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Korin opened his eyes, saw Ádan still asleep beside him. The dream had been terrible, but at least Korin had dreamed quietly.

He considered waking Ádan up, telling him everything that had just happened. Confessing that the knife had been talking to Korin. That the knife had been invading his dreams.

The trouble was, that conversation led to so many more things. The knife had been correct when she’d said that Korin was still angry at the knights. That he still blamed them for so many things. Somehow, someday, he was going to have to face that, to reconcile it with the fact that Ádan was one of them.

There were excuses Korin could make—had made—that helped him avoid the issue. The fact that Ádan had been here, rather than Ulek. That he hadn’t been in the front lines of the war. The knights had done horrible things, but Ádan had been separate from that.

Once they started talking about it, though, they’d have to talk about it. Korin wasn’t ready for that. Not yet.

The knife was talking to him, yes. Even haunting his dreams. That was fine. Korin was fine. It wasn’t hurting him. The discussion about it could wait.

Korin leaned in and brushed a light kiss across Ádan’s lips, smiling as Ádan gave a soft sigh and curved closer to Korin. This was good, right here, and Korin wasn’t about to disturb that.

Closing his eyes, Korin fell back asleep, and passed the rest of the night without any further dreams.

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Barbara J Webb

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