Rush Of Blood To The Head, part 6.11.
“Pfew… you really scared me, bro… I emptied two healing potions into your mouth, yet you kept thrashing,” Imoen sighs with relief as I slowly rise in a sitting position, touching my head as if to make sure it is still intact.
“What happened? What was that all about?” she asks me with deep concern.
“I have no idea, Im… really. Probably somehow connected to using the taint… maybe it’s a price for using it,” I reply with a shrug, “I have no wish to find out, either… this is the last time I use the power.”
“Really? Well, I sure hope you will hold your promise, brother… but I already know that you will be tempted to use it again,” Imoen says, “Irenicus… he is dangerous and is capable of killing every one of us… and his disintegration magics can ensure that any of our loved ones will not even have the chance to be raised…
“What will you do then, Theo? Will that be less of a risk to Jaheira or Viconia?” she asks me, staring directly in my eyes and making me realize the validity of those questions, “Theo, they are both big girls and can take care of themselves, just as I can. You don’t need to pamper Jaheira, unless you risk making her really mad…”
“I know… I know, Im. I wouldn’t have done any of this, if not for that blasted dream… I explained it to you already,” I try to defend myself.
“Well, I hope you don’t get similar dreams just before fighting Irenicus…” Imoen points out before extending her arm and helping me rise from the floor.
“Did you find that silly, old Lanthorn?” I ask her, but she just pats her backpack, not before rolling her eyes expressively.
“Imoen? Please don’t tell Jaheira… or anyone for that matter, what happened after the change… no need to aggravate her more than she undoubtedly will be already,” I add, as we turn to leave the bloodstained crypt.
Unfortunately, after exiting the crypt, I have to face the fact that the sun is just about to rise and greet the start of a new morning. That could only mean one thing – Jaheira is most likely awake and I know that we should make our way back to Silverale Hall with all haste, so that she doesn’t do anything reckless…
Which is exactly what she is doing, I conclude stepping inside the inn and seeing Jaheira forcefully extracting information from the hapless barkeep, who can only shrug his shoulders and beg for her to let him free from the iron grip he is in… I feel sorry for the poor fellow – there is no way that he could have noticed two experts in using stealth, such as Imoen and me, leaving the inn. Unfortunately, someone thinks differently…
“I don’t trust him, Jaheira,” Viconia suggests, bending over the front desk and looking at the squirming man, “there is no way that he would not have seen two fully armed people leaving the inn.”
“Please… I’m telling the truth… I am shortsighted and… and half-deaf too… please, ladies, I haven’t seen a thing, I swear,” the fat barkeep struggles, but Jaheira does not loosen her grip.
“I do not believe him either. Whom are you working for, chubby?” Jaheira presses on with her interrogation, “Zhentarim? Cult of The Dragon? Rundeen? How much do they pay for a Child of B-”
“Jaheira, you can put the man down,” I interrupt her and a second later the barkeep slumps to the floor as Jaheira immediately charges towards me.
“Where in the hells have you been, Theodur? You were supposed to be in the bed and resting, after being almost mortally stabbed by Dermin … and why… why are you both covered with blood?” Jaheira becomes angrier with every moment and I can fully understand her ire.
“Awww, Jaheira, don’t be so mean! Look, I have my soul back, isn’t that neat?” Imoen’s words of joy are met with a silence… the sort of silence that usually precedes a really bad thunderstorm. Both Jaheira and Viconia look at Imoen with such stares, that the joyful smile on her face dies very quickly and she looks at me with a rather concerned expression…
“You… you… you did WHAT?” if the tavern had a roof, then it surely lost it after Jaheira’s loud yelling, “Now before I start to scold you about the sheer responsibility of such a reckless action, would you please explain to me, how did you manage to slay Bodhi and her vampires all by yourselves… unless… oh, no… you would not…”
I look at her worriedly as she has gone quite red in the face and I hope that she does not explode from anger… instead she grabs me by my ear and ignoring all my cries of pain, unceremoniously drags me upstairs…
“Well now… let’s hear your side of the story, little Imoen,” Viconia faces the girl with an icy glare, “I certainly hope that you had a very convincing reason to do all of this, because otherwise…”
“Hey… it wasn’t really my idea, Vic… Theo sneaked into our room in the middle of the night and told me to follow him, I didn’t even know where we would be going,” Imoen explains.
“Is that so… I hope that certain someone still lives after Jaheira is through with him, because I will KILL him myself!” Viconia screams, “how… how dare he risk your life with such idiocy?”
“Vic, don’t blame him… I wasn’t in danger, really – I spent all the time covered by the invisibility spell, while Theo…”
“I see. So he decided to embrace his divine gifts… I wonder why?” Viconia looks at Imoen, who flinches slightly.
“He… he had a warning, a premonition… that Jaheira would die if he would taken her along,” Imoen tries to sound convincing.
“A laughable reasoning, but I should not feel surprised,” Viconia snorts, “but in that case there was no reason why you couldn’t have called me or the others… Imoen, I am seriously disappointed with your behavior.”
“Aww, Vic… don’t be such a sourpuss… see, I have my soul back, aren’t you happy for me?” Imoen tries to wiggle out of trouble.
“Do I feel happy? No, I don’t, Imoen… and do you know how I felt when I woke only to discover you gone? I will tell you, little one… I felt-… no. Why do I even bother? I should have known that this would never work out,” however Viconia’s stern expression softens just as a strangled sob erupts from Imoen’s mouth, “Not that trick, Imoen… please anything but that… agh, this is so stupid, but I just can’t see you cry, you little nitwit… now come here…”
Imoen doesn’t need to be told twice and she quickly jumps into the open arms of the drow and they both stand embraced, the small human girl sobbing quietly on the dark elf’s shoulder.
“Vic… I just can’t stand it when you’re mad at me… I’m so sorry that I hurt you… I really didn’t mean to… please don’t stay mad,” Imoen speaks between the sobs and Viconia pulls her head back to wipe the locks away from her moist eyes before kissing her tenderly on the forehead.
“I am not angry, Imoen… I just wish you would have trusted me…” Viconia whispers quietly before releasing her and they both look at each other, unable and unwilling to prevent the next step from happening.
“Oh, dear… now I can safely die, for I have seen everything that is worth seeing,” the fat barkeep mutters, looking at the two women engaged in a passionate kiss, not paying attention to him or the other guests in the room, watching them with unmasked interest…
The satisfaction of dragging me all the way upstairs by my ear and listening to my cries of anguish has not been enough to take away even some of Jaheira’s anger. She paces back and forth in our room, still red in her face and too excited to even speak straight - only few unintelligible sounds escape from her lips. Meanwhile I sit on the bed and gently caress my poor earlobe, waiting for the inevitable outburst of my lover’s wrath.
“Explain,” she stops suddenly and spits out the word angrily.
“I… I…” I start to speak, but realize that the words I am about to say will sound extremely laughable and unconvincing. I had a bad dream – as if she’s going to believe that… as if that would make a reasonable argument.
“I had no reason to do what I’ve done,” I reply, but that sounds equally stupid.
“Do not dare to make a fool out of me, Theodur,” she speaks, “surely, you had at least some reason to do it. No sane person would wake up in the middle of the night and decide that he just needs to go and slay a very powerful vampire… without any convincing reason.”
“I… I had a prophecy. I saw you dead in my dream… turned into a vampire and killed. Had you come with me to face Bodhi, it had been the end of you,” I look at her and seeing that she opens her mouth to retort, thus I add quickly, “you have no idea of how my dreams are… they are so real and the images are so powerful.”
“And you chose to believe whatever lies Bhaal conjure in turn to make you accept the power? I thought we had a talk about this, Theodur… I really felt that you would not act so foolishly, because I might los-… ” Jaheira stops speaking out her doubts aloud, but I understand her perfectly.
“That was something else, Jaheira… I don’t know if those images were sent by Bhaal, I was just so frightened that you might be endangered again, I guess I was easily convinced that someone was sending a warning to me,” I try to defend myself, even though I have doubts about my own words.
“If that is so, then you are even more of a fool, Theodur!” she loses all her patience and painfully kicks me in the shin, “It makes me so angry and betrayed… yes, betrayed – instead of entrusting me with all those things that bother you, you chose to sneak away in the cover in the night and left me here alone. Can you even comprehend how worried I was to find you gone in the morning?”
“I know… and I’m sorry. I never meant to hurt you, quite the contrary. I know it sounds really dumb, but that’s how it was,” I lift my gaze from the floor to face her, but she turns away and slowly walks towards the opened window.
“I should yell at you, scold and shout at you, but… I cannot. I am too disappointed with you, Theodur. You may have had your reasons, but… you are also breaking the trust that our relationship should… is built upon. You are making it awfully difficult for me to love you, Theodur,” she falls silent, indicating that she wishes to speak with me no more and I rise from the bed and head out of the room.
“I…” I start to speak before leaving the room, but the words ‘love you’ are choked in my throat and don’t come out, as I slowly limp out in the hallway.
Rush Of Blood To The Head, part 6.11.
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