of the last six months was a step in that direction.

Closing the tome she’d been studying, Sofia turned to gaze at Dahlia.  The creature was watching her from the opposite side of the room.  The link between them was strong enough that Dahlia would understand that Sofia had just learned an important piece of information but not so strong that it would know exactly what the information was.  Dahlia waited patiently, it’s tongue lazily tasting the air and it’s eyes glinting with equal measures of humor and curiosity.  

Not for the first time, Sofia wondered if she was wasting her time and should just ask Dahlia all her questions.  She knew there was value in doing the research herself, but it was very likely that Dahlia could tell her everything she needed to know if she would just ask.  It was tempting.

Dahlia laughed, that same unnerving sound that Sofia had grown certain she would never get used to.  “You know that you’ll only be able to trust me fully when I can trust you fully.”

Sofia’s lips twitched upwards and she nodded.  “Yes, of course.”  Crossing the room she began to caress the shiny scales behind Dahlia’s head.  The laughing sound switched to the purring one.  There was no need for Sofia or Dahlia to expand on that brief conversation.  They both understood the consequences of that trust.  If fulfilled and then broken, it could be devastating for both of them.  Dahlia could be banished back to the darkness.  Sofia could easily be killed, or suffer a much worse fate depending on how Dahlia retaliated. 

“Do you want to hear what I just learned?”

Dahlia whispered, “Yes,” without breaking its purr.

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