I picked up a goblet from the table, not even seeing the red wine in it
before I took a long pull. My
throat was sore from talking to the council that had gathered around Craig’Ian
of Malcolm, the man who looked exactly like my best friend from what I had begun
to think of my real world and my real time.
This was all just a dream…
…wasn’t it? Not that it mattered. For the moment, I was here, and I had something to do. Craig’Ian put his arms around my waist as I set down the goblet. “You really think fighting them will work, Shai?”
I shrugged. “I didn’t just argue passionately for it for the past two hours because I thought it was a bad idea, Craig.”
He smiled. “You’re the only one who would ever dare to address me in such a familiar manner.”
“Do you have a problem with it?”
He laughed. “Why would I? A beautiful woman like you, addressing me by a nickname? Of course I wouldn’t take offense.”
“You’re a strange man, Craig’Ian, a very strange man indeed.”
“And you, Shai of Clellan, are quite possibly the most unusual woman in the world.”
I smirked at him over my shoulder. “You have no idea.”
I closed my eyes as his arms tightened around my waist, but when I opened them again, he, and everything else, was gone. I was laying in bed, staring at Jude’s bed, in exactly the same position I’d been before I found myself in the throes of one of my dreams.
“Shai of Clellan,” I murmured. So that’s who I was in the dreams. Shai of Clellan, obviously someone close to Craig’Ian of Malcolm, who appeared to be some sort of feudal lord, if I was any judge. A feudal lord who a force known as the Dan’ling wanted dead. I wondered what it all meant. I kept coming back to the conclusion that it must be my imagination painting images from my life onto my subconscious.
I stared at Jude’s bed for a long moment before I realized she was already up and gone. I sighed and began to haul myself out of bed – I really didn’t want to, because my bed was warm and the room was not – a result of leaving the windows open all night, which Jude did on occasion. I began to pull on my clothes, glancing at the time – I had about a half hour before I had to head to class.
There was a sudden rapping on my door and I groaned, yanking my shirt the rest of the way on and opening the door. Craig was standing there with another of our friends, Lance Greilan, who was a physics student. Craig immediately blushed. “Sorry, Shai, didn’t realize you’d just gotten up. Lance and I were going to go get some breakfast, and we were wondering…”
“If I’d like to come? Five minutes, OK? Wait there.” I shut the door on them and finished getting ready in three minutes flat, tossed my books in my bag, and grabbed my wallet and keys. I flipped off the lights in the room and walked out, grinning at them. “Shall we, gentlemen?”
Comically, Craig offered me his arm and I took it, feeling for a moment that this was the way it was supposed to be – none of that holding hands junk, but this, with a lady’s hand on a lord’s arm…
…and then, I began to question my sanity.
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