“In another time, another place, you might have been reason enough for me to stay,” I hear myself saying. I kiss him, and he kisses me back, and for a moment, I feel the same thing I did the night I spent with him: belonging, acceptance, and maybe even affection.
The sweetest goodbye I’ll ever give, or get.
“Will I see you again?” he asks.
“In another time, maybe. Another place.”
Sanja would never know the gift she had given him, simply by being there, holding the world at bay. Were he a braver man, he would tell her, and risk terrifying her into fleeing. Were he an honest man, he would tell her she was now irreversibly bound to his company for as long as she lived. But in that moment, Fal was neither brave, nor honest. He was the Prince of Deceit, and Sanja was the only thing keeping him from drowning.
Ragnarok be damned. He didn’t care about Synealee, or Wilderheim, or the Otherlands. In that moment, he didn’t want his Power back. All he wanted was more of this: cold rain on his face, peace in his mind, and Sanja in his arms. She made him human. He could love her, just for that.
In The Works
Graeme whirled on her, stopping her in her tracks. One angry finger pointing at her nose, he snarled, “We are not doing this. I’m not here for a reunion. We are different people now. The past happened to someone else, and that’s the way it’s gonna stay. Got it?”
For all his bluster, she saw that blue-violet gaze of his dip ever so briefly to her lips. She could feel how much he wanted to kiss her again. And she could see by the way his mouth twisted in distaste how much he hated himself for it. “Yes, I understand you want us to be strangers.”
Maybe he was right; their youth had been another lifetime and Isabelle had long ago buried the young girl who’d had such impossible, romantic dreams for the future. “In that case, I’m pleased to meet you, Mr. Iskander. I’ve heard a lot about you. Your service to the crown does you honor.”