“I was a kid when I built my first house.”
Most of what Luke was doing was Workings. Pulling the stones out of the ground, stacking them without mortar so that they were one fused foundation. That first house still stood, actually. He visited it, when he was feeling maudlin.
“Maybe twenty? We’d just won the war, and I was feeling flush and full of myself. Very full of myself.” He’d been young and arrogant, back then. He liked to think they’d both mellowed with time. “And I was in love. She was human. I thought that made me a better person.”
He couldn’t look at Myst while he told this story. Anywhere but.
“I’d grown up with the idea that being away from fae was the way to do it. My mother joined a tribe of the People. Some of her friends slipped into the colonies and lived right alongside the colonists. You know, ‘living with the people.'” This time, he allowed himself a scornful face. They’d been arrogant, thinking they were slumming it. “So I married her. And we had a son together.”
He used the excuse of Working the stones properly to not say anything for a while. Over two centuries later. He shouldn’t still be ashamed. He shouldn’t still be hurt.
“She was human, I said. And she had a human lifespan. And he…” Luke shrugged, glad right now that he couldn’t see Myst’s face. “He was human, too. I didn’t know what to do.” It startled him that he could still shed tears, now, so much later, for the boy who had died so young. He pressed his face against the stone, and wondered if he was doing her a disservice, watering the foundation of their home with his old regrets.
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