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A Measure of Redemption
She doesn't really know why she came. She should have handed the note to someone, anyone. Betrayed her oldest friend for what he has become. Despite all that has gone before, she could not.
She has the baby with her in a sling on her chest, a shield, a statement which screams "I am a mother now, a married woman, don't ask of me that which we both desire." Without him there she does not trust her will.
She waits, suddenly fearful that this has been some cruel trick, a way to leave her vulnerable. Time passes, but at last she sees him hovering in the shadows. He looks so pale, so worn, so desperately sad.
There are tears in his eyes as he pleads with her, spilling the words too fast, too wild to follow. That scares her more than any warnings he can offer. She has never seen him cry. Even as a child, when he spoke to her of the horrors he had suffered which she could scarce imagine it was always measured, matter of fact.
He entreats her; don't trust your closest friends. He warns, you have a traitor in your midst, but when she asks him who, he cannot answer. Mere words fail him then, and he steps closer and presses his lips gently to her forehead. That chaste kiss stirs a memory of other kisses in another world, of whispers and caresses stolen in the dark. She knows in an instant that without her son, her living armour, she would have melted, collapsed into his embrace and been damned forever.
She raises her downcast eyes to gaze up into his, and then finds herself blinking back tears when she sees her longing mirrored there. She breaks away and bows her head again, to whisper loving nothings to the restless infant at her breast. After a long moment she hears him turn away. A breath later he is gone.
She stands alone in the growing dark, knowing in her heart that what he said will come to pass.
A Measure of Redemption by guiltysecret79
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