* * *
The moon had gone dark the first time he crept into the bartizan. He had clear eyes then, unruined. Even in the black he could see her, where she sat at her loom, weaving stories to life. She worked from memory and when the silver light came, when the thread of light from the waxing crescent finally showed, he could make out the picture she had shut herself away to make.
“Majesty,” he called her, and he wept to see the beauty she created.
They laid together as though they’d known one another always, and rejoiced to find one another as tender and as delicate and as strong as the other needed.
He left her in the dark, left her in the silverblueblack of night, without a single promise spoken, but they both knew he would be back.
* * *