“Is there something the matter?”
And had she been standing before anybody else, she would have or could have just lost all composure right then, and screamed and cried, and ranted and fallen to the ground where she stood, but she would at least hold it together for long enough to get the words out, to tell Tarcanus that yet another of his associates was gone.
“Tindómiel is gone.”
Tarcanus Frostbourne blinked, then, staring straight back to her and clearly at a loss for words for a few moments. Eventually, he simply said. “I’m so sorry, Ana, I … I understand.”
He’d accepted the words, words which even though she’d known the meaning of well before this, now that they had been spoken, they still hung heavy in the air, as if speaking them had made them real where before keeping them to herself had allowed her a sliver of hope that he would just come back. And the fact that Tarcanus had accepted this truth so readily upset Ana, it caused her to feel a misplaced indignation and defensiveness.
“Do you understand, really? This wasn’t some small issue. We had no lovers quarrel, nothing spectacular happened that was out of the ordinary. I am telling you that while he has disappeared on multiple occasions before, I always knew that it was temporary. This time… I just know he’s not coming back. This is different. It would be better if he were dead, if I were to see an actual physical lifeless body!”
And instinctively her hand rose to hold the engagement ring within her fingers, now hanging on a chain around her neck and she opened her mouth to say that even in that case death was not permanent but she said nothing instead and took her leave. The last thing that occurred for her to add, she did before she left for the night entirely.
“Tindómiel was a very paranoid man, Tarcanus, but you have known him longer than I. That is probably something that you already know and something we can certainly discuss at a later date, among other things.”