By Carol Berg
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Karon would never last so long. "Seri, come tell him you're going to bed. He won't take the ajuria until he's sure you're not coming back. " The slim young woman with the dark braid wound about her head stood in the dimly lit doorway to the garden where I walked every evening. When she'd received my message about Karon's illness, Kellea had left her herb shop, her husband, and her two small children and come to stay with us, hoping to find some remedy in her knowledge or talent. But herbs and potions could not reverse the course of such a disease, and though she was Dar'Nethi too, Kellea's talent was for finding, not healing.
T'Laven started to add something else, but seemed to think better of it. "If another alternative is available," he said, "Prince Ven'Dar must inform you of it. " He bowed and left the room. I told myself that I had expected nothing else, but, of course, I had. Gondai was a world of sorcerers. Avonar was a city of power and magic. Anything was possible. Well, no more of that. We ate Aimee's supper of cold roast duck, herb-buttered bread, and sugared oranges at Karon's bedside, I in the chair, Gerick and Paulo on floor cushions, and Aimee sitting on the footstool when she was not serving us with her own hands.
Every evening he would push away from the dinner table, his plate scarcely touched. I paid little heed, merely reminding him not to burden Kat, our kitchen maid, with preparing meals that would not be eaten or by untimely intrusions into her domain. Our household was steadfastly informal. Then came one midnight when I woke with the sheets beside me cold and empty. I found him walking in the moonlight. He claimed he was too restless to sleep and sent me back to bed with a kiss. Alert now, I watched through the next few nights and noticed that he walked more than he slept.
Daughter of Ancients by Carol Berg