"Do you ever question whether all of this work is worth it?" The voice came from the darkness behind her. She had known he was there from the moment he'd arrived but had ignored him, quietly
hoping that he would leave. She remained where she was, forehead pressed against the cold glass, watching the rain make the world gray. The rushing droplets pinged against the pane and the noise
soothed the restlessness inside of her soul.
He waited for a reply with the same eternal patience that she was using to ignore him. Long minutes passed before Lena smiled slightly at her blurry reflection. "You're really asking whether I regret this little personal war that I have, right? You want to know if I ever think about doing it the easy way; playing by the rules." She used a fingertip to follow the path of a raindrop as it slid down the window. "A few thousand years is not so long if you stop and think about it."
He chuckled hollowly and stepped out of the shadows and into the small circle of light the bedside lamp threw out. Lena turned to face him with her arms crossed beneath her breasts and a cocky smile flitting about her lips. "Is it a war?" he asked. The light flickered oddly against his face, forming hollows and mounds where there shouldn't be anything but smooth flesh. Lightning flashed outside in the storm and the visitor's eyes seemed to glow briefly in response. "I'd really like to know if this business is actually a war."
Lena laughed and felt lighter for the first time in weeks. "Procel, what do you take me for? I would never wage a war. It's an expression I've picked up from the humans." She sauntered over to the bed and fell upon it. "I guess all of that time with the priests in that big castle thing hasn't prepared you for figures of speech." Lena twisted around in the rumpled blankets and grinned up at the ceiling.
Procel walked jerkily over to the bed and stood over her. Lightning flashed again out in the storm and sent his shadow leaping and twisting over her prone form. "None of us understand you and this thing you've been doing. Then again, we can't understand why you haven't been stopped yet, either. It makes no sense. Why can't you choose another option instead of this path of fantasy and blasphemy?"
Lena's face iced over. "'Blasphemy' is it? You've definitely spent too much time with the men in the white collars; you're starting to believe your own filth. I wasn't the one who was chased out. I didn't choose to come here and babysit talking animals. I was shut out-we all were! We, the Blessed, the Favored, were locked out for fear that we had become tainted." She leaped from her sprawl and stood on the bed. Looking down at Procel, the cheerful visage she'd been wearing moments before was gone like it had never existed. "I refuse to pass His tests! I refuse to show my devotion over and over again! If you cannot accept my love when I say it once then saying it over and over again is meaningless."
The woman's slight form seemed to grow in the darkness of the poorly lit bedroom. "I will not beg, Procel. That's what this thing I've been doing is about. I will finish all of these ridiculous games in one swoop and the gates will open for me. The locks will fall!" She grinned at him wickedly. "I will bring the new end and the new beginning and He will weep for the centuries that He had left me here. He will feel foolish. That's what this is about."
Procel stepped back carefully, eyes never leaving her ferocious stare. "As you say, Holiest." he murmured out of the darkness. Moments later she heard a door open and then click quietly shut.
She fell back down onto the bed and sat in the nest of blankets with her legs crossed. "Hmmph," she grunted to herself and glared out at the rain. "They always ask but never believe."
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