The smell of smoke lingered in the air, burnt embers of scrolls circling up, up to the sky, carrying with them her sorrow, her loneliness, her Call to bring him home.
“You are foolish, Sister.”
“My heart is not as foolish as you think.”
“He will not come for you.”
“He will come, Daenia.”
Yllya looked at her Elder Sister with a mixture of pity and contempt – Daenia had known little of love other than its treachery and bitterness, so she understood that she would save her Younger from such a fate, yet she was so blind to love now that she saw only the hopes of a lonely Spinster and not the truth of the connection Yllya and Kian had, a connection she was sure had rooted as deep into her as her very veins. So, she simply smiled, the lines of middle age crinkling the corners of her eyes, her ample flesh moving gracefully under her black robes as she rose from her seat upon the rocky ground, her long raven hair falling gracefully over an ivory shoulder.
“He will hate you for it.”
“Hate me for loving him? Come, Daenia, certainly you can hear the foolishness in your own words.”
“He will hate you for breaking his focus, he will hate you for filling his thoughts of you and not his objective.”
Yllya thought for a moment, tears beginning to fill her eyes. “My intention is not to sway his purpose – ”
“He is already swayed! Even now I hear the talk of crows heralding his impending arrival, of him scribing scrolls to you in the midst of the campaign!”
“He will complete his objective and then come to me. This is the only message the scrolls held, that he come to me in all swiftness and fury once the deed is done and the Mark secured.”
“He will come to you, perhaps, but when he sees what a lie you have concocted of yourself he will reject you, and then all will be for naught.”
Tears fell down Yllya’s face as she watched Daenia depart, an owl suddenly alighting upon a boulder in front of her, blinking curiously before gliding to her shoulder and nipping her earlobe.
“Listen not to the old crone’s mutterings, dear child,” the owl cooed in her ear, “Kian is yours, and you are his – not even the crows in their mischief can counter that spell.”
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