Monday, September 02, 2002
Bit of Avim's Oath, Draft
Because, no doubt, it is the last thing I ought to be doing... this popped out.

Amel swung open the doors of his own entrance hall, startling two of Alivda's Golden Guardians enough they cleared their swords. Both immediately looked abashed. But they might have been assassins, not honor guards, and Amel wouldn't have batted an eyelash.
"Sen!" he exclaimed joyfully, opening his arms.
The woman Iarous had been chatting with got to her feet and stared.
"Gods," remarked Sen D'Lekker.
Amel was beaming. That was unfair. He was also attractively dressed in a stylish compromise between his preference for soft, well cut casual wear and his dresser's notion of appropriate dress for a Divine Presence representing his great grandfather, the Golden Emperor, at court. The net effect was mostly white, shot with silvery threats of gold and silver which darted in directions that had been the topic of a day's deliberations in the back rooms of Blue Hearth where his Demoran staff had set up shop.
"Look at you!" Amel laughed, realizing his guest was dazzled. "After six years on Demora, you would think you'd be immune to pomp!"
The woman nodded. She was in her early fifties, but a nobleborn not yet showing her age, with a pleasant rather than a striking face, and a tidy figure equally at home in the warm, sturdy skirts favored by some Dem'Vrellish women, or a more unisex look. She was wearing pants now. A uniform, in fact, decorated in the braid of House Lekker of Far Home in the Knotted Strings.
"I am immune," she said. "To fraud. You're the real thing."
Amel laughed. "Don't you start! I'm not as good and selfless as they say, you know. My head can swell to indecent proportions."
Sen was smiling with great satisfaction. "You are the real thing. And you always were. A Soul of Light. A beacon to aspire to. Goodness personified, to chasten us."
Amel's wet-ink eyebrows both lifted, lips parted. "Sen?" He asked, sounding a little spooked.
"It doesn't mean I won't give you a hug," she relented, and laughed. "Or try catching a look at you naked."
They hugged. Iarous cocked Amel an inquiring glance as he drew back.
"Oh, Sen," Amel introduced them, "this is Iarous. She's my gorarelpul."
"Isn't she bonded to Ameron?" Sen asked, clearly finding such a social introduction a bit awkward.
"Yes, she is," Amel admitted, still smiling at both of them, a hand on either woman's arm. He caught himself doing it and let Iarous go.
"And did you succeed?" Iarous asked Sen D'Lekker.
"What? At seeing him naked?" Sen picked up, immediately, and struck an aloof pose, more for the benefit of the guards who were pretending not to listen than Iarous. "You needn't worry about that," she told the gorarelpul, and leaned into a stage whisper. "It wasn't politically motivated. Not something gorarelpul know much about, I know. But think about it. It'll come."
Sen had not meant to be cruel. She did not expect the tall, willow thin gorarelpul to have feelings on the subject one way or another. Iarous held Sen's eyes long enough to weigh and measure her remarks. Then she looked down in a way Amel did not like. Not hurt. Just numb.
Goaded by a wordless intuition, Amel said, "You'd be surprised what Iarous knows about." He caught Sen by the hand. "Come on. It's been an age since I've seen you, and you're here about D'Lekker and his boys, of course. Let's go somewhere that we can talk."

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