“Maria,” Winter said softly, taking a step toward her friend. “Maria, how are you doing?”
“I’ve been better,” Maria said, still with her back toward her friend. She was resisting every urge within her to spin around and throw her arms around Winter and cry until she could cry no more. She wanted more than anything to feel someone’s loving embrace, but she knew that that could spell danger, so she forced herself to keep aloof.
“They are, like, letting me go. They found me guilty, but…”
“I know; I was watching,” Maria cut in.
“Well, maybe they will, you know, let you go, too.” Maria could hear her taking a few steps closer. “Maybe they’ll give you a pardon, too.”
“My charges are going to be a lot more than aiding and abetting. They know that I have done more than just give The Followers food and a place to sleep. No, they know that I’m a leader and have known for a long time. They’ve already decided I’m guilty. My sentence has been written for a long time.”