Dragonhearts - Page 19

“I have been touched by evil,” I said simply. “Tainted . . . the less you know, the better.”

If there had been more time, I'm sure she would have argued with me. Instead she looked at me with a mixture of compassion and understanding that I had last seen on the face of her sire years ago. “My father always used to tell me that the power of evil is a lie, and that only truth can combat it.”

I shook my head. “Your father was a good man,” I told her. “And I owe him much . . . perhaps everything, but that hardly makes him right.”

She laughed. “He used to say the same of you, Sir . . .” A grimace touched her lips. “I can't believe the only name I have for you is 'Sir Dragon.'”

You gave it to me,” I reminded her. “Could have been worse. At least it wasn't 'Sir Unicorn.'”

She laughed again, and it struck me as weaker than before, but if so, she was doing a fine job of ignoring that. “Well then,” she said with a smile. “Unless you want to start calling you that now, you'd best sit beside me and tell me your real name.”

Again . . . she'd outmaneuvered me again, and there was no denying it! “Gore,” I sighed as I complied and sat next to her on the bed. “My name is Gore.”

She looked at me with utter amusement, then said with mock-seriousness, “I'd stick with Sir Dragon if I were you.”

“You'd have to knight me first, Lady Elfreda,” I retorted with a grin she could hear even if she couldn't see it.

“That's not really within my purview,” Elfreda said with a smile. “But I could write a letter on your behalf if you like.”

I glanced around her bedchamber and its opulence by the standards of the time. “You've done well for yourself,” I observed.

“Yes, I suppose I have,” Elfreda said with slight shrug which caused her to grimace. “But thanks to you,” she added with a glare, “there's no time left to talk about my life without you, so let me see your face while I still have sight.” She winced in pain, but did her best to downplay it. “And be quick about it!”

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