The world went black for a moment as I flung every bit of my
power towards the woman I called Mother.

But I was too late.  He was already dead and with her
dying breath the creature laughed at me.

I lost myself then.  All I wanted was revenge. 
Everything he’d taught me, I lost in that one moment of rage and
grief.  Gathering all my power, drawing fully on the divine energy
at my disposal, I unleashed my rage and pain on my people. 

My father fell before me, helpless before my righteous
anger.  The Overlord’s guard, once so fearsome and intimidating to
me, I crushed like insects beneath my boots.

Finally, I turned, holding double handfuls of holy fire in my
hands and faced the Overlord.  For the first and last time in my
life, I looked right at Lucan D’Lere.

“Did you really think you could betray me and not pay the
price, little one?”  Like dry, brittle leaves, his voice crackled
in my ears.  “This is what we do to traitors.”

Even as I screamed my defiance and threw the lightning I held
at him, the headsman’s axe fell and I knew no more.


The sun baked the earth on which I knelt and me along with
it.  It had been a hot summer.  As hard and brutal as the
city itself.  I fought with the dry, caked earth to gather what
few roots and herbs I could find.

Washes and potions and the like had become dear as the summer
wore on.  As the supply dwindled, the cost dramatically
increased.  But, a little thing like drought could not be allowed
to stand in the way of armour and weapons craft.  Or poisons…

I heard a rustling behind me and turned, brushing a fallen
lock of white hair out of my eyes.  My hand came down carefully
concealing a knife.  Contrary to popular belief, magic not the
solution to every conflict.

My eyes, unusually pale for a dark elf, scanned the scrub
around me.  Like all of my people my vision is weaker during the
day, but I’m hardly as blind as many think.  It suits me to let
them believe, though.

The rustling came again from my left.  Spinning on my
heels and dropping to my knees, I flung a stunning spell towards the
bush in front of me.  I started towards the bush to see what I had

I sensed the blow coming from behind me, but not in time to
avoid it.  I threw myself forward to the ground, taking some of
the force out of it, but I was still seeing stars.

Hands rolled me onto my back.  I knew I’d have hand
shaped bruises tomorrow, if I was still alive to feel them.  I
began to murmur a spell as I slashed blindly at my attacker with the
dagger in my hand.

A deep masculine chuckle sounded above me and the words of my
spell were crushed by soft, firm lips against my own. 
Galen.  My heart sang his name.

“You need to be more careful, pet.  You almost got me
that time.”  The words flowed around me.  Smooth and dark,
his voice was like soft, heavy fabric wrapping around me.  It
never failed to send shivers through my body.

“Don’t do that!  I could have killed you.” 
I stared up into his eyes, red like fresh blood.

He laughed again and kissed me.  We both knew that I
could never best him in combat.  I melted beneath him and kissed
him back hungrily.

“Where have you been?  I was so worried about
you.”  My hands roamed his body, checking to make sure he was
whole.  “You’ve been gone weeks longer than you should have been.”

Laughing softly he pulled me to my feet and took my face in
his hands.  He kissed me again and looked deep into my eyes.

“Careful there, pet.  I might start to think you’re in
love with me.”

Taller than the average dark elf male, he towered over most
others.  He was half a head taller than I, and his skin, so soft,
was a slightly darker violet than my own.  He’d never favored the
ridiculous hairstyles the other men did and so went bald.  I lay
awake many a night pondering his beauty, and other parts of him.

It was dark when we finally walked into our suite in East
Freeport.  Galen threw my harvests into the corner and crushed me
against his chest.

“Nektulos is a nightmare, love.  Even by our
standards.  More than a few times I was afraid I wouldn’t be
returning to you.”  His words were muffled against my hair and I
could feel his body shaking.

It was one of those rare and beautiful moments when he let me
see all of what he was feeling.  I loved those unguarded
times.  But I hated that look in his eyes.

“You came back, my love.  That is all that
matters.”  I pulled him to the bedroom and spent the rest of the
night taking that haunted look from his face.

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016