“Johann! Please cease speaking!” Ercen commanded. “I should not have told you any of this! Do you not understand? Kimar was told by Lohxnahr to keep this information to himself. He chose to disclose these matters to me in the strictest confidence. It was my weakness, in my growing unease, I transgressed and broke Kimar’s confidence.” The great gargoyle shook her head back and forth, utterly disconsolate.
Johann stepped forward sharply and took her enormous hands into his, gingerly avoiding the razor-like talons. Lifting his head, he looked straight into her wide face.
“Forgive me, Ercen. In my eagerness to find resolution, I have spoken out of turn. Let me say this, however. It is not for ill that you have shared this information with us. You see it as a break of confidence, a breaking of faith with Kimar. I say it is not so. It was meant to be shared, perhaps?” He smiled reassuringly, hoping to convey some peace to his hulking friend. “We know you meant no harm from sharing this with us. Rather, the opposite.”
“I agree with Johann, dear Ercen.” Heidi added. “It is not for naught that you disclosed this to us. Consider that you have simply extended the confidence to us that Kimar placed in you. As you know, we have a stake in this, too.”
Ercen, her face a display of wonder and hope, replied, “Yes. Yes, you do have a stake, my friend Heidi, as well as you, Johann.”
Quickly, the gargoyle dropped to her knees directly in front of Gudrun. “Please know, Gudrun, that I do not doubt your truthfulness, nor do I question your experience or what your eyes and heart have told you.” Her large, limpid amber eyes blinked just inches from Gudrun, whose own eyes ran freely.
Freida leaned forward to hear better, grabbing Anders’s hand and squeezing it tight.
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