She woke in his arms to find him still sleeping. He had been wrestling with the blankets again, and they were tangled up on his side of the bed. His arm was still around her, and he'd pulled her close.
For a while, she simply watched him--chest rising and then falling while he dreamt.
He had promised her that they would be together; come Midsummer, nothing would keep them apart.
And she believed him.
He was a man of his word--Hadrian Locke--always trying to do the right thing.
And she loved him with every part of herself.
And yet, the darkness was still there--taunting her as she knew it taunted him. Their promises were the desperate need to defy their own fears of what lay before them.
And she had believed him when he told her that he was over them--Lesetoilles and Aaron--that they would always be a part of him, but that he had room in his heart for her, as well. But then, she had wanted to believe him when he said that. And more, she needed to believe it was true.
And I'll find the right things to say to him when his heart is troubled, and he remembers that they are dead. I'll hold him close--just like this, and I'll listen to his sorrows until he finds peace from them.
..and I will love him, as no one has ever loved him before.
A snide voice whispered in the back of her mind, And keep secrets from him as you are doing--searching into matters that were his brother's concern. What do you think he will do when he finds out what you're doing? How do you think he'll feel when he learns that your secret endeavors delve into the darkness that your past lover kept?
Will he? that dark voice continued. Will he believe, then, that your love for him is true? -Especially- now that you've told him about Alexandyr's drunken words and your own desires when you see him?
He knows me better than that.
A heavy sigh left her lips.
I'll tell him. When the time is right, I'll tell him.
Just not right now. He's got enough to worry about, and so do I.
With that, she dismissed the voice from her mind and leaned forward, pressing a kiss to cheek before she slipped from his grasp, grabbing her boots from beside the bed.
Five hundred gold pieces weren't going to find themselves, and although she had enough for a fifth of the payment now, the four- fifths that remained weren't going to earn themselves. And she couldn't ask for the money, either. Hadrian would want to know what it was for, and Alexandyr would attatch strings to the whole affair--strings that frightened her more than she cared to admit.
No. She'd find a way to earn the money herself. She knew a few shops that bought herbs, and before they headed out, she could probably collect a few--and undoubtedly a few more while they were on patrol in Redridge. She also knew that Netanel might have a use for her copying abilities--something she could do at night before bed and have the documents delivered back to him.
And then there was Aderyn. There were few secrets she could keep from him, linked as they were. Perhaps she could persuade him to lend her a bit of coin; after all, he'd always know where she was.
With a soft laugh and one last look back to her beloeved Hadrian, she smiled and headed out to begin the day. There would be the trip to Stormwind to leave the money for Kazio, though that would be after she spent some time picking herbs in the forest for a while. And then she'd have to try and get a meeting with Netanel. That one might have to wait until the campaign was done, but she'd at least leave a message for him at the Cathedral.
And Aderyn she'd try to catch during her sojourn in the wood. And tonight, she'd settle down with Raley and go over the accounts one last time. She was leaving him in charge of it all while she was out on the field, and it was through him, she'd be requisitioning whatever purchases the Vanguard would need while on campaign--a thought that ought to trouble her more, she supposed. But she could think on that tomorrow as they headed out toward their new home for the next several weeks.