Saturday, December 3, 2011

The words are soft, as soft as the pad of her bare feet on the sand. "Was that her? Was that your Water Nymph?"

Keon nods as Eite joins him at the water's edge. He can feel Dmitri and Trooper standing guard just out of earshot. Eite touches his arm gently. She gazes out across the water, choosing her words carefully.

"I am sorry. I did not mean to intrude." At his silent nod, she presses on, "To come back, to touch you as she did, she must love you very much." Her words soften even more. Ir not for his sensitive hearing, Keon would not have heard her next words. "I hope Jerret knows I love him just as much."

Keon lays his hand long dark hand over her smoky blue one. "Jerret. He is the one who gave you his sword?" She nods, bowing her head as tears slip down her cheeks. His words are nearly as soft as hers. "Did you kill him?"

Eite gasps, looking up in shock. Keon shakes his head, stopping her outrage. "My back was to you. I did not see what brought him down."

Understanding washes the anger from her eyes, leaving them lost in a sea of tears. Her voice breaks as she fights to control her sobs. Moonlight glimmers on the blue waves of her hair as she shakes her head. "No, no... he took a guard's sword meant for me... he never agreed with the Priestess' actions. He was trying to find a way to get Tori away." Her eyes find Keon's dark gaze as the tears overflow. "He died so we could get away."

The Dark Lord's arm slides around her shoulders, pulling her into the shelter of his body. Turning her to his side, Keon hides her from anyone else, letting her weep. He strokes her hair, careful not to catch her fragile gills. When her sobs lessen, Keon touches her chin, tilting her head up. He waits until she looks him in the eyes.

"Listen to me. He gave his life for you. You, not for me. Jerret loved you. You told me once that we are much alike. If he is anything like me, death has not dimmed that. When you are ready, I will take you to a sacred place where you can tell him how you feel." He pulls her down to sit on the sand and hands her a stick. "For now, you can let the water tell him."

Keon takes another stick and writes Cassie's name at the water's edge. He draws a heart around the name and watches as the lake water laps gently over the etching. Moments later it was almost as if the sand had not been disturbed. Eite follows his motions, giving Jerret's name to the water. Keon gently hugs her as they watch the water claim her lover's name.

A companionable silence falls between them as they watch the moonlight dance over the lake's ripples. Trooper joins them, stretching out on the sand beside Eite.

Dmitri sketches a salute and wanders off to walk a patrol of the clearing. It isn't long before Eite begins to talk quietly. She shares stories with Keon, outings that Jerret had taken her on, places he had taken her to get away from Underdark. He listens, letting her find her good memories. Keon shares his own stories, how he had met Cassie, the nearly disastrous spell, dancing on the shores of the lake, even the trips to Faery. They talk long into the early hours of the morning, watching the sun rise on a new day.

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