There are things that I canna tell you, at least not yet. And I’ll ask nothing of ye that ye canna give me. But what I would ask of ye—when you do tell me something, let it be the truth. And I’ll promise ye the same. We have nothing now between us, save—respect, perhaps. And I think that respect has maybe room for secrets, but not for lies. Do ye agree?
Only you. To worship ye with my body, give ye all the service of my hands. To give ye my name, and all my heart and soul with it. Only you. Because ye will not let me lie—and yet ye love me.
It’s a lot easier to get punched in the face at three-and-twenty than to have your bum strapped in public at sixteen. Bruised pride hurts worse than anything, and it bruises easy then.
I stood still, vision blurring, and in that moment, I heard my heart break. It was a small, clean sound, like the snapping of a flower’s stem.
Come to think, perhaps being nearly killed wasn’t always a misfortune—so long as you didn’t actually die of it.
Blood of my blood, and bone of my bone. You carry me within ye, Claire, and ye canna leave me now, no matter what happens. You are mine, always, if ye will it or no, if ye want me or nay. Mine, and I wilna let ye go.