|Mirium bristled a little at Malcotin’s parting words, but she gave a polite nod anyway, and withdrew to the other side of the room to await her husband.|
Keelath thanked the man and then joined Mirium. “What is it?” There was impatience in his voice. Mirium just stopped and looked at him hard.
“I have a bad feeling about this, Keelath.”
Keelath frowned. “But what he can offer…all the things we’ve talked about. All the most pressing problems–he has answers.”
“Doesn’t that make it even more suspicious?” Mirium asked with a wince. “Talthan was last seen in this city. He could be anywhere, making more plots…”
“If he is, then he’s truly obsessed,” Keelath said dryly.
“Do you doubt me?”
Keelath took a careful breath–more to make a point than to actually breathe, of which he no longer needed to do. “…no. No, I don’t. But what other options do we have? Truly? Even if he is a con artist, there may be something to learn here.”
Mirium shrugged. “We have Ayo’s temple and his Loa of All Names. The magic that exorcised Evelos and let him heal his body and soul. The Light…”
Keelath looked stony. “I would at least listen to what this man has to say. If it is the real thing…”
“I won’t challenge you on that,” Mirium said wearily. “Just, please, be careful. We’re not that long out of the war, and people might remember you for who you served–try to take advantage of you for it.”
“I have the Doomguard to back me.”
“Yes,” said Mirium softly. “And they are good people. But…” She looked down at the floor.
“Mirium?” Despite his irritation, he knew she wouldn’t be making such a big deal of it if she wasn’t truly concerned. He took a step closer to her, reaching for her hand.
“Just be careful,” Mirium said.
“You’re not coming with me?”
“Do you want me to?”
Keelath frowned. “Honestly, yes. You are my wife, and this affects you, does it not? Nor am I going to keep you in the dark like Talthan did…or how I did while I served…her.” He closed his eyes in a wince. “I will not make that mistake again.”
“…thank you, dalah’surfal.” She really meant it. She took his offered hand and brought it to her chest, leaned into him.
“Um,” grunted Keelath, putting an arm about her by old reflex, but he didn’t feel her warmth, or smell her scent beyond that which all living beings gave off to him: of food and blood. But if Malcotin could change that… “We made a promise to each other that we would beat this curse of undeath, whatever it took. This is my fulfilling of that promise.”
“I know, dear.”
“There’s nothing I can say to convince you?”
“You know the answer to that already, dearheart.”
They stood together for a while, holding each other, their physical closeness communicating what their words could not. Then, leaving a kiss in her hair, Keelath made his way towards the rooms indicated by Malcotin for their dinner. With only a slight hesitance, Mirium followed after him.