A Test of Truth Chapter 2

Let's Play Cat and Mouse

By Loren Leah

“You’re sure? Absolutely positive?”

“Absitively posilutely,” said Marle with a grin, leaning back on Janus’s chest and tucking her arms back about his waist. The Magus had his arms around her neck and shoulders; his cheek rested lightly on the top of her head, and his hair cascaded like a waterfall over the side of her face. “Those two were genuine, for sure. You can’t fake feeling like that, love.”

He raised his head, shaking it. “I don’t know... I certainly didn’t know all of our cousins. There were more than a few. But this...” He sighed. “Well, it just doesn’t feel right.”

Marle released herself from her comfortable position and sat down beside him on the bed in her chambers, taking his hand and squeezing it. Now was the time to be a friend, not a lover.

It seemed there had always been...something...between the two of them, though it had taken a long time for either to even acknowledge it, let alone let it show. But their love ran deep, and though marrying her childhood sweetheart Crono had been best for him and for her kingdom, that didn’t mean she was going to give up what she had with Janus. It had never felt like an affair to her. It had never felt like cheating. It felt completely right. She loved Crono like a brother, and Magus like the husband she wished she could have had. Crono didn’t know, of course, and never would. But she somehow felt that if she’d up and told him about it one day, he wouldn’t mind at all.

Janus slouched slightly, looking down, ruby eyes glinting with worry. He was a suspicious man by nature, and though some might have been quick to write off his constant fretting over something like this as mere paranoia, Marle had learned quickly that when he had a bad feeling about something he was usually right.

“So...do you think it’s some sort of setup to get you to go to Choras?” she ventured.

After a long pause, he answered her. “I can’t think of any other reason someone would construct a ruse like this,” he said, rubbing his chin. “But the question is, why am I being lured to Choras? Who set this all up, and how did they know I’d be here for you to inform me of all this? How did they know about our relationship? How do those two messengers figure into all of this? And, is Schala really there? Is she part of this? Has someone perhaps taken her hostage?”

Marle pursed her lips. Much as she hated to admit it, sometimes Janus’s sense of caution did tend to err toward the side of paranoia. “Well,” she said, “I suppose the only way to find out any of this is to actually walk into their trap.”

The Magus nodded, grinning, and rubbed his hands together. “Quite so,” he said. “Time to follow the snake into its hole...”


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