Posted by Darth Krzysztof and GnomeSplosion
Rayne allowed Hawk and the others past her, reaching out to Lesallai. Though her touch was gentle, it was enough to stop the eladrin. Rayne tilted her head toward the rest of the group, and Les nodded, allowing some distance to form between themselves and the others before they stepped into shadows cast from the sunrod.
“Careful…” Les said without looking at Rayne, though the tone was quiet and gentle. “Kikrik will think you’re conspiring with the enemy.”
“Let him,” Rayne replied, which drew a cautious glance from the eladrin. “Like I was trying to say back there, I’m sorry. About what happened before. I had no right to feel entitled to your secret, and I didn’t mean to hurt you with the things I said. And it wasn’t fair of me to assume that all defilers are like Kavros.” That didn’t feel like enough, so she added, “I’m sorry,” again.
Les hesitated, turned, and finally looked directly at Rayne with a shy-looking half-smile. I think she’s surprised, Rayne thought. I wonder if anyone’s ever really apologized to her before. Rayne’s years as a slave had certainly taught her how… She had the definite impression that the apology made the eladrin happier than Les was willing to show.
“I… I accept,” Les stated quietly with a slight bow that might have looked silly under other circumstances. “Um…” The eladrin looked almost at a loss for words for once. “For what it’s worth, I’m… I’m sorry, too… If you felt betrayed. I never meant to hurt you.”
“I know,” Rayne said. Les’s words were genuine, not like the sneering lip service the eladrin had paid to Kikrik before. Les is so good at telling lies, Rayne thought, yet she stumbles over truths. It takes her real effort to share with me like this. Not that it’s easy on me, either… “It’s all right. We’ve got to stick together, after all.”
“Just so.” Les’s gaze flicked down the tunnel, where the rest of the group had wandered out of sight, before drifting back to Rayne. “If… If you like,” Les said, tentatively, “I could tell you more about my time in the Lands Within the Wind.” Les looked down at the ground for a moment, obviously struggling with the words and the thoughts, as though they were something never spoken before. “It’s only fair, I guess…”