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Compassion

- - - - - compassion

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#1
Adammair Walker

Adammair Walker

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Adam sat alone in the Keg and Anchor, an untouched glass of wine before him, experience untasted.

Emotions swirled inside him, worry foremost among them.

Keina and Kimi lay in the Trinsic healers, one of them ill, the other horribly injured. Adam had no idea what had befallen them – his whispered questions to Kaelyn had gone unanswered. He had watched as Kimi performed the healer’s arts upon the girl and Keina had seemed to rally – at least her breathing grew stronger and more regular.

Then Rak’suun, the Drow guard, asked Alraune to help and ordered Adam to leave.

So Adam sat now in a deserted tavern, concern gnawing like a rat in his gut.

The significance of the guard’s order was not lost on him. Alraune had found a place in Trinsic – she had friends, purpose, clients for her tarot readings, although her plan to open a salon had so far been thwarted, but Adam felt as rootless as he had when first they came to Trinsic. He had no comrades, no purpose, and no role within the city.

Sometimes he felt like nothing more than a shadow upon its streets.

Two of the only beings he had come to care about lay grievously injured not fifty paces away and he was not even allowed to aid them, though what aid he might have offered, he knew not.

Alraune’s help was wanted and appreciated. She had touched the dreams of many, advised with her cards, and she was sought after, renowned for her gifts. No wonder she had been asked to remain with the injured.

He finally tasted the wine and it was bitter and sour so he left it there and headed for the west gate, down empty streets, the pale light of the moons golden upon the sandstone of the city’s walls and buildings.

Had it been noon, the by-ways teeming, he would have been just as alone.

Adam had no place in Trinsic – what he had mistaken for acceptance was only indifference and he supposed that was enough.

He waited awhile in the house he shared with Alraune – where she had built the Salon that she had not yet managed to open – and worry crouched like a snarling beast at his feet.

He considered taking his bow and going alone to find prey; he thought of the hedge maze and the creatures imprisoned there by ancient magic but even as he rose to go, he heard Alraune’s feet upon the stairs.

She came into the room, an air of sorrow around her as tangible as the scent of nightshade.

“Are they . . .” he began, the hound of anxiety tearing at him now, but she stilled him with a touch.

“They are in good hands,” she said as she removed her cloak. “I think they will be all right.”

“You were needed there,” Adam said, holding her.

“I am no healer, Adam” she answered and there was a chill in her voice that froze his heart for a moment. She paused a long moment and he saw the play of emotions in the depths of her ebon eyes, a resignation and a vow. “I should not have gotten involved nor allowed myself to care so much. It is not my nature.” Her voice faded to a candle flame’s whisper. “Emotions only blind.” Adam reached up and stroked her cheek, the heaviness of her words weighing down his ability to reply.

“I wanted to help her…help them. What have I managed to do other than cause false hope, and more pain? I read the cards; it is not my place to play them.”

He held her close and they were alone together in the night, beside the city but not a part of it.

“We will travel,” Adam kissed her forehead and lead her to the stairs and their room above the Salon. They would seek experience and sensation in other cities, other lands, seek distance and with it, perhaps perspective. He would find other things to fill Alraune’s purpose, to keep the darkness at bay.

Compassion was a distant country. Perhaps they would find it together.





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