Myrddin lifts his ebon travel leathers
engages the safetys
checks the arrays
both hidden and showing
She enters the silent room silently
He signals that he knows she is there
with a slight shift of his stance
much the same way he would shift his position
to defend against an assassin’s stealth attack
The difference being
that she would very likely leave unscathed
“Myrddinÿ . . .””
“She speaks . . .
I am honored.”
“Don’t be like that.
Why are you behaving in this fashion””
He slides his gear into place
Turns to face her head on
A move seldom attempted
the tension level in the room skyrockets
“Myrddin. . .why””
“I love you.
I wanted you to love me.”
“I love you as a mentor.
Your wisdom rises above us
like a mountain above the plains.”
“You love me as Nimue loved Merlin
Seeking to learn all my spore
but withholding yourself.”
“Its creepy when you talk like that.”
He moves to pick up his travel pack
She moves to block him
more by strategy than physically blocking him
He counters with a move she has never seen
He says, “I didn’t teach you everything I know.”
“Then teach me.”
“I love you.
I love you as a man loves a woman.
Now, show yourself to be more than a child.
“Why are you going there”
A man your ageÿ . . .might not . . .”
“I am retasked as a seeker
and seekers go to the Far Places.”
“But why did you volunteer””
“I knew I would go when I was
promoted from guardian class.
Yes, before we had even met.”
“So, you wanted me to love you
knowing you were going to the Far Places””
“I have walked the Loop
and I have seen my suffering there.
From you I wanted a reason to live,
to continue living.”
“You wanted me to love you
knowing you were going to leave””
“I only asked a token
Not your sex
nor your vows
But you could not even give me
the token of your affection.”
“You want . . .”
“From you I want nothing
except passage from this room.”
He moves toward the door
and she yields
The creek of his leathers
follows him out of the room
Silence pours in from the Void
to fill the spaces he leaves behind