“It’s just a playing card.”
He gazes down upon her. “And you are isolated here in the country. It is more than a playing card. In the City they speak of decks that reveal the future, not that anyone is ruled by cards landing face up before them, but one delivered by Zanderin …? Never mind. Sweet Terra, this is not your problem. I must go.”
“Wait. A wand, I mean a sceptre, can change fate, Rhodry, for good or ill depending on how it is waved …”
He watches at her, eyes narrowing slightly.
She soldiers on, knowing she must sound like a lunatic. “What was your fate until you received the card?”
He clears his throat. “Marriage, heirs, assuming responsibility for the business.”
She frowns. “Pretty normal.”
“A choice I made recently, to be normal. Before that I intended to … do something else. Be someone else.” He adds the latter softly, an afterthought.
“Maybe you are meant to return to that,” Terra says, although she is unclear of her meaning.
Rhodry moves his hand to rest over the pocket where the card hides and smiles strangely. “I think you are right. You have a lucky escape, sweet Terra, from me. Thank Zanderin … but don’t say it aloud or he will be at your doorstep next.”
He turns and stalks to the carriage waiting beyond Lily Merripen’s lovely lichgate.
Terra loses all breath and sees the hills running with waterfalls. Gods in restful repose while their thoughts water the cosmos. Perhaps they are not so restful after all. She chooses then to pick her wand up. Wishful is now reality. This wand, different from the one she invited, comes into her space, when it could have waited until Rhodry Fairweather was in his home alone, and she will now ignore it? Thus it is also her wand.