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Sonora shook her head as if her denial could stop what was coming. She shivered. "I can't believe this is really going to happen, that humans are going to destroy themselves."

"I can," Ian replied.


"Because they're human. That's what humans do best. Look at their history."

A flash of irritation crossed Sonora's face. "Okay. Serious talk time. It is going to be very hard to be with you if you are constantly downing us, me. You have to stop seeing me as a second-class citizen. If you continue, a relationship between us will never work."

Ian sat back, surprised. He'd thought he was doing quite well, certainly better than most other Atlantians. He frowned. Besides, Sonora was different. "You are not human. You are Atlantian."

Sonora crossed her arms. "Who is three-quarters human."

Ian looked from her to the ground.

Sonora repeated, "Who is three-quarters human."

"Yes, I know."


"Humans are not second-class citizens. They just need our help. A lot."

Sonora rolled her eyes. "Ian, I really think it is not that easy. You can't just say it and suddenly your mind is changed."

"No, but I will work on it. Then it will eventually change. I will become what you need. It is how it works with us."

Sonora gave him a suspicious look. "You're very quick to sweep this all under the rug when it is me who has to deal with it. I know that your people would never treat me like Uncle Devon treated you."

A sudden flash of pain covered Ian's face, and he looked away.

Sonora reached for his hand. "But all the smaller things would add up. Can you see that?"

Ian squeezed her hand. "I understand, my lovely Intended."

"It's just--from what I've seen it's what I fear will happen in Atlantis."

"You speak as though you would not come home with me. As though it would be easy for you to stay behind."

Sonora's heart squeezed and ached. She shook her head. "It wouldn't be easy. I wouldn't want to stay behind. But we need to talk about these things. They are issues that divide us, and I want to be sure we understand what we are facing." 

Sonora heaved a sigh and looked down. "Because there is another huge difference between us. And it is the one you will have to deal with, and it may hurt you." Sonora raised her eyes to his. "I'm worried I will never feel as deeply as you do. I'm worried it's not even possible, not if I can't feel the connection as well as you do now."

When Ian moved toward her, she raised her hand to stop him, so he simply said, "But you do feel it. You said you did."

She nodded. "I do. When you jumped from the balcony, at the museum. Wow, at the museum. I almost passed out. But other than that flashes here and there. Enough so I understand it and know it's there, but also enough to know that I'm missing the full flavor of it."

Sonora wiped at the tears spilling down her face. "It's plenty for me. I know I want to be with you. But will it be for you? You really need to think about that. My—my incompetence almost cost you your life. If this is something your people rely on to keep you safe, it could again. I would never forgive myself if—if because of me—" Sonora gave up speaking when her sobbing became too much.

Sadness covered Ian's face as he rushed to her, and sitting on her bed, lifted her to his lap and held her against him. "It may grow. We do not know how these things work for one such as you. And my heart, I have no choice, nor would I want one. You are my Intended. I have known it from the moment my eyes fell upon you."

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