Lightning flashed, too far away to hear the resulting thunder. For now, it was simply a warning of the storm to come.
Maridel slipped through the city. Her dark cloak melted into the shadows. She stopped to lean against a black marble pillar. Here she would wait. It wouldn’t be long.
Within moments, a dark figure approached. Maridel’s heart pounded against her rib cage. This was her last chance. She had accepted the risk. This was worth it; he was worth it. She would rather die having tried and failed than live never knowing what might have happened.
“Traian,” she hissed.
He halted, tense and alert.
“Traian, it’s Maridel.” She reached into her satchel and pulled out a parchment. “You have to stop. Here. Read this. It explains.”
“No.” Hard and cold. He’d changed so much. “Leave before I am forced to turn you in.” He turned to continue on his way.
Thunder rumbled. A young woman crept through the shadows, back the way she had come. The tears in her eyes hindered her sight more than the darkness ever had.