23 ~ Caelum

An hour and a half late for the banquet, Caelum was still drying his hair.

He’d spent the morning away from the castle, whether from cowardice or pain he didn’t know. He’d found a place to hide out and sleep―a brothel, where they’d never look for him. They who? he wondered. The spy had run off after Yarrow’s confession, but before his own. That put Yarrow in danger.

He stopped drying his hair, amazed at his own stupidity. His head had been so clouded with guilt he’d forgotten that only Yarrow knew about it. She’d never betray a comrade, no matter how much she hated him.

It was also crueler to let him live with his mistake.

Mistakes, he corrected. First the terrabane itself, then the hiding out when Yarrow needed him the most.

But she won’t even listen to me. How can I protect her if she won’t hear me?

Do you need her to listen before you use your sword, you big dolt? That was his conscience, providing the obvious answer.

Cursing himself, he finished getting ready and hurried out the door in the blink of an eye.

He left his sword behind.


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