The dream came again.
This time it made sense, but still sweat stuck the sheets to my naked skin despite winter’s cruel grasp on the city. Perhaps it wasn’t wise or polite to sleep naked in the Queen’s Palace and my mind revolted against my lack of etiquette and sense. Or perhaps the truth behind the lies I had been told didn’t want to sleep anymore. Had I cried out? Apparently when I had the dreams in the Madison I had. My pounding heart was heard to hear over, but blissful silence echoed through the suites, Samanthya was still asleep in her bed undisturbed by my nocturnal fright. Nevertheless, since Givanni had tried to take me back to the ballad and the execution of one of my fellow Physicians, Kain le Destral, sleep had not come easy. Thank the Mother for makeup up, koreroot and ample amounts of invigorating teas.
“One two three, one two three.” His voice was deeper than the Lord Keeper’s as soft breath brushed against my check. It smelled vaguely of spiced rum as he chanted the beat to our dance. His arm was wrapped tightly around me waist as he pulled me close, I could feel the muscle of his body against my back and through the coarse linen of his robes. In front of me, the gleaming metal of the swinging axe kept coming, slicing the air mere inches from my face as the Tenebrae manouvered me skillfully out of the way of the demon. Despite my terror, or maybe because of it, I felt an ache for the man who danced with my life.
“I’ll cut through her just to get to you, you bastard,” the man chasing us growled as he swung wildly again. my fear rose as a table splintered from the power of the blow. What chance would I have should that blade crash into my flesh? I would be dead, laid flat out on the cold table of my own morgue, shoved into one of the cramped shelves until they buried my into a lonely, visitorless grave in the cathedral yard.
“Save me.” my voice came hoarse as hysteria began to take me. I forced myself to turn in the Tenebrae’s arms so he could see the desperation in words was truth. “Save me!”
“I’ve never been one for good ideas,” his soothing voice whispered to me. Then there was pain as he let me drop to the floor in a pool of my own blood.
“Save me,” I cried again hoarsely, turning to the demon now for salvation as I clutched at the wound in my side.
The Justiciar ignored my pleas as he stepped over my dying body, his hands clutched white-knuckled to the haft of the axe.
Had he been one rib up, he would have punctured through the bottom of my lung and I would have died. If he had been one rib down, my intestines would have spilled them and poisoned my body. He could have easily done either and ended my life but instead the physical wounds were minor in consequence. Had he known? Was it on purpose? Had he saved my life by taking me out of the equation? Had Regilus expected me to live or to die, or even remember what happened? What I had been told in my bed was all lies and now I knew the truth my stomach felt sick that the man had been more than willing to kill me and now rode on the shoulders of the city for saving me.
Naer Nivios. Danat le Vesenia. Tenebrae. Thank you.