Conversation between Old Friends

Matthew was sitting up in bed when Sarah entered the infirmary. “You look better,” she observed. “How do you feel?”

“Still tired, but definitely on the mend.” He gave her a weak smile.

“That’s good.” She took a deep breath. “So where the hell have you been for the last decade? You just leave without talking to me? You know I’ve been looking for you.” Sarah stopped herself before getting more upset.

“I’m sorry. I thought if I left, you might leave as well. I know I abandoned you, and I’m sorry.”

“Mmm hmm.”

“I notice you brought Rebecca into the House.” He seemed eager to change the subject.

“I had to rebuild. A House with only two mages isn’t much of a House.” She was trying to shove her resentment to the side, but she also wasn’t prepared to let it go completely.

“Yeah.” He did sound contrite. “Who else did you bring in?”

“You remember Thomas’s friend Jason? He joined about a year after you left.”

“Oh, right. I’m sorry about Jason.”

That caught her attention, but she continued. “He brought another mage with him, a spatial mage. And Thomas recruited David a few years ago. He’s another elementalist and also the one that found you.”

“The place sounds pretty lively. I’m a little surprised Thomas has included so many mages.”

“It was that or lose the House completely.”

“I suppose. So Thomas is okay?”

“More or less. Who are the people that attacked us? What do they want? You said you were working with them for a time?”

“They kept a lot of things from me, but I think there are two mages behind everything. One of them is a temporal mage who goes by Solomon. The other is an elementalist named Robert. They bring in others when necessary. They told me that they wanted to stop Thomas from messing with the timeline, but eventually I realized they wanted to kill him. I never did find out why.”

“Are they going to come after you?” Her concern was genuine.

Matthew shrugged. “I assume. If they think I’m in their way.”

“Do you know where they are?”

“I knew where they were. I’m guessing they’ve moved by now.”

Sarah thought for awhile, absorbing everything, before asking, “How long ago did you fall in with them?”

“About two years ago. Hey, would you ask Thomas to drop by. He and I should talk.”

“I’ll ask him, though I can’t make any promises.”

“I understand.”

“You should get some rest.” Sarah stood to leave.

“I will. Tell Rebecca, David, and Julia thank you. And hey, do you forgive me?” He gave her a look with puppy dog eyes.

“Yes. We’ll talk more later, okay?”

Matthew nodded and laid down.

Sarah wasn’t sure she actually did forgive him. Their conversation had bothered her for some reason, and she needed to work it out. Matthew had been a friend for a very long time, but she couldn’t shake the feeling that something was off.

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