"Don't worry, you'll meet her soon enough."
Worry wasn't really the primary emotion running through Lydia's veins as she watched the blond woman enter the carnival. It was something darker, something she couldn't quite put her finger on. The intensity of it took her by surprise, fingers curling into a fist, fingernails biting into her palms until they bled. The sketch had been good, but the woman was older now, though the softer colored lights of the carnival were as flattering to her as to anyone. But it was the look in her eyes that set Lydia's teeth on edge, looking around as if there were something wrong with their home, something beneath her about them all.
Pushing her hair back behind her ear, Lydia trailed along behind them, gaze assessing, taking apart each little piece of the other woman with a look, and still not seeing what the appeal was.
...Her steps faltered a bit, though, as she realized what she was doing, and she came to a stop, staring after the retreating figures.
"Who's that?" Amanda asked, coming up beside her.
"Samuel's brought her here," Lydia said, trying to ignore the painful twist inside of her stomach.
The words were simple ones, really, or should have been. She'd read it in his eyes, as the cold certainty that she could see him dead had settled in her stomach. But why? For Joseph? For Edgar? For the family? Was he truly a threat, or just grasping power he'd been denied all his life? When she'd told him his secret was safe with her, she'd still believed he could be something more. Part of her knew she was right. You didn't look into a man's soul as often as she had his without knowing him. But she could still deceive herself, it seemed.
"Mom? Why is she here? Who is she?"
The words came, from some hollow pit she couldn't quite feel from. "He loves her."
"Her?" She could feel Amanda's shock like some dim echo, recognizing that emotion if she was only starting to put a name to hers. "But I thought..."
"You were wrong." Lydia's voice came softly, but it felt like each word was a slice of a knife.
She felt the cut of the realization that had been growing for a while, now, and with it the sting of tears that burned off in the wave of something darker, something that must have shown on her face.
"Mom...?" The worry was easy enough to feel, as well, as she let herself focus on the emotions around her instead of her own. Maybe she couldn't name the feeling pressing down and choking her without admitting things she'd no intention of saying aloud, but she could recognize the secondary emotion it sparked welling up in a red wave.
"Samuel's going to be busy for a little while," she said quietly, breathing in the familiar scents of popcorn and caramel and fried delights around them. "I think it's time we had a family meeting."
Turning away from the sight of the couple lingering at the door of Samuel's trailer, she swung around and moved toward the family's gathering area. Apparently there were limits to her loyalty, after all.