A lithe, muscular kaldorei woman rose and crossed the room in a small home lost in the endless snow of Winterspring. The long gown she wore swayed about, in one moment outlining her long curves and in the next obscuring them teasingly. She stood before the crystal window, allowing the light to silhouette her figure through the translucent shift. Looking over her shoulder she smiled at her partner slyly.
Kneeling on a thick rug, another woman grinned at her, saying, “Is there something you want, Silannah?”
“Nothing you don’t want me to have,” was the reply, whispered in sultry tones at odds with her strong build.
The kneeling woman came slowly to her feet, biting her lip as her heart quickened at the invitation from her beloved. She stretched upwards, accentuating her already astounding height, “How can I say no,” she breathed, taking a step forward.
Before her foot rested on the floor, she felt it. An odd, twisting sensation, followed by the whole world being limned in violet power. She gaped, awed and terrified, as she watched the folds of Silannah’s gown slowly cease their movement, defying gravity as if frozen. Looking out the window, she saw that the eternal snow had been arrested mid-fall. Casting her gaze around the room, the steam from her teapot was locked in place as well. The world was as still and frozen as death.
The door of her home burst inward, slamming hard against the wall. In the doorway stood a figure she would never have expected to see in this place. A kaldorei male, festooned in blue and gold, shimmering with power. Her former mate. Former lover. Her ancestor.
“Kalithil!” she growled, her face contorting in fury at his intrusion, “How dare you!”
Narrowing his eyes and summoning his power, Kalithil Blinked forward, crossing the space in an instant and coming to rest inches from her face. “I might say the same, Kajeda!” he roared back, “You scared that poor girl half to death! She returned to my tower in tears!”
Blinking, confused, Kajeda replied, “What in Elune’s name are you gibbering about, you old goat?”
Kajeda’s face went slack, seeming to not comprehend him. Her mouth open and moved but no sound came out. Finally she said, softly, “The blue haired girl? What of her?”
Through gritted teeth, Kalithil replied, “Yes. Her. She spoke to you in Stormwind and you threatened her.”
Recovering her composure and her ire, Kajeda shot back, “She was impertinent! She dared to speak to me about Silea!”
“What she dared, Kajeda, was to offer you her sympathy! The girl does not have a devious bone in her body! What she said to you was genuine!”
“She has no right…”
“No right?” He barked, cutting her off, “No right to offer sincere condolences to the Matriarch of the House she serves? Are you out of your mind?”
Stammering, Kajeda tried another tactic, “How did she even know about our daughter? What right did you have to tell her?”
Kalithil’s voice, augmented by his spells, thundered, shaking the walls of the home, “I WAS HER FATHER, DAMN YOU! IT IS MY STORY TO TELL AS MUCH AS YOURS!”
Withering under his fury, Kajeda stepped backwards, tripping on the rug and falling. The impact seemed to break her outrage, and she looked back to Silannah for the first time. Horror in her eyes, she scrambled up and went to her, embracing her unmoving form. Tears began to flow as she embraced her beloved, receiving no response.
Relaxing his stance slightly, Kalithil watched the tableau. Lowering his voice, he finally said, “She is unharmed, I promise. I simply stopped the flow of time for everyone but us.”
“But why?” asks Kajeda, her eyes still frightened.
Sighing, Kalithil replied, almost gently, “Because I knew what was going to happen here today. And she did not need to see it. She will have no memory of this. For her, it did not happen.”
“What do you mean, you knew?”
“We have put this off far too long, Kajeda. I knew it was going to be unpleasant. But no one but us needs to witness this.”
At this Kajeda nods slowly, conceding the point. “You might have simply asked me to meet you somewhere private.”
“You would have refused. I’d have done the same. This could not have happened any other way.”
Glaring at him, Kajeda gestured towards the still form of Silannah, “So, what? You did this just to upbraid me for making your little girl cry?”
“There is a little more to it than that.”
Watching his face carefully, she is struck by a realization, “You’re sleeping with her!”
Arching an eyebrow and looking vaguely smug, he replies, “What if I am? And don’t act like you weren’t hoping for it. She told me about your ‘encouragement’.”
“I told you. She is not devious. She is utterly without guile.” Kajeda slumped to the floor at this, one hand resting on Silannah’s thigh protectively. She looked at the floor, muttering curses under her breath but not responding. “Tell me why, Kajeda. What were you thinking?”
Kajeda sat sullenly for a few minutes, refusing to reply as Kalithil simply waited, his patience seemingly endless. Finally she spoke, “I hate when you do this.”
Surprised, he replied, “Do what? And don’t change the damn subject.”
“You charge in here like a bull, roaring and throwing your power around. Then just as suddenly you are calm and asking reasonable questions. I know you do it to keep me off balance, and I hate it.”
Smirking, he replied, “To be fair, I don’t only do it to you. Now, again, stop trying to change the subject.”
Glaring at him once more, she said, “We need you, that’s why. My House needs you. We are so diminished, barely a shadow of what we were.”
“And you thought this would keep me around?”
“I was willing to try anything. The House is everything to me.”
“So, just like before.”
Eyes flashing, she cried out, “Yes! Is that what you want to hear? I saw the legendary founder of our bloodline and took steps to secure his service – and his power! – for my House. Just like the last time!”
Kalithil’s shoulders slumped at her confession, and he sank slowly to his knees. Bowing his head, he let out a sigh that seemed centuries in the making. Kajeda watched him, confused. Eventually he spoke, “I truly loved you Kajeda. Did you know that? Was I ever more than a tool to you?” Stunned, she simply stared at him. He raised his gaze to hers, years of pain evident in his eyes. “Well?”
Almost in a whisper, she replied, “I don’t know, Kal. Truly. I was young when this was thrust on me. I did what I had to do. Then events caught up with us. I never had time to understand how I felt.” As she spoke her hand caressed the still-immobile Silannah.
Seeing it, Kalithil smiled gently. “For what it is worth, it gladdens my heart to see that you have found something genuine.”
“Thank you. Is it the same for you?”
“That remains to be seen. For now it is…possibility.”
Kajeda nodded, then her face hardened once more. In low tones, she warned, “Your life, your business, Kalithil. But be sure it does not interfere with my plans. I am as singular in my purpose as ever, and this is still my House.”
Rising to his feet, Kalithil looked down on her, his face darkening to match her own. His voice a rumble, he said, “The House may be yours, but the bloodline is mine. I am the source, never forget it. If you are single-minded in your defense of your House, so am I in defense of my family. Perhaps you should learn the distinction.”
Kajeda shot back, taunting, “As you were when you refused to give up your sorcery?”
Barking a laugh, he replied, “As a matter of fact, yes! Can you look at the world now and still think I was in the wrong? The druidic magic that Malfurion pushed on everyone has its place, but alone it amounts to less than a minor irritation to the Legion. Then as now, I played the long game.” Kajeda blinks, taken aback by his line of thought. She does not reply. “Now, if we can get back to the point. May I assume you will be more tolerant towards Lilybeth?”
Sighing heavily, Kajeda nodded and replied, grudgingly, “Very well. You are respectful of Silannah. I suppose I owe you the same courtesy.”
Kneeling once ore, Kalithil said, quietly, “I know you harbor a lot of anger towards me. Anger that is matched by my own guilt. But we are on the same side, Kajeda.” Kajeda nodded dully in response. Continuing, he said, “I will leave now, and when I am gone, I am your Majordomo once more, serving your House and you. I will not reveal what happened today to anyone.” She nodded again as Kalithil rose to his feet.
As he walked out the door, he made one parting comment, “The spell will drop when I leave. Try to act like nothing happened.”
Cursing him under her breath, Kajeda scrambled to her feet, trying to remember where she was standing. After a moment, the world began to crawl forward. The snowing began to descend, and the folds of Silannah’s gown rippled once more. A look of confusion flashed briefly across her face, but was dismissed just as quickly. Try to behave naturally, Kajeda crossed the room to her, smiling. At the last moment, however, she threw her arms around her beloved, kissing her fiercely.
Surprised but not displeased, Silannah spoke, “Kitten, what’s wrong?”
Placing her long-fingered hands on either side of her beloved’s face, Kajeda replied, “Nothing, my treasure, nothing at all.”