There were still yet hours until dawn. He was awake, pleasantly languorous, but awake. As was she. Every now and then he would feel her fingers trace absent minded shapes across his arm, chest, neck. Then they would stop for a time, paused. Her silence and stillness held a tension, a distance of thought, there was nothing as equally sated about her as about himself. If he did not know that her being worked in a hundred different ways and on as many levels, he may have felt offended; he was a Feldane, he could never feel inadequate. But she was almost pure energy in her conscious state. She could jump from distraction to interest to extreme focus in the blink of an eye, and back again as quickly. There was a time when that made him nervous, as well he would be. Erratic princes of Amber are generally not good for one’s health. 

That changed when he came to the realisation that she trusted him. Completely. 

She was overly trusting of a lot of people, that he knew. Part of what made her either delightful or bizarre, depending on the point of view, was her lack of any real malice or guile. If you asked her a question, you would either get complete honesty, a lengthy and confusing thought process with a frequently indecipherable conclusion, or a simple refusal. She didn’t….obfuscate. He had never asked her a question that she had not answered, straight or convoluted. 

He’d been terrified when that epiphany came upon him. Oh shit! No, crap, absolute trust, no no no no no no, I do not want to be here, GODS, THIS CAN’T BECOME A THING!!! And then he cleared off, determined to distance himself from her, as much as one can, without pissing her off; dear gods WHAT had he been thinking?!?!. For weeks he tried to work out what he would say when she inevitably trumped him.

But she didn’t. And time went on, and then he saw her again, and nothing had changed. Except him. He wasn’t afraid of her any more. 

“Are you awake?” A touch above a whisper.

“Mmmhmm. Whats up?”

“I’m trying to work out how this will work….”

And she starts talking about conjuration matrices, intricate patterns and applications of laws and triggers. Julia, pattern bombs. Complicated interlinked theories and hypotheses. He loved this; barely understood it, but loved it.

“Also…..I think I did something…..to myself.”

He frowned. “What do you mean?”

“I’ve done it before, I think I’ve been doing it since I was a kid, but now it’s…easier. Before it was making myself believe something that wasn’t. Now….Did I tell you about Feruchemy?”

He thought for a few seconds. One really shouldn’t be forced to think when one was as relaxed as he was. “Metals. Using them for storing strength, endurance, energy?”

“and memory. It’s become easier to lie to myself. I just take it away, and put it somewhere else.”

He pulled her a little closer, it was a reflex now.

“This time took out a big chunk. I think about it and it’s like a din of warning bells start in my mind. I’m scared of it.”

The things she was capable of, all of them were frightening. But he still wasn’t afraid of her. 

“I buried it in the Grove of the Unicorn. I just need someone else to know.” 

He blinked. Complete trust.

Her breath slowed, became more regular. She slept. 

Princes of Amber. He sighed…again. He yawned.

He slept. 

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