…as long as they still burn.
Althea might not have been fully honest giving Slyph and I her blessing. Or did she even do that? I thought she had… Maybe she was just polite or putting on an act while my snugglekitten was around. Either way, it seems clear now that she still harbors feelings for Slyph, and just as clear that she wishes me dead, or at the very least wouldn’t shed much of a tear for an early thoomish demise.
She was out on the town, asking about my dear Slyph and I, just a few days ago. When did we meet? When did we start dating? How did we come to be an item? All questions that I normally take great pride in answering, of course. And yet, when Althea asked, terror settled in. And so did doubts. Questions raced through my head as I struggled to keep my countenance.
Yes, indeed, Slyph and I met just about forty years ago, and yes, we had a lovely time with Gaia in her temple, drinking J’nder’s amazing tea. (Was she with Althea then?). No, we weren’t dating at the time (Will I be doubly tortured simply on the assumption that I may have tried to steal Slyph away?). Yes, we only recently admitted our feelings (Does that imply an opening for Althea to try to steal her from me?)…
All the while, the Sylvan killer seemed to sink deeper into… Dare I say rage? Her cold, calm demeanor was only slightly shaken at best, and yet some clues of agitation are hard to miss, such as flipping her sword in the air and catching it on the blade. I will not even pretend I wasn’t intimidated. Something about her presence, about her casual attitude as she demonstrated just how easily she could claim my life if and when she wishes to, shook me to the bone.
And if Althea’s threats weren’t enough for a Thoom slightly past his prime to wish for the invention of a device to regulate his heartbeat, Yor has been out and about visiting Metzetli island… Surely that mighty Zo is not one to be deceitful as a general rule, and yet, I am wary of taking his implicit blessing at face value. Who knows what his legendary honor and bravery amount to, when faced with the dilemmas and struggles of the heart?
Complacency has not served me well, and being too comfortable or trusting might be the key to my own demise. I do believe Yor to be trustworthy, but I fear my gambling habit has extended to include my own life as I contemplate the possibility of asking one potential threat to act as a bodyguard against the other. Zos have been hired, of course, but could they stop Althea? Yor seems to have survived her, perhaps I shall ask for his help in trying to do the same. One last gamble, as it may be.