He stood in the darkness of the trees, but his silhouette sufficed.

Though she had scarcely seen him and never truly touched him, she knew that body as though she inhabited it: so gloriously long in every limb, supple and slender as a sapling. His arm waved just as a young branch would wave in a wind. He stood in the shadows of taller trees, but his silhouette sufficed. It was Vash.

He made no move to approach her. As pregnant as she was, she could not hop over the creek and go directly to him. She would have to walk down to the bridge below the house and double back.

She understood that he would not want to come too near the house with Malcolm inside, but she had not expected to go far, and had not even taken shoes.

Still, she had come this far. It was not much farther to go.

He turned and walked away.

However, as soon as she had crossed the bridge and began heading back up the stream, he turned and walked away.

“Vash!” she groaned.

“I’m sorry, Iylaine,” he said softly. She knew it for Vash’s own voice, though she had not heard it in so long. “We don’t have time for greetings. We must hurry.”

“Where are we going? Wait!”


It seemed somehow obscene to go to Vash with Malcolm’s baby inside of her. There was nothing she could do to hide her belly, for her baby was but weeks or perhaps days from being born, but she had hoped she would not draw attention to it with her walk.

Now she was forced to waddle just as fast as she could, disregarding. He was not looking at her anyway.

“Vash!” she pleaded. “At least let me walk with you!”

'At least let me walk with you!'

“We must hurry! The moon is almost full.”

“It is full!”

“Not quite. Please trust me, Iylaine!”

She could not tell him she did not. She had to follow, and hope she had not much farther to go. She had already come too far.

She had come too far already.