Riding with the twins is a lot of fun, something I didn’t quite expect when we left Pantona. They’re constantly grinning at one another and challenging each other to races, and dragging Aaron and I into it and then trading jokes. I wonder sometimes what it will be like when it’s no longer than just the four of us.
We made camp for the night and I was mostly surprised by how easily Olivia adapted to it. I’m so used to her in the manor, so refined and dignified, her on a bedroll in a tent seems wrong.
“Oh, I never could do it for long,” She said, “but the full camp gives me a real bed.” I smiled. “How are you doing?” She asked. I shrugged.
“It doesn’t feel real yet,” I admitted. She nodded and yawned. “I’ll let you sleep.”
“My dear,” she said softly, and took my hand. “Are you sure you’re alright?” I nodded and hugged her tightly.
“No,” I admitted, “I, last night, I Dreamed, I saw my mother.” I hadn’t seen her before, but the dreams, well, I wasn’t sure what any of them were anymore. Visions, and faces, and my mother screaming in pain and fear, and Prince Eric sailing through a storm and Tristan beside me when I woke, holding me closely.
“You saw Marie,” she said softly. I nodded. “Darling, it’s alright, maybe it wasn’t a vision, just a long buried memory.” I swallowed. It wasn’t, we both knew it wasn’t. “When did you last sleep without a dream?”
“In the spring,” I sighed, “before the twins came, I suppose, but even then, they were becoming more regular.” She nodded. “It’s all coming soon, I think, and the gods don’t want me to forget it.”
“As if you could,” She smiled. I nodded. “You’ll be alright. Hopefully in Dovetail the sisters or the University will know how to handle it.” I nodded. But I knew she was by no means sure. “Try to sleep anyway, I promise, this can’t last.” I smiled and walked back to my tent. Tristan and I had been sharing, another thing I knew couldn’t last.
I wondered if he knew. He must. But we didn’t talk about it. Ever.
He smiled at me and I slid under the blankets. I wanted him, but I knew, not tonight.
“Are you alright?” He asked softly. I nodded. “Lisette,” he said softly, running his finger against my face. I loved him for calling me Lisette, would that stay, would the look on his face right now?
“I don’t want this summer to end,” I said softly. “It was like gold.” He nodded.
“A golden summer,” he said. I nodded.
“Tell me more about what to expect when we get to the camp tomorrow,” I said snuggling into him. He smiled.
“Well,” he said and kissed my hair, “you’ll have to fight General Martin, but you know that.”
“I have to what?” I said. He laughed.
“Just sparring,” he said, “all the officers have to, it’s a test. Unless you don’t want to be an officer.” I rolled my eyes. “You’ll meet Lady Marina, and your uncle, they’ll be so happy to meet you.” I nodded. “And no matter what, you need to sleep.” I smiled and kissed him again. I slept, and I dreamed, and Dreamed, nothing good or solid in either directions, just images.
And then that final one, the one that comes over and over, walking through the palace, into the throne room, but this time it was different, she was there, Marina, not with Brayton this time and not on the throne either.
“What did you think would happen?” She said sharply, her dark eyes clear and angry. She stepped away and I saw on the dais, clear as anything Tristan’s body slumped and lifeless, covered in blood. “You killed him.” I looked down and saw my sword covered in blood, I knew it was his. I woke up and realized I was screaming. Tristan looked at me and held me close.
“Lisette,” he said, “it’s alright, love, it’s alright,” I was sobbing. I looked at him. “Was it bad?”
“You were,” I said softly and kissed him, “no, you’re safe, you’re here,” I pressed my forehead to his chest.
“Where else would I be?” He said rubbing my back. “I’m with you.”
“You won’t leave?” I said, softly, “ever.”
“Not ever,” he whispered and kissed me again. I pulled myself close to him, then kissed him moving my hands below him waist. “Lisette,” he stopped me, “what was it?” I looked at him.
“I killed you,” I said, “or she did, but you died.” He swallowed and drew away. “The dreams aren’t,” I sighed, “I explained about the threads of time?” He nodded. “The dreams are just one thread, and that’s why they change, why they’re so,” I sighed. “You won’t die, I won’t let,” he kissed me again.
“Do you remember, the day we met,” he said, I nodded, “I said I would die for you and I meant it then, just out of duty, but know now, that I mean it with all of my heart. I will die for you if it comes to that.”
“You won’t,” I said, “I won’t let it happen.” We made love then, and I slept for the rest of the night soundly and woke up in the morning before the sun. I sat out and took a deep breath as I watched it go up.
I’d made a promise that I had no idea how to keep. Or if I could. And even worse, I knew now that there was a part of me that could kill him.