I was still sitting there when Kat returned with Ty and Grandmother. They approached me cautiously and when they were about ten paces from me they stopped and didn't say a word. I knew they were there but I didn't say a word. Why? For two reasons really; I was past thirsty, way past parched, and deep into the land where my throat tissue could polish pine. The other was I didn't care. In fact I would have been happy if they all just went away after leaving me a gallon of water to drink.
They went away. Kat had tried to come closer but Grandmother had called her back. I sat out there until the sun began to go down and thought about a lot of things but never for more then a moment. I would touch them mentally and then recoil from the heat they generated. Some were as searing as the sun while others just generated old pain like coals once the outer crust of memories crumbled away.
As the shadow cast from the butte in front of me began to darken Kat came to me again. She stood there, on my right side, for about five minutes before she said, "I brought water." I stuck my arm and beckoned for her to bring it. She placed it in my hand and I drained it and handed it back to her saying, "More."
She came back with more but this time stood a lot closer. I drained that too and wiped my mouth with the back of my hand. We waited together in the darkness for about five minutes before she spoke.
"You want to tell me what's going on?"
"I should have known. She was as famous as you once and still is among the Northerners."
I didn't say anything.
"So what's next Gardener?"
"I kill people. It's what I do."