This was all a mistake. How did I end up here, gathering pages in strange worlds? So many obstacles. Where is home? How do I get back? But then I free him, and he thanks me, and then there was no life before. There was nothing before Atrus.
Over time we get closer. I feel content when he says “old friend” but… It hurts when he doesn’t call me by name. Fleeting thoughts-is he just using me?
A warm smile, a friendly embrace, an “old friend” followed by an unreasonable request that I just can’t say “no” to. Once, I hesitated, uncertainty on my face. He leaned in, his lips so close to my ear, his breath warm on my skin, and he asked again, sweetly, and I trembled before nodding my ascent.
Tears, as I struggle to escape this age. Frustration at being talked into this. I tell myself that when I get back I’m not going to fall for it any more. There is nothing he could say that will make me go out there again.
But when I come back there is only his warm smile. His hand on my shoulder, thanking me for my help. And I forget about what happened in the last age. I forget all of it and when he asks me the next time I say yes.