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Picking up from last week, Kel answers the question of why she didn’t tell Tirza that she was a woman.
“At first, there was no reason to. I rescued you, we had dinner, I was nothing more than a warrior to guide you to the Barrens. My own codes would have forbidden me to just leave you there until I knew you were all right, but even without that, I – I could not have left you. Somewhere along our journey I fell in love with you, and I tried so hard to fight it, to pull away. But you… you seemed to feel the same way and I kept falling further until I was trapped, with no way to escape my feelings. And no way to tell you. And I hated it, because I knew… I knew that when you found out, that you would hate me and would want me to leave you, to stay away from you, and I had to see to it that you were safe first.” Kel closed her eyes and swallowed the lump in her throat that threatened to choke her. “In the end, Tirza, I did it as I did everything – because I love you.”
Shaking, Kel turned and entered her own room, closing the door behind her.
“Kel,” Tirza whispered to the closed door. “Oh, Kel…” Fighting back tears she stepped back into her room and collapsed onto her bed, sobbing.