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Future Tense

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Sara will live to tell her children about him. The thought gives him comfort, warms him where horror has otherwise left him cold. She, at least, will be kind to his memory. He tries to imagine them. Their father’s green eyes, perhaps. Their mother’s dark hair. And the gift of magic from two potent heritages. He wishes he could be around to teach them. But Sara will tell them of him. Of the mage she once loved, who sacrificed his life for their freedom.

You think of yourself too much, Justice says.

We’re on the brink of success. Allow me this indulgence.

Justice grumbles, but says no more.

Anders closes his eyes, the better to imagine them. Fenris and Sara, in a cabin somewhere. Free of this hellhole of a city. Raising a family. Bethany could teach them. She is a good mage. Careful and precise. There would be no Circle for Sara’s children. No Tranquility. They would know the love of their mother and yes, their father too. Anders harbours no fears that Fenris would recoil from his children’s magic. He longs for a family to call his own.

Anders smiles. It is for them, and all children like them, that he is doing this. It is for the child he once had been. But he cannot stop the tears from falling as he stands to pick up the device. It is for them, he reminds himself, as he roughly scrubs the tears away. And she will remember him.