Aksinya made a great enchantment to save her friend. She made another great enchantment to save her life. When she woke the first time, the woman she most fears was beside her. When she wakes again, the same woman, Sister Margarethe is there.
When Aksinya woke again, Sister Margarethe held her hand. Aksinya pulled it out of the nun’s grasp, “Don’t touch me.”
“I…I’m sorry, Countess.”
“I don’t want you in my room.”
“The Reverend Mother said I could look after you.”
“Why are you here, anyway?”
Sister Margarethe closed her eyes and put her hands together.
“I asked you a question.”
“The Lady Natalya and I have been looking after you since you collapsed in the street.”
“You brought me back here?”
“No, a young man carried you here. The Lady Natalya suggested it.”
Aksinya closed her mouth.
“The Lady Natalya told us that this was your house. She explained about how you had to flee Russia and set up everything here. You didn’t need to keep it a secret.”
Aksinya glared at her.
“I realize you wanted to keep the existence of this place from us. I think I understand how you wanted to blend in with the other girls…”
“Then why did you follow and spy on me?”
“The Reverend Mother instructed me to keep a special eye on you…I didn’t mean to spy. We were worried about you.”
“Why do you care about me at all?”
Sister Margarethe colored, “You are one of our students. You are a special student.”
“Is that all?”
Sister Margarethe glanced at the door, “I…we love you.”
Aksinya wrinkled her lip, “Love me. I realize what you think about me. You feel lust in your heart for me. You want me that way…that’s why I don’t want you alone with me.”
Sister Margarethe stared in shock. She didn’t say a thing.
Aksinya looked smug.
Asmodeus convinced Aksinya that Sister Margarethe has sexual desire for her. This shocked Aksinya so much that she didn't take the time to question the demon's statements. This was a revelation that the reader will not know (yet might guess), but I wanted to give you a heads up. This explains Aksinya's reaction--and perhaps the Sister's.
Aksinya's statement that she doesn't want the Sister in her room is direct and partially misinterpreted by the Sister. In this dialog, the two are talking passed each other. Aksinya doesn't dare state what is on her mind--for many reasons. In spite of this, we learn a lot about what is going on. Aksinya interrogates the Sister. We find that the Reverend Mother knows about the house. We discover that a young man carried Aksinya to her bed.
Sister Margarethe tells us that they understood that Aksinya wanted to blend in so she kept the house secret. This is a blatant misconception. Aksinya never tried to blend in anywhere. That idea was never in her mind. That the sisters thought it of her was informative on lots of levels. Aksinya lets that one go by--it's a worthwhile misconception for her to use.
Aksinya drills in on the point she wants to know, but she does it from the side. Sister Margarethe's reactions are informative. I...we love you. Then Aksinya pounces. Sister Margarethe is in shock from Aksinya's accusations. Is her shock due to the revelation. Is she astounded that Aksinya would make such an accusation. Is it because she is embarrassed or offended or angry? Aksinya thinks she has it all figured out. Do we. Do we know what is really going on here. I've tried to direct and misdirect you. If you review the writing, I never told you one way or the other about the truth or falsehood of the demon's claims. My writing was intentionally ambivalent. Tomorrow, the answer to this important question, and an important marker in the potential redemption of Aksinya.