Chapter 26

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Arhyvhynne nodded her satisfaction. "Good. Now tell me. Do you think I am doing the right thing?"

"The summons leaves you little choice. There are no alternatives regarding Uriel. He must be sent. Anything short of his arrival at Bhel'Ehzz will risk a major conflict with the crown. As far as you are concerned, either Nherycyn or Athar, whoever is behind the summons, makes it very clear he prefers you to accompany him." Xenyssa turned thoughtful. "Though why he wants you present when Lhynette is already there puzzles me."

"Yes, that bothers me as well. I would, however, accompany Uriel regardless of who the King had requested."

Xenyssa fidgeted a bit. "Arhyvhynne, may I ask you something?"

"Of course."

"Do your feelings for Uriel go beyond protection and gratitude?"

"I have really been too busy to allow myself to think about such things." The High Witch's answer was too flippant for Xenyssa's liking and the black woman gave her a look which said as much. After a long pause, Arhyvhynne lowered her head and quietly said, "I am not sure. All I can say is that I have feelings now which I have never before felt. Whether they are of the nature you speak, I cannot say. I have never really become involved with anybody seriously, so I have little to compare to."

Xenyssa took her by the hand once more. "Please be careful, Arhyvhynne. I have always been fond of you and do not wish you to come to any harm—physically or emotionally."

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