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Zahara 's mindvoice carries a certain edge of tension, when it blossoms in Cerin's mind. ::Cerin, my love, do you have a moment to speak with me? I am in the garden you planted for me.::

Cerin ::For you, always:: He replies, concerned about the tone in her voice. ::I shall be there momementarily::

Cerin is soon stepping into that alien grove, casting his eyes about for Zahara

Zahara is walking amongst the blooms af Malfaes, hands clasped behind her back and staring off into the distance.

Cerin walks down one of the paths towards her, embracing when he reaches her.

Zahara leans into his embrace, some of the tension leaving her once his arms surround her. She is silent for a time, merely taking comfort in his presence, and then she steps back, slipping her hand into his. "Ah, for the luxury of the days I was beholden only to myself, and not tangled in the workings of nations and planes."

Cerin "Those were simpler days," he agrees, walking with her through the garden.

Zahara "The Deliberative has been nothing but poison to me, and now I must allow it to burn in my veins while my enemy takes some of its power for his own."

Cerin "Your enemy?" he asks quietly, uneasy in the way that only Zahara can really make him.

Zahara pauses and turns to face him, her eyes dark. Her voice is so cold that the name seems to shatter as it leaves her lips. "Akuna."

Cerin Anyone could notice Cerin tense up as Zahara said that name, but Zahara with her long experience of his moods, with the insight granted by her amulet, can watch the confusing storm of dark emotion boil up within him - anger and guilt and stone cold certianty. "... Akuna." He shudders.

Zahara reaches up to touch his cheek, then her hand falls again. "I would kill him slowly if I could. But I cannot, while he rules over Halta and Linowa. He is well protected, and powerful as well. Revenge may well have to wait."

Cerin "All his guards and his protections and his power would avail him little against me," he says quietly, voice level.

Zahara nods. "He is wily as well, however, and he has no doubt been studying you and your abilities -- as he studied mine."

Cerin "The traps he set last time availed him little ... and if he is truely living within such a fortress, then you have already won a great victory over him."

Zahara "Indeed, but he will not make the same mistake again." She looks into his eyes, "If he is to die it must be either before he joins the Deliberative, or in such a way as to make it look like an outside enemy has been the one to do it."

Cerin "I would not leave a trace and no-one in all Creation can compell me to reveal a secret I do not think it is appropriate to share."

Zahara plucks a red blossom and twirls it between her fingers for a moment. "mmmm... but then he will not suffer. And he must suffer."

Cerin is silent for a few moments, and he shudders again. "As you wish, my heart."

Zahara "I want to look into his eyes as the light fades from them."

Cerin nods, his own eyes closed.

Zahara feels a twinge of guilt, seeing Cerin's distress, and she pulls him to her, whispering gently, "Tell me what you're thinking."

Cerin 's body is tense in her arms. "He should be dead, his soul consumed, his shard torn apart," he says his voice low. "But torture, suffering, all that means nothing to him when he has ceased to be."

Zahara "His shard will remember."

Zahara sighs, and looks up at him, "I am sorry, love."

Cerin "Not if I have anything to do with it," he murmurs.

Zahara nods quietly. "Then, for you, I will... let him die cleanly, but I must be there, and I would like to strike the killing blow."

Cerin is silent for a few moments, Zahara can see he isn't quiet sure what to say, but he nods, and then he kisses her.

Zahara kisses back, and her icy demeanor begins to warm, then grow heated. The blossom falls from her fingers, forgotten.

Cerin returns the kisses, and after a few moments the heat. He's still tense though, in her arms

Zahara is no less tense, and there is a sense of uneasy need in her desire. "He will fall, and until then, we will do what we must."

Cerin nods. "As always, we will do what we must," he kisses her again, no less uneasy.

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