34 ~ Aro

Aro hadn’t come by the castle library in a while and, from the looks of it, neither had anyone else. The Librarian had died a few years before, leaving no successor, and now there were fewer clerks than proportionate to normal upkeep.

The library was huge, taking up all of the East Tower and spanning several floors, each one crammed to the rafters with books, maps and all manner of educational and historical resources. Aro had loved it at first sight for its wealth of information and now loved it anew as a secluded spot where he and Anala could disappear.

They’d found the third floor unoccupied and sat sequestered in a far corner, away from the stairwells.

“She knows, Aro,” Anala said. She looked worried.

“How can you tell?”

“It’d just be a feeling I’d have. And I’d know her a mite better than ye do.”

“Even if she does know, is that so bad?”

She gave him a look that made him wish he were a tortuga, able to shrink back into his shell. “I mean, Jules trusts her….”

“And ‘ave we even decided we’re of a mind to trust ‘im?”

“I have, Anala.” I do trust him. That was quick! “Do you trust my judgment?”

“As me major or me lover?” Anala asked.

“Both.” I hope.

Anala sighed. “Yes, dammit. I’d just still be a mite…”

“…Paranoid?” he finished, managing to get a bit of a smile from her. A tired smile. Her eyes were duller than they had been. I still need to ask Ghia to take a look at her.

She was tired enough to suggest she wanted a nap. Aro bit back his concern, since she hated his fussing, and gave her one passionate kiss before they returned to the more populated areas of the castle.


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