If blood still coursed through her veins, it would have frozen, and her no longer beating heart would have skipped.
She knew she would recognize that voice anywhere – despite the fact its tone was one she little recalled. It was a tone she had only heard in the private company of him – personal moments of confiding frustrations and personal conflicts. It was not often Lazheward had lost his temper, or even shown one for that matter.
Despite the infrequency of her recollection of the tone, the voice bearing the words brought to the surface many tumultuous memories. Accompanying the memories were feelings she had thought herself unable to feel anymore, so long had she been without any.
Sounds of them laughing together came to her unbidden. When last did I laugh?
She saw him in her mind, exactly as if she had seen him last only yesterday.
She could not recall how long it had actually been, but she vividly recalled watching him fall in that final battle of theirs.
Surrounded by Scourge, golden energies flying from his hands and his sword and infusing his very being – she had never seen the Light so strong in him as that day. But the waves of undead had pressed inward on them, blotting out all but Lazheward’s brilliant aura. Effraeti used all her available power to summon the elements to assist them – earthen companions to fight beside them, fiery bolts of magma to set them ablaze, the power of the storm to buffet them and the healing power of water to keep Lazheward and herself going.
Yet, the Light had not given enough and Effraeti had not had the stamina to keep summoning and coaxing and shaping the elements, and Lazheward had fallen – and along with him, Effraeti’s remaining will. She could handle anything beside him, they had fought side by side for centuries. He was her traveling companion, her true love, her best friend and the other half of herself.
A quiet gasp escaped her as she mentally returned to the present and caught herself looking straight into Lazheward’s confused countenance.
He was near exactly as she remembered him, except he had changed his hair, it was swept up behind his head into a ponytail, whereas she recalled it always being down and brushing his wide shoulders.
“Effy?” he barely whispered, disbelief the only identifiable quality in his voice.
Words would not form in Effraeti’s throat. For the passing of several breaths, they stared at one another and no words were exchanged.
“I thought you dead,” Effraeti suddenly blurt out. Hearing her own words in her ears, the quavering voice that was so very unlike its usual confident and snide tone, released her eyes from their lock on Lazheward and her hooves from seemingly being attached to the plank floor.
She stumbled and bumped the back of her shoulder against the doorjamb of the small shop in Stormwind’s Old Town, slowly recalling herself and where she was presently, but she wasted no time guiding her back along the opening and taking off down the street at a run.
“Wait!” Lazheward tried to call after her, but she had already disappeared into the crowded street.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Awaiting the Muse by Jamie Roman AKA Effraeti is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.