Let's see what happens next with #Cloder in B.C....


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Scene 9: A Thousand Times

2020 B.C.


Bay-blue. Bright brown. Their gazes met, so lost in one another in this moment that they never would have noticed, nor would it have mattered to them, if the very sky that smiled upon them now were falling down.

She stood in the crowd, amidst a sea of strangers, all of whom suddenly vanished from Rider's field of vision as soon as his eyes locked on hers. His racing heart hardly believed that she was here. He didn't dare to blink, for fear that she would disappear.

Cloe could hear and feel his heartbeat even from this distance, echoing her own. And she knew now that, if ever there'd been any hope of burying her love for him — hope of living without him, trying to forget they'd ever met, focusing on her fateful task and moving on... that hope was gone.

For Rider's part, the hope that had dissolved and died inside him finally sprang back to life, swelling his heart, beating again after a silence that had lasted far too long. He realized now how weak he'd been, for having lost sight of the flame that had never stopped burning within — all the more fiercely, it seemed, after the loss he'd suffered. He saw now that he'd been blinded by the pain of losing her, closing his heart to hope, inviting all his inner demons to destroy him.

And so they had. The demons had devoured him from the inside out, the outside in, slaying the man he once had been. His soul had been as good as dead, until this moment. But this moment altered everything. She was here. She had come back to him.

If Rider could dare to believe — as he did, in this instant — that Cloe's heart harbored, for him, any small fraction of the love he felt for her... then there was no way he would let himself descend so low again. Not ever. Not when all he wanted was to be a man who could even come close to deserving her.

He made this silent promise to her, in the endless gaze they shared. Before he'd turned to look at her, Cloe had been heartbroken, scared — she and Chrysaor had reached Argos and rushed toward the site of the spectacle, after quickly learning that a hero named Perseus had come to challenge the king, arriving here right at the moment of truth. Upon witnessing the scene, seeing Rider standing tall over his helpless, vanquished enemy, she had feared that he might have been set to do the brutal deed, unwilling to spare any mercy...

But now he had silently sworn to her that he would be a better man. For that she smiled, fighting every urge to weep, tears in her heart for all the time they'd spent apart; she knew it was a promise he would keep.

In keeping it, there was only one thing he had to do, before running toward her as he so desperately wanted to, holding her close, never in a million years letting go. He had to take mercy upon his father, the one soul on earth he hated most. Had to relinquish his mission, let go of the vindictive bloodlust that darkened his soul. For though this monster was his greatest foe, this was no way to slay a man, he knew. There was no honor in cutting down a sad old sack of bones that groveled on its knees, having declared complete surrender.

This Rider knew. So he lowered his sword, sheathed the blade at his side, and addressed the king kneeling before him, choosing mercy over vengeance and pride.

"I will not take your life," he stated. "Not like this. Your fate shall be decided by the citizens of Argos, those who suffered from your rule. Not by the challenger who has defeated you."

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