“You love me?”
“You must know that I do.”
“When did that happen?”
“I’m not sure, but it did. All I know is from the moment that we first met I didn’t want to be apart from you. Not ever.”
“But we’ve planned out your life for you. As I watch you make this journey I realize that, while I may live, it could cost you your life.” She was insistent, leaving no stone of doubt unturned.
“Yours would be a worthy cause to die for.”
She started to cry; quiet tear tracks streaked down her face as she let my arms envelop her. She felt so right there; my arms were made to hold only her.
“And would you grieve for me if I were to die during this journey? Would you feel the same devastation that I’d feel if I lost you?”
She didn’t speak for a moment and I worried that I had asked too much of her. I was mortal; she was a goddess. What if I’d imagined there was more between us than there actually was?
“I would lose part of my soul. I’ve always known that there could be no one else for me.”
My heart was trying to pound its way out of my chest. “Even without the Pagan prophecies?” This had been a silent fear of mine from the beginning. We were really laying it all out on the table now.
“The prophecies paved the way for us to be together, but I wonder if I’d have found you even without them.” Tenderness colored her words.
“You’ve no idea what you’ve given me. Before you came into my life, I was on my own. The world was gray and unfeeling. There was no sense of belonging for me, no welcoming home. Only Gran’s home was a refuge and one that I rarely had the privilege of seeking. I met you that day on the beach, and you brought light and warmth into my life. I wanted you. You gave me this incredible sense of belonging. I can’t explain it.”
“You don’t have to. I understand.”
“You’re everything that I could ever have imagined for myself and more.” I thought briefly about the journals and drawings that I’d dedicated to Calienta. When this ordeal ended, I’d show them to her and give them to her as a wedding present, if I had the opportunity to marry her.
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