Dragonheart - Page 9

It wasn't the pain, per se, although there was pain aplenty, the worst I had ever experienced, in fact, but it was “only” pain, and it was all the easier to bear because I knew it wasn't mine. What really hurt was how knowing this forced me to acknowledge the full depths of my own selfishness and egotism.

Let's just say I found that . . . humbling, and humility is something I do neither well nor often, but in that moment, not only did I feel I humble, I felt something else I feel even less often than humility.

Tears . . . and they were all mine, though they were shed for the both of us.

They were shed over how life had betrayed us both, doing us unimaginable hurt in the process. They were shed over the unfairness of it all, and they were shed in both plea and protest to any and all Powers who allowed such things to happen in the first place.

Fine, be that way! I silently snarled at the Powers on her behalf, as well as my own, when once again they evidently deemed a reply to be unnecessary. We'll just have to fix it without you then!

And then, for the first time since I had bid farewell to the only woman I had ever loved, I felt her joyful presence once more . . . and felt at peace.

Such a sentiment had long been denied to me, and I knew it might be long in coming my way again, so even as I felt the tears rolling down my face and on to the tortured skin of the child, I did what any self-respecting cynic would do.

I used it.

“Uruz Laguz, Gebo Jeraz,” I intoned. “Uruz Laguz, Gebo Jeraz.”

Pointless theatrics on my part, really. Saying it once would have been enough, and technically I didn't even need to say it out loud, but for a moment, I fell back into type.

“Uruz Laguz, Gebo Jeraz!” I repeated in a louder voice before culminating in thundering reverberation of “Uruz Laguz, Gebo Jeraz!”

The parents fell back in shock at my apparent ravings, then drew closer once more at the sound of their baby's cry joining my own.

Page 9

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