Dragonheart - Page 13

“There's a cabin nearby,” I continued. “I have no use for it, so it's yours now so long as you respect my privacy. I will provide you a comfortable stipend and there is village nearby that will be able to see to your other needs if you do exactly as I say. Do you understand?”

He nodded. “Yes, my lord.”

“Good,” I said with satisfaction. “Now you are going to leave my cave and never bother me again.”

“But--” he began, but I had already decided this conversation was over. He vanished from my sight before he could say another word.

He and his family were at this point, no doubt, looking around in wonder at their new home, and whatever he had to say, he could say it to them; they had a better chance of being interested. As an afterthought, I healed his feet and remembered to send them a small pouch of coins to help them settle in.

You're feeling pretty pleased with yourself right now, aren't you, Gore? the monster in my soul asked. You shouldn't be, you know.

I ignored it.

Everything you've done today – everything - is precisely what I wanted you to do. Your self-pitying isolation was making you numb to your misery, but now?

It lingered on an obscene chuckle.

Now “all” you have to do to keep her safe is to stay away from her, but we both know you won't be able to do that. You couldn't even bring yourself to let her be that far from you, and for what? Because she was the first “good” thing to touch your life since we met . . .or was it for a less savory reason than that?

I continued to ignore its barbs, which only served to infuriate it.

Your life will be a new kind of misery from now on, Gore! it screamed in my head. I promise you this!

“But I'll live,” I retorted with a shrug.

I am an immortal power of limitless corruption, Gore, it sneered. What do you have that deludes you into believing that you can withstand my influence for much longer?

“What do I have?” I asked rhetorically as I smiled. “I have her to remind me why I'm going to do just that . . . for all eternity, if need be.”

Page 13

Previous ~ Index