Steven broke the kiss, but kept me in his arms. "You have no idea how happy I am to have you again."
I batted wet eyelashes at him, and spoke with a whisper. "I wish I could remember."
He traced my chin, staring at me, eyes dancing with inner lights. "Come sit down. Let me heal you, and I'll try to jog your memory." I nodded, and he led me to the bed, pulling me to the middle of it. I sat, looking up with what I hoped was an adoring look, and waited for him to speak.
Steven knelt beside me. He looked wholly like a man, wearing a half-open tunic and doeskin pants. Sandy blond hair hung around his shoulders, framing high cheekbones and a square face. He was good looking, at ease with himself, and easy-going with his shifting powers.
And that might be why he seemed so fake to me right now. He'd worn many faces, and had no concern that he always looked a little different. Were any of these what he really looked like? I couldn't tell if he cared.
The moment lasted only a heartbeat, and then he was smiling again, moving toward my back. His hands were gentle as he reached for the topknot. "It's hard to pick where to begin."
"You could try the beginning," I said with a soft laugh. Humor seemed required to keep myself from getting creeped out.
Taking my hair in his hands, he laughed in return. "Ever logical, poppet." He pulled the leather band out of it, releasing my hair. "We were in love, and we wanted only each other. Your father hated me, and he punished us."
There was more to this, and it irked me that Steven wasn't just spitting it all out. His fingers traced the nape of my neck, and my gorge rose. "He took our memory away?"
"He took yours away, and shipped you off to the Gray Lords." Steven's hands ran down my spin, and the leather of my corset began shifting. "He and I fought, and that's when I lost mine."
"I was sure my memories of working for the Gray Lords was false."
"I'm pretty sure they are." My corset became a silk blouse and camisole, powder blue in color, scented like vanilla. "You weren't gone long enough to have actually done anything." Steven wrapped arms around me, holding me close as leather pants became silk skirts.
"Do you know what happened to me with the Gray Lords?" My shoulder throbbed as Steven kissed it. Stomach rising, I concentrated on anything but his touch. The need to flee flared, and I fought that back as well.
"I wish I did, babylove. I'd make them pay for messing you up." He squeezed me tighter, and I feared he'd never let me go.
My blood ran cold. Why should I fear Steven? A moment of rage and some vague memories shouldn't have me on edge like this. This obfuscation made me ill.
But I'd only found out about it in the last two days.
The pit of my stomach dropped. I hadn't gotten much sleep, and I'd gone from adventure to adventure non-stop. Kurlog had demonstrated how time could shift, so who knew how long since my father had punished me.
If he'd punished me. If anything Steven had told me was true. His words were mostly hollow, dredging up no reminisces. Steven could have told me my name was Breeble, and that I ate kittens, and I wouldn't have a way to prove him wrong.
Steven sighed, nuzzling my neck. "What ya thinking 'bout?"
I tried to answer, but pain surged in my shoulder, blingding my mind.