Welll... here's the end... It kinda makes me sad to finally finish this, and I hope you'll all forgive me for my um... erratic timing... Thank you all for reading and reviewing!

Chapter 17

Being back among the others felt good. Liselle rode alongside him, and words need not be exchanged, so they trotted along at a leisurely pace, sharing their thoughts in their silence. Belgarath and Beldin rode somewhere at the front, arguing about something with Polgara while Eriond rode with Garion and Ce'Nedra in front of Durnik, who was deep in conversation with Sadi as Toth rode silently, listening. It was refreshing, Silk decided. There was something comforting about the calm sanity of his companions.

"Kheldar?" Liselle asked softly.

It was the first exchange between them since the night before. Silk looked at her, smiling, but upon seeing her expression, he realized she was not suggesting conversation. Instead, she wordlessly pointed to his left. Unsure, he followed her gaze and saw the warehouse that he knew he'd remember for the rest of his life. However, it was not the warehouse itself that was remarkable, it was the trail of blood leading through the door.

The rest of their group had paused, and Belgarath was looking at him questioningly. Silk nodded. He knew what he would find inside, but he wanted the satisfaction of seeing it, for himself, and for the Nadrak dancer. "Liselle?" He questioned.

She shook her head. "No, you go."

Silk nodded and dismounted, along with Belgarath, Garion, Sadi and Durnik. Silk ignored the others and drew a dagger as a precaution as he followed the blood trail.

As he expected, he found Khelvor laid out, throat slit and an expression of terror on his face. On his chest was a piece of paper, which Belgarath picked up and handed to him wordlessly. Almost dreading what it would say, Silk looked down at it.

And so my blunder is repaired

Zandramas,

Silk handed it to Belgarath, not trusting himself to speak. A strange sadness had welled in his heart upon the sight of Khelvor's corpse. Despite all Khelvor had been responsible for, he was still a friend lost, and this wrenched at his heart, even as a feeling of satisfied anger countered it. The others were speaking, but Silk didn't hear what they were saying. It didn't seem to matter.

He looked back at Khelvor and knelt by his former friend, trying to control conflicting feelings within him. Tearing his eyes away from the man's wide eyes, Silk noticed another sheet of paper crumpled in Khelvor's hand. Shaking slightly, Silk reached forward and took it from the corpse's cold fingers and unfolded it carefully. Even after many years, Silk recognized Khelvor's tidy scrawl.

Kheldar, I write this as an apology. I know that by the time you read this, I will be dead, for Zandramas, as I am told is slow to forgive. We were friends once, and now I regret the breaking of our friendship. Had I not been so eager for revenge, perhaps I would have escaped this fate, perhaps we could have been friends again. I am sorry for all the pain that I caused you and Liselle. I never intended to harm her at the Academy, but as you say, I was obsessed, and now I realize it was not love and never was, nor will it ever be, but I wish her to know, that in death, I am her friend. I don't expect you to forgive me, for I would never be able to had it been me, but I want you to know my true feelings now.

Before I end this, I must warn you. If I remember you correctly, you were quite apt, and therefore I assume that you knew of the Nadrak woman and her dealings with me. Perhaps you even made the same mistake as I. "Most men make the mistake of trusting me." I take it you will recognize these words. She told me after I was sworn to Zandramas that this is her greeting to every man she intends to manipulate. She could be open with me, for I was helplessly bound to her. Upon my oath to Zandramas, I also agreed to obey every order of the Nadrak woman.

I seem to remember you warning me about women and my weakness for them. It was upon this weakness that the Nadrak woman played, and upon my anger towards you and Liselle. Zandramas and this Angarak woman promised me a future I knew I'd never receive through Javelin and so I was blinded by their lies. The only consolation I have is that the Angarak woman will not escape death either. She awaits the same fate as me, whether by Zandramas' hand or her own.

Death makes us all think so clearly. If only I had this clarity of mind during the rest of my life. Farewell, Silk. I pray you do not meet your end as quickly as I met mine.

Your dying friend,

Khelvor