Dragonhearts - Page 11

After retreating to my cave to meditate, I did my best to push my exchange with Efreda from my mind, but without success. Even at the deepest levels of meditation, it kept coming back to me.

Mind you, it had help.

You're starting to like her, Gore, the monster chortled in my head.

I've always 'liked' her, I answered with a mental shrug, so deep in my meditations that physical movement would have required coming out of my reverie.

Oh, please, Gore! the monster retorted with a sneer I could feel. You and I are too close for word games to work on me! But suit yourself, I'll say it another way then, it snickered. You're starting to see her as a woman.

She is not a woman! I snapped.

You don't have to convince me of that, Gore, so who are really yelling at here? I was angry enough at the beast's taunts I could have ground my teeth, and almost did, meditation be damned, when the monster's tone became placating. Don't block me out yet, Gore, or you'll miss my point. I'm only saying that you can see it happening, her becoming a woman, I mean. We both can.

So what is your point? I sighed.

My point? it asked with false innocence. Did I say I had one? I forget, but if I did, it's only to point out that she likes you too, you know.

That doesn't matter.

Oh, surely, surely, the monster agreed. She's far too young and all that, but she won't always be . . . and what then? How many more years will your excuses last before she is a women and she makes an offer she does understand and mean?

I remained silent.

You're a starving man watching a fruit tree come into bloom, the monster said, sounding almost sympathetic. Even I have to admire your restraint, but how long do you think you'll be able to stand apart once the fruit is ripe?

Page 11

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