"If it's important to you, then it's important to me. I don't know why you constantly worry about putting me out. How many times have I needed your help?" AJ tried to get Ara to look him in the eye. Whatever was bothering her it must have been bad, because she wouldn't make eye contact.
"It's just that I'm embarrassed. I don't know why I feel that way. I know I can trust you. It's just very hard for me to ask for help."
"Well, let's start with what you called me for. You said it had to do with our secret. Is there a problem with the security?" AJ felt his heart pounding as he tried to remain calm. Obviously, Ara was upset, and he didn't want to upset her further by showing his own panic.
"No." Ara stopped. She opened her mouth a couple of times, lost her nerve, and blew the breath out. "It's broken."
"What's broken?" AJ said, trying to keep his breathing and his voice even.
"The portal. Duchess knocked it off the shelf by accident. She's hiding now, waiting for you to stop being mad"