Author note: ok as promised here's what I wrote today. It takes place in Freyborg about a month after everyone goes their separate ways. As you might remember from Westmark Theo was supposed to be in charge of the press and Zara was supposed to be his devil but he had a little trouble along the way and the job was left to her. And there are other things she'd rather be doing.
Zara stopped the treadle of the sewing machine and carefully pulled the fabric out from under the needle. She cut the thread with her teeth and looked at her handiwork. She had to smile. This is what she was supposed to be doing. She was a dressmaker by trade and sewing always seemed to relax her somehow. Maybe it was the control she had over the fabric or the way it felt to see the garment come together.
"Zara, got somethin' for you," Stock called from the other room. The smile dropped from her face.
"Coming," she said, laying the skirt tenderly to the side. She'd get back to it later. It seemed her sewing had gotten pushed back more and more lately.
"What is it?" whe asked entering the room where they had constructed the printing press but she almost backed out again, her stomach churning.
"Soup and my latest inspiration," Stock said happily.
Zara pushed the soup back a few inches on the table as if moving it would alleviate the smell that had made her feel so sick. She had hardly been able to keep anything down since they left Nierkeeping. She knew it was because she was worried about Florian. She hoped that the others hadn't noticed how his absence affected her. But nothing got by Stock. She looked up at him and tried to smile (it looked to him like more of a grimace) and picked up his manuscript.
"More poems?" She asked, looking it over.
"How could I ever cease to write when in the presence of such a lovely muse." He kissed her on the forehead.
She rolled her eyes and pulled out a tray of letters. Stock swept out of the room and Zara went to work setting the type.
This was not supposed to be her job. She was only supposed to be the printers devil but Theo had never shown up. He and his friends who they had risked their lives to get out of prison in Neirkeeping had gone missing some where along the way.
She was so angry that she was now slamming the letters into the tray with no reguard for spelling. She had always known that Theo was an idiot. It was his fault that they had gone to Nierkeeping in the first place; his fault that they had risked their lives and Justin had nearly been killed. Not that she cared bout Justin he was an idiot, too. But it was Theo's fault that Florian had to go into hiding; his fault that they had to be parted for over a month now.
Zara looked down at the tray of type. Her tears were pooling in the little "o"s, and "a"s, and "d"s, and "b"s.
"What has come over me." She wiped her eyes and the letters with a cloth. And not a moment to soon, just then Keller rushed in.
"News," he said loudly, thrusting a stack of papers at her, knocking the tray of type to the floor and scattering the letters everywhere.
"Must you make more work for me and ruin everything I've already accomplished?" Zara screamed at him, exasperated. She dropped to her knees and began to pick up the letters glancing at the papers he'd brought in; probably just more of his satirical stories.
"I'm sorry, Zara," He said and pulled her up by her elbow. "But I have news and I thought you should be the first to know." He handed her a letter.
Zara hardly noticed that Stock and Rina and run into the room wondering what was the matter. The letter was from Florian. All was well. The Chief Minister had been exiled and Florian was pardoned.
She read on, "However, my children, I fear we must be parted for a while longer. There is work for me to do here in Marianstat and you all have the work I left for you to do there. . . ."
Zara couldn't read anymore she ran out of the room and out the back door where she wretched onto the grass. Stock was not far behind her. He patted her back and handed her a handkerchief.
"Is everything alright?" he asked after giving her a chance to wiper her face.
She nodded and handed him the letter not trusting her voice.
"Well, this is a reason to celebrate," he said after skimming it.
"What is it? Is Justin okay?' cried Rina.
"Cabbarus is gone and Florian is free," Stock told the others, kindly shielding Zara from their view as she collected herself.
"Let's all go to Jellinek's for a drink," Keller exclaimed and he and Rina started off.
But Stock turned to Zara, "Come on, let's get you something to eat. You're wasting away and it'll make you feel better."
She smiled her thanks up at him and allowed him to lead her away.