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As regards our man Firewing: I can tell you that whatever Westel has done in the past, in the present he is kind and gentle and understanding with me.  He is loyal and passionate… and so very sweet to me, Kuvasei.  He treats me with intelligence and respect.  His love for me is conveyed in his actions as well as his words. 

Astoreth blinked up from her parchment at a shriek from Stavier, farther down the hill.  “Of course I can feel my bloody fucking leg,” the Blood Knight was howling at a dispassionate Forsaken.  “It’s the one that bloody fucking hurts.”  The priest said something in response that Astoreth couldn’t hear, and did something to make Stavier scream again.

Obviously this was going to take a while.  The warlock readjusted herself on her perch of igneous rock, tapped her pen to her lips and reread the paragraph she had just written, pondering her next words carefully.

Still, she continued in flowing script, this talk of me marrying him and forming a family is rather putting the cart before the horse – and the idea that I would form a family that excludes you is flatly absurd.  You are my daughter, and I would never shun you or shut you out. Meanwhile, I am still married to Bareris, and we are trying to work out our issues… and even were I to leave Bareris the last thing I would want to do is jump right into another marriage, regardless of how much I cared for the man who was doing the asking. 

She paused again, frowning. So clinical.  I should say something more about Bareris, she thought.  Something about how she loved Bareris… something about how torn she really was, instead of speaking of leaving him like it was a foregone conclusion.  It’s not.  But what could she say that Kuvasei would be willing to hear?  That wouldn’t engender more questions, more doubt?  More fear in her already fearful daughter?

I can’t blame Kuvasei for worrying that she’s going to lose me, Astoreth realized.  Some days I feel as if I’ve lost myself.


“We’re moving again.  Are you coming or not?” Stavier snapped nearby, startling Astoreth once again.

She grinned at him, watching the Blood Knight as he folded his arms and gave her a foul look.  “Oh look at that!” she chirped, “You’re hardly even limping.  Kelist does good work.”  Stavier snorted, scowled fiercely and grumbled as he turned away, giving Astoreth a chance to scribble one last line.

I would have to carefully consider the wisdom in ever marrying again.  I am still not so certain it was a good idea the first time.