She’d asked him to join her. . .to walk with her, and as each step took them further from the infirmary, she found she wasn’t entirely sure what she wanted to say. So caught up in her thoughts was she, Tia didn’t realize the awkward moments of silence that hung between them until Jaren spoke.
“Is everything alright?”
The Dedicated’s question pulled Tia back to the present, and she looked to him, “What? Oh. . .everything is fine. I’m sorry if I’ve implied otherwise.” The Aes Sedai realized what it might have been like for Jaren to be summoned by an Aes Sedai, then have nothing said for several uncomfortable moments. She did her best to muster a weak smile.
Why did she suddenly feel completely tongue tied? What was she even doing? Checking up on the man that so captured Jaryd’s heart, that’s what. She had no claim to Jaryd, yet Jaren did, whether he knew it or not. Part of her heart ached with the realization, but there was nothing to be done for it.
Guiding the Dedicated until the pair were now outside, she walked along the path until she found a somewhat secluded bench and motioned for him to take a seat as she did the same. “I. . .truth be told, I’m not entirely sure why I’m here.” She hesitated, and clarified, “Here with you, that is. I know we do not know each other, though I am sure we know about one another.
“The Tower being what it is, I am sure you are at least somewhat aware that Jaryd and I were. . .involved for a time,” she admitted, and found she struggled to meet the young man’s eyes. Taking a deep, centering breath, she looked to him, “I do not know if you are aware of your importance to him. It. . .is not my place to speak too broadly of it, so I don’t know that I can say much more than that.”
Her brows furrowed as she let go a soft sigh, “Jaryd is a special man with a big heart that he doesn’t give so freely. When he does, he has his reasons, and those lucky enough to be on the receiving end. . .I am not sure they always appreciate the gift given to them.” Her gaze had wandered as she spoke, but when she finished, she met his eyes once more, “Perhaps I’ve said too much, but I think I felt I needed to say at least that much. Do with it as you wish, Dedicated.”