Whatever the Future Holds: Prologue
The smile on your face
Lets me know that you need me
There’s a truth in your eyes
Saying you’ll never leave me
The touch of your hand says you’ll catch me
Whenever I fall – When You Say Nothing at All
It was a cold and windy night, the sort of night that most normal people spent in their beds, or at least in the warmth of a tavern or an inn instead of wandering the streets. But not Kane Theaza, warrior, mercenary and Child of Bhaal, and Edwin Odesseiron, Red Wizard of Thay. They were standing out in the open, just on the edge of Beregost. They were getting soaked, water was dripping off their hair and Edwin’s beard, but it didn’t bother them in the slightest. They had more important things to worry about.
They were in the middle of an argument, while Kagain and Viconia; their other two companions stood some distance away, watching with interest. Edwin looked both hurt and angry, while Kane seemed very tense and definitely not happy.
“You were trying to slip off without telling me,” Edwin said sharply. “Weren’t you?”
“No!” Kane shook his head and then hesitated. He couldn’t lie to Edwin, even to spare his feelings. “Actually I was,” he admitted. “But only because I knew what you would say if I told you that I was going and I wanted to avoid...all this.”
“That is hardly fair,” Edwin said coldly. “I am your friend and your lover, or at least I was. Is it really so unreasonable of me to want to stay with you? I don’t understand why you were just going to disappear like this.”
“Eddie, listen to me,” the warrior begged. “I want you to stay here, I don’t want you to try and follow us. And if you care for me and my feelings, you’ll do as I ask.”
“That’s emotional blackmail.” Edwin stated; his eyes fixed on his lover’s face. “Why are you sending me away? Was it Viconia, has she said something? (I knew it was only a matter of time before that manipulative whore tried to come between us.)”
“It has nothing to do with Viconia, I promise you.” Kane returned his gaze, his dark eyes pleading for the wizard to understand. “I’m doing this for you.”
“That is certainly an interesting way of putting it.” Edwin said sarcastically. “If you really care about what I want, then I want to stay with you.”
“I know,” the warrior said gently. “I want you to stay too, but it’s too dangerous. Every person who I have ever cared for in my life has died, been killed or been forced to go into hiding under threat of death. I lead such a dangerous life, never being able to stay in one place for long, always having assassins coming after me. And there isn’t much that I can be certain of in this world, but I do know that if you travel with me then sooner or later you will be killed. I don’t want that.”
“I am Edwin Odesseiron,” the wizard said at once. “It will take a very powerful foe to kill me.”
“And one day, we shall meet that foe.” Kane said patiently. “I don’t want you to die, Eddie, not because of me. You are one of the few people in my life who I have ever really cared about and I’m only trying to do what is best for you.”
“Then let me travel with you!”
“I can’t,” the warrior whispered, shaking his head. “I mean it, you’ll end up getting killed. You have a family somewhere who cares about you and they wouldn’t want that. If they heard that it was I, a Bhaalspawn, who got you killed…they’d never forgive me. Just like I’d never forgive myself. If your Dekaras were here, he’d tell you to leave me, I’m sure of it. Because he would want what was best for you too, he would want you to be happy and you will not find that happiness with me!”
“But I am happy when I am with you!” Edwin protested. “Why can you not see that?”
“It’ll never last, Edwin,” Kane’s voice was strained. “You want me to love you, I know, but that I cannot do. I don’t even think I’m capable of love any more. I can give you my body, I can give you affection and friendship, but I cannot…give you my heart.”
“That doesn’t matter,” his lover said, growing desperate now. “I told you once that I would accept whatever you could give me.”
“Aye, you can accept it now.” Kane hated himself for doing this, but he knew that it needed to be said. “But how long will it be become you become like Viconia, always wanting more from me and resenting me because I can’t give it to you? What if there comes a day when you are able to return to Thay? I have no place there, even if your family do accept me as your lover. And you will never truly be accepted in my world, because you are no thief. Our relationship cannot possibly work and so it’s…it’s just better if we part now, before one of us gets too involved.”
“It is a little late for that!” Edwin said angrily, stepping back as the Bhaalspawn reached out to touch him. “Go on then, go if you must. I don’t need you anyway!”
“Be angry at me,” Kane said quietly. “Be angry if it helps, but just remember that I do care about you, Edwin, and part of me will always care. I hope that one day you will find happiness with someone else, someone who can give you what I cannot. Goodbye Eddie...I won’t forget you.”
He turned then and quickly disappeared into the trees, hurrying to catch up with Kagain and Viconia. Edwin stayed where he was for several minutes before the shock wore off and he realised what had just happened.
Kane had gone…and he wasn’t coming back.
Whatever the Future Holds: Prologue
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