Daniel was certainly old enough to have begun talking, but Miara, in her few interactions with him, hadn’t heard him speak a word. But he was hardly the first orphan to be brought here, painfully aware of the broken bond where his mother used to be, and he was still crying every time he felt it. Sometimes so loudly it carried across the field.
She stopped by in the orchard where the group of kids was playing, and saw him sitting in a short distance away, staring up at the trees the older kids were playing in.
“Hi!” she called, and most of them answered back and waved.
“Are you going to play with us today?”
“No, we did training today, I’m beat!” she said, plopping down on a softer-looking spot of ground. It wasn’t long before Daniel crept over to her and crawled in her lap. His face looked red from crying again. “You look exhausted. Maybe we should go take a nap,” she said, cuddling him. “You want to come home with me? It should be quieter there.”
He nodded, and got up, indicating to the other adults that she was taking responsibility for him. She wasn’t more than half way to her rooms when he changed and curled up tightly in her arms, already asleep.