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Chapter Thirteen

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Alex awoke the next morning to the feeling of eyes upon her.

She felt as she had in her dream- had Reylor infiltrated her sleep again? Or worse? She immediately lifted her head and turned her attention to the door of her room.  It remained shut, she discovered through the dim sunlight, but her as she couldn't shake the paranoia through her sleepy haze.

Sitting up in bed, she rubbed the sleep out of her eyes and began scanning the room, searching for the source of her unease.

... and in the bed next to her sat Treyan.

Seeing him awake brought an enormous sense of relief to her heart, and she sprung upon him, wrapping him in a gigantic hug.

He squelched in pain, but returned the embrace, his strong but gentle arms wrapping around her tightly.  "Mind the leg, Empress," he purred.  "It still has some healing to do."

"Shut up," was her only response.

She didn't know what disturbed her more- his ability to sneak into her room with a wounded leg and remain there undetected, or the incredible urge she had to pounce on him in a fit of joy.

His chest was bare, and he had the decency to put on a pair of pants before he invaded her bedroom.  Before she realized what she was doing, she was holding his head in her hands and pulled him in a long kiss. He held her close and returned her kiss until she pulled away, which happened as suddenly as it began. 

"Oh god, how is your leg?" she exclaimed as she suddenly remembered his wound and jumped off of him.

  "Now you consider the leg," he commented as he adjusted himself on the bed.  "The Councillor worked his magic, I suppose, though he did tell me I should owe you thanks."

"You were hurt, and I couldn't stand by to watch, so I needed to help."

He brought her chin up to face him.  "And for that, I thank you." He placed another sincere kiss upon her lips, and she lost herself again, never wanting it to stop. 

It did when he stopped, wincing from a twinge of pain by moving his leg.

"Enough of this!"  She sat back herself, crossing her arms sternly.  "Where did you go?" How did you get yourself hurt?"

"I didn't intend to go out and get injured," he said defensively.

"I could have come with you."

He laughed at her suggestion.  "And what army would you have brought with you to make a difference?"

"I could have helped..."

"Not here, you couldn't have.  You're the Empress.  You're indispensable.  Your safety is paramount to all else.  Why do you think we range in the first place?"

"No, but I could..."

"No, you couldn't."

"So I just sit here, looking pretty, while you go out risking your life for me?"

"Pretty much."

She didn't like the sound of that.  Not one bit.

She tried another tactic.  "So, will you please let me know what happened?"

He shook his head.  "It doesn't matter right now."

"It matters to me!"  She found herself starting to get upset, but she wasn't sure if it was due to his eluding the question or a sudden sense of helplessness.  The realization that she would have missed him if something serious happened also caught her off- guard, and she knelt up to keep herself calm, wrapping her arms around herself as if feeling a sudden chill.  "Do you think I liked knowing that you could have died and there was nothing I could have done about it?"

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