Edmond threw his arms around his friend and clapped him on the back. He was a few inches shorter than Dixon, and slimmer. His dark hair and brown eyes gave him something of a secretive look. He was dressed the same as always, in tight black pants and a shirt open at the neck, and shiny black boots that came just short of his knees. His style lent him an air of nonchalance. He appeared to be just what he was: part of the established power. He took his position and rank for granted, and it showed in his countenance, which others could easily misconstrue as haughty.
“What are you doing here? I expected you’d be busy with Council duties in the City of Light.” Dixon beamed. It was so good to find a friendly face.
“I was deployed to the palace as an envoy of the Council. I arrived some time ago. I understand it was about the time you left with Rowena.”
Dixon gestured toward a chair. Edmond pulled up on his pant legs to provide room for movement, then sat.
“I can’t tell you how good it is to see you. It’s been a long time.”
“I heard you came in with Lilith last night.”
The Oathtaker held up his arm, displaying the band.
“Whew!” Edmond whistled. “What’s that all about?”
“Lilith being Lilith.”
“I don’t understand.”
“She found me at sanctuary in Polesk yesterday and insisted I return to Shimeron with her. Wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer.”
“Rowena . . . died.” Dixon swallowed hard.
“I heard that, yes.” Edmond bowed his head. “I’m so sorry.”
“Lilith thinks it necessary to band me to be certain I attend a Council hearing to explain what happened.” Dixon leaned forward, crooked one finger so his knuckle pointed out, and said, “I am innocent of any wrongdoing.”
“Of course!” Edmond eased his hand down and then, mirroring his body movements, leaned in. “Why would Lilith think otherwise? She knows you.”
“Yes, and I know Lilith.”
“Again, I don’t understand.”
“Oh, it’s nothing. It’s just that she has her ways. Nothing is of any importance unless it’s about ‘Lilith.’”
Edmond chuckled. “Yes, you know her.”
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