Troubling ThoughtsMature

I re-examined the many strange-looking artefacts.

"I see."

One thing that Alex had said was toubling me. "...they have no soul, no love, no emotion." I couldn't believe that Kieran hadn't loved me: we had shared so much together. And not once had he tried to do me harm or sell me into slavery. The only time he had hurt me after I had surrendered to him was when he had taken away my mortality. But that was a gift surely? So we could spend the ages together.

Alex was looking at me curiously. "What are you thinking, Evee?"

"Kieran... He loves me. I'm sure of it."

Alex shook his head. "No. That's impossible. I'm sorry, Evee, but he's deceived you."

But why did he seem so convinced?

A tear came to my eye. Had it really all been just a lie?

Alex closed the gap between us and embraced me. "I'm sorry. Really, I am." He didn't sound it. Something about his hug was making me uncomfortable. There was too much ... affection in the way he gently stroked my back; he was finding it too easy to stand so close to me - in fact, our bodies were touching more than was necessary. His hand moved upwards and I stiffened as his fingers twined in my hair.

"One of the ways the Guardians help," Alex murmured, "is by helping those who escape the Moonlit Maze deal with the experience."

He leant down and kissed my hair.

I pushed him away, upset at the action but also revolted at the pleasure I had felt.

Alex looked straight into my eyes. "I can feel real love, Evee. I have a soul. Kieran doesn't."

His casual use of Kieran's name did it for me.

I turned and walked out of the shed, sickened by the doubts which had arisen in my heart. Kieran loved me. I knew it. And we were going to rescue him. Even if Alex didn't know that quite yet.

The End

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