Saturday, April 16, 2011

Open

“You’ve grown in just a few months,” she said, “and this human, there is something about her isn’t there?” She wandered around the room, exploring, and waiting for his reply. She was accustomed to his silence, but after a while, she spoke again. “You’re going to a lot of trouble to hide something from me. I didn’t think you could, and maybe you cannot and just want me…”
“You, on the other hand,” he said evenly, “can hide very little from me. I do not have to explain to you the methods by which I prevent you from harm.” He remained in the bed, not pretending to sleep, but not opening his eyes, or moving. He let her pace and he waited for her to speak, because he knew she could not go for very long without conversation.
“I already know you will not allow me to leave.”She said finally.
“You know your place and purpose here.” He replied. “You came to me; I did not seek you out. Even discounting our past, and for that matter, considering our past, you would do well to stay. Your reasons for coming here exist still. You have caused me trouble, much trouble, and only by staying do you create a situation where any of this is worth my while, or amusement.”
“This human woman,” she changed the subject rapidly, and acknowledged his smile with a wave of a hand, conceding that she would have to stay, “why are you protecting her from me?”
“Be very careful.” He sat up in the bed, and swung his feet to the floor. “You are in no position to threaten me.”
They held each other’s gaze until she looked down. She walked over to the bed and sat down beside him. “Do not think me ungrateful, Regal, please.” She sighed. “This has been hard for me, you know that. I would like only to know what you’re doing. This isn’t at all what we spoke of before.”
“You have to admit,” Regal said, “you would not hesitate to do this, Rhiannon.”
“I know you.” Rhiannon said. “There is more here than killing the priests or you would have left by now, and there is more than just that woman and her plague. You would kill her outright just to teach the humans a lesson.”
“Do not pretend to be stupid, Rhiannon.” Regal warned. “You know why I allow her to live. And she too, is not fair game.”
“Do not patronize me.”
“Stop presenting me with a reason to do so, Rhiannon.” Regal lay back on the bed again. “There is something about this human, yes, I have felt it, seen it, sensed it, but past that you need not look. She does not believe I am who I say I am, she does not believe you are who you are, either, and for the most part, her mind is not accepting of anything she cannot explain on a piece of paper with a pen or put to death with a firearm. Yet you see as clearly as I do what had been marked upon her. This might be accidental…”
“That much?” Rhiannon sneered, but quickly regained her composure. “Apologies.”
“Accepted. But I have much work to do, and I have little time to do this. We, you and I, agreed that in return for the Haven, you would lend me help in this matter, and no, this is not the matter we agreed, but you can tell quite clearly how things have changed. The power you have brought here still does not equal that which might still be flung against me for harboring you, and there are many more who you have…” Regal paused. “Are you listening to me?’
“No,” said Rhiannon, “I am not. You are not speaking of that of which you think. I cannot tell what you are thinking but I can tell you are not speaking about it. How much effort are you going to go through to hide this from me? If I am to help you, as you have helped me and I am grateful for it, you can read this in me, I know you can,…” She paused and stood up and arched her back, catlike and slow, “…I understand the need for securing your plan, but if something happens to me then who will you turn to for help? No, wait, it has nothing to do with that. You cannot be afraid that me being here will cause some sort of attempt on your life for far too many rely on you to be where you are, and for you to do what you do, even…”
“Do not speak that name here!”
“…even he might come to your side were there such an attempt made. This is not going to cause some all out civil war among our kind, no matter what childish tales you whisper to those who run this place. No, you are using me. You are using the pressure from the outside to keep attention away from what is here, as you are also using that mad woman against the rest, and you are using me against them, and all of this, truly, is unworthy of your time, even to reach out and strike at the heart of Rome is a trifle for you, I know you, Regal, you hide something, and it has nothing to do with any of this you have stirred in this small pot you’re cooking here. That woman…”
“That woman has a name.” Regal said. “Colleen.”
“That’s an overly emotional response, Regal, and it is designed to make me believe you’ve taken a pet, but I do not believe it. “ Rhiannon laughed. “I am getting close to the truth here.”
“You have always been able to do more with less than any other Demon I have ever met.” Regal sighed. ‘Very well, as it seems there will be no peace for me in any case…”
“That is not possible.” Rhiannon gasped as Regal opened his mind to her. “Surely you are wrong!”

Take Care,
Mike

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