Disclaimer: Drow not mine, no money made…

LadyJanelly: Good to hear that. If I get some time I may translate Angel hiss… this month I've got lots to do though.

EmeraldEyes924: I just couldn't let him stay with the mage and leave Andy to fend for himself!

Alhana: No, Giciel is too proud to beg, although I must admit that I was tempted to let him do just that:-)


C

Farewell

C

Soft footsteps that are approaching the half closed door prompt me to look up from the plate where I had idly been playing with the leftovers of my meal.

"So tell me. Is he your lover?"

I do my best to hold back a fit of inappropriate laughter at the pathetic sight of an upset Giciel who blurts out his question before he has even fully entered the room. Some of the mirth must have shown though, because his lips become a thin line and his hands curl into tight fists.

"Don't mock me." He snaps suddenly irritated.

"He may not be." I try to appease him. "But truly, I don't really know." And that is the truth. While we were required to sleep with each other and did so for personal comfort as well as for the entertainment of others Andy's and my relationship is not what one would normally consider to be one of lovers. What it is though I have no way of telling.

Of course the eleven mage is not satisfied with my vague answer and frowns. Should I be blunt now? It lacks elegance, but I have no wish to spend much time in silly word play either and decide that yes I will present him with one opportunity and one only.

"If you are referring to the question of who will share my bed tonight, well that depends. I would be willing to go with you should you wish it."

He looks as if there is somebody beside him violently dragging their nails across a blackboard, but that was to be expected considering his high moral values. I will give him time to think this through and come to a conclusion.

"This is not about sex." He tries to soothe his conscience.

"Maybe not for you, but let me be honest: "I warn him. "Sex is all you'll get from me."

"How can you … how…?"

"What?" I ask with a raised brow. "How can I offer myself like that? Let me tell you, this is nothing compared to what I've been forced to do. See it as a favor if you wish. I don't mind, but I'll offer only once so decide now."

He stares at me torn between his physical desires and the voice of conscience that must be screaming at him to refuse, apparently unable to come to a decision and after two minutes I grow tired of waiting for him to overcome his ethics, shrug and walk towards the door. He hasn't moved from his position so my way passes him by mere inches. Maybe it is this closeness that prompts him to finally act and reach out for my arm. I don't know and neither do I care. I stop though and turn to regard him with a slight smile. In a way it is very satisfying to see this powerful, arrogant mage so distressed by the effects of nothing more than one single short night spend with me. If I played my cards right I could even have him beg me I believe, but this is not what I want. I want to leave tomorrow and forget the past, preferably aided by a large amount of alcohol.

"Why do you have to leave?"

He can't even bear to look at me, his voice filled with hopeless promise.

"You know I have to." I say softly, lightly putting a hand on his chest. "But you have been kind to me. I'm actually starting to like you and want to do something to make you happy if only for a short while, so I'm offering you the only thing that is mine to give at the moment in the hope that you may remember me with something more than regret."

I have scarcely said the last word when he pulls me close and silences me with a desperate, bruising kiss. I don't resist and let his hands clasp my shoulders, suppressing a slight wince at the force of his grip. He says nothing, being aware of the fact that it wouldn't change anything, but his urgency is hard to miss. Suddenly I'm rather glad that he has so much moral restraint. It would be only too easy for him to simply force me to stay here, whether I wanted to or not.

As soon as he has calmed down a bit his touch gets a more tender quality, for which I silently thank the Gods, knowing that it would only pain him more to find out that he has, however inadvertently, caused me this kind of discomfort.

In one graceful movement I slip from his encircling arms and tug on one wide sleeve with an inviting smile, indicating that we should go to his room. I certainly have no wish to let Ayren see us should she decide to stop sulking and come out again. Another of her tantrums would be too much to bear at the moment and it would be just like her to have that kind of timing! Fortunately we don't encounter her on the way and once I have closed the door behind me I can relax a bit.

The following hours are spent in a very pleasant manner, even though I must say that the quiet reverence in his gaze makes me feel a bit uneasy. No one has ever looked at me like that and I don't quite know how to react to it. He does not mark me; on the contrary: as yesterday he makes every effort to be as gentle as possible. There is only this look. Lust, want or disdain all these things I'm familiar with, but this is something I haven't encountered before. I'm glad when he finally slips into a deep exhausted sleep and his eyes are closed so I don't have to see it anymore.

The next morning surprises me with a grey, gloomy looking sky. Oh great so this is the weather we'll have to endure on our trip to the next bigger town? It'll probably start to pour with rain as soon as we set a foot outside! Wonderful. I'm still determined to leave though, not wanting to be trapped between three jealous elves any longer than strictly necessary. I would like nothing more now than to go to the next tavern and get really, really drunk just to celebrate the fact that I still can, but that will have to wait until we have actually managed to get somewhere without being assaulted and killed on the road. Even though I think that most rouges won't make a Drow their preferred target.

As I stand there looking out of the window I can suddenly feel Giciel's gaze at my back.

"You are still going to leave aren't you?"

The words hang in the air almost palpable. He sounds sad. I don't answer and only continue to look outside so I don't have to meet his eyes. What would I say anyway?

"Why? Tell me! Why do you insist on throwing your life away to go with that Drow?"

With my back turned to him he does not see how my jaw clenches at his words or he'd stop talking.

"He will betray you one day can't you see that?"

That does it. Suddenly my temper flares and I whirl around.

"Do you think I don't know that better than anyone? That I don't know what Drow are like?" I yell at him. "Do you think I still care about betrayal after my own family cast me out and left me to fend for myself without even having tangible proof of my guilt? All I want to do is to forget and that is nothing you could help me with."

He is pale now and quiet under the force of my anger. I should probably stop now, but an instant later I find myself twisting the verbal knife even further, too angry to care about the wounds it'll leave.

"That Drow as you call him has gone through the same things I have. He understands me better than you ever could. You may want me, hell no you've had me, but you don't know me at all! So don't tell me you fucking care."

He remains silent for the moment, face an unreadable mask, hands clutching the blanket so hard that his knuckles are nearly white and suddenly I don't want to hear anything he has to say so I flee, practically run out of the room and lock myself in the bathing chamber. Seems like I'm not the only one in my family who retreats behind locked doors when in emotional turmoil.

Well since I'm already here I can just as well take a bath I decide in an effort to see the logical side of this crappy morning. It may be a bit brazen to do this after screaming at him in such a way, but he can always come and throw me out if he dares.

He doesn't and for one blissful hour I can forget where I am and what problems I'll face as soon as I step out of this comforting haven of warm, scented water. All good things have to come to an end though and after hat hour I drag myself out of the tub and start worrying again. We'll need provisions to get somewhere and after my outburst I'm not sure that Giciel will be inclined to give us anything. As much as I hate it, I'll most likely have to go and apologize to him. With that thought I slowly make my way towards the kitchen assuming that he'll be there by now. And he is. Standing at the table, his hands full with dishes, but before I can even open my mouth to force out the words he notices me and bursts out: "I'm sorry! I have no right to interfere with your life."

When I don't react, too stunned by this unexpected turn of events he adds: "It is true really. I will not keep you here, not after what I've done to you."

I don't exactly know what he means by that, but I guess it's good for me so I don't complain and just nod.

"Don't worry." I say. "It's ok."

Thankfully we don't get time to discuss these matters any further, as Andy arrives apparently all ready and set to be off as soon as possible and the two waste no time in continuing their little glaring contest. Needless to say that I've had breakfasts in my life far nicer and more relaxed than this one. Ayren is not present, which makes the whole affair a bit more bearable, but not much. I'm incredibly relieved when the whole ordeal is over and we can finally get ready to depart.

Giciel doesn't say anything else and when we do leave, provisioned quite generously with blankets and the like, I refuse to turn back not wanting to see him look at me. Andy shows no such inhibitions and throws him one last glare, mixed with a considerable measure of triumph before he turns to me again.

"Where are we going?"

I shrug.

"Don't know. Next bigger city should be fine. We'll see what happens."

Yes we'll see. Suddenly the thought seems quite exiting to me.


A/N: OK this one's over as well, but I promise I'll try to write a sequel. I have grown to like Andy and Toren quite a lot and don't want to leave them like this. It may take some time though as I'll have only little free time until the end of July.

Anyway, thank you all for your support during my first fanfic! I loved hearing from you.

Singvogel