I’m not nearly so drunk that I cannot remember what happened last night. As I sit up in the bed, her form lying still beside me and silent save the rhythm of her breath, I nearly stumble over the long inky form lying at the foot of the bed.
“Damn cat, been here the whole time?” I whisper, reaching down to scratch behind an ear.
The bottle of wine’s where we left it on the small table, when a desire to drink from other things arose. I take it up, and drain it in a single draught. There wasn’t much left to begin with. I move over to the balcony, open the doors. The night air is cool on my bare skin as I walk out into the night. I look down, watching the comings and goings of those who keep odd hours here in the city of Karnas. There are many.
We came here as guardians and advisors to the ambassador of Fallscliff. The rulers of Fallscliff, my aunt Winter among them, asked us to come to Karnas. It was a long journey and we were joined by an orphan magus by the name of Victor Sightbender, an old acquaintance of Erima’s.
I still feel alone. My closest friend is gone. I don’t know most of these people I find myself amongst, can I trust them? Except… last night…
I wasn’t alone. I do trust her, of all of them. Yet I’d thought that I’d confined some of the things we did last night to my wildest dreams. We danced at the gathering, she and I. We held fast to one another in a sea of horrors that surrounded us. I’d not thought that a kiss would be returned, and certainly not thought that our night would be spent together. Whether my charm and grace finally caught her in a way that was flattering instead of annoying for a change, or fortune had decided to smile upon me finally, I cannot say. But you’ll hear no complaints.
She’s a good woman, a good friend. I care for her, certainly. We’ve been through a lot together. And I’ve definitely let more of my feelings slip for her than I ever have for any other woman.
I keep thinking about what she’s going to say when she wakes up. She was pretty set on keeping me to herself last night it seemed. Am I going to be kicked out of her room this morning? I didn’t mark her as that drunk last night, will she use that as an excuse? Or will she admit the emotional bond she feels with me? I have to admit, there wasn’t much talking going on last night on either of our parts, but there was something there…
I rise, glancing out into the night sky again one more time. Few know the shadowy depths of a man’s heart. Fewer still realize the depths of their own shadows. I slide back over to the bed, where she’s already sprawled to cover well over half of it. I roll my eyes in the darkness, and climb back in pressing against her warm body, slipping an arm around her waist.
“Scoot over a little, love,” I whisper softly to her.
I’ll stay, if she’ll have me. Maybe we’ll make it through all of this mess.