Reality Skimming

Golden Souls by Lynda Williams – Post 24

Golden Souls 24

Golden Souls by Lynda Williams, is a story of Amel's envoy period. Illustrations are by Richard Bartrop.

Amel reminisces about his childhood

"Why did you hit me?" Dela asked him in bewildered innocence the moment she got air into her lungs.

Amel was clearly distraught. "I thought, for a moment, you were someone else," he told her. "I have fits of perfect recall, sometimes, under stress. And I remember things I lived through as a child, in the UnderDocks, on Gelion."

"What happened?" she asked him, wide-eyed.

His jaw locked and he cast about the room a moment as if for some escape. But he found none. "I don’t want to tell you,” he said. “I hope you don't even know the words for some of what happened, there, to me. But I hit you. You are owed some explanation. So let me make this much clear —marrying me would expose you to ridicule. It’s no honor. I graduated from the UnderDocks to a more wholesome situation as a West Alcove courtesan!" He smiled to help convey this was a joke. "Liege Vrel was one of my clients. She’s, uh, finding it hard to adjust. So Princess, if I do not propose, it is not for lack of respect for your position. Quite the opposite. Perhaps there is some other way to accomplish the same result?” He thought a moment. “Maybe you could adopt me."

"How — " she hiccupped and tried again. It helped calm her nerves to stare up at him. He was so beautiful. "How old are you?"

"Seventeen. And few months. Going on eighteen, really!"

Dela nodded. "Yes, I think I had better adopt you," she agreed.

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