Cut from Heart Fortune
"It was five years ago that I had my weekend fling with an out of town stranger."
"Five years!" Laev looked appalled. He jacknifed from his casual sitting pose.
Glyssa gave him a weak smile, rushed into words. "I didn't know he was my HeartMate then. And if I had, if I'd followed him, abandoned my studies and my career, my Family – who are my employers and FirstLevel Librarians – would have been unforgiving." She bit her lips, she'd had nightmares about that. "I don't know whether they'd ever have let me return, and I love them. I love librarianship." Despite herself, tears welled in her throat and she swallowed them down. "And I'd have abandoned my friends, Camellia and Tiana, to follow an...an adventurer."
But Laev's brows were down, empathizing with the man, no doubt. "Hmmm."
"It wasn't as if he knew either. As if he returned for me. At least I have figured out who, what, he was and is." Glyssa lifted her chin belligerently. "I don't think he still has a clue." Then she winced inside. All those emphasized words. True, she could be passionate about matters, but the whole little speech sounded like rationalizations she'd repeated to herself. They were, but they were also true statements. Her family would not have understood. They would not have approved, and would have taken years to forgive her.
She continued, "And by the time I understood he was my HeartMate, he was gone from Druida City." She spread her hands. "I didn't know where he went to, where he was."
Laev frowned. "You could have followed your bond."
"Our teeny, tiny bond?" She stared at the man who took his responsibilities more seriously than any she'd ever known. Laev had been born into a FirstFamily and trained with every breath to do his duty.
"Ignore my Family and obligations?"
That was a point that struck home with him.
"Chase after a man who might have someone else?" Camellia said in a high voice, her gaze fixed on the dark window that only reflected the room and themselves.
Dammit! This explanation was hurting Camellia, bringing back to Camellia the awful circumstances of her and Laev's past.
Glyssa and Laev both turned to her, and Glyssa opted to distract her friend by playing on her sympathies. She pressed her lips together, then choked out – passionately, "And I have my pride. I didn't want to go running after a man who thought our time together was a holiday fling."
Laev stood and plucked Camellia from her chair, sat down with her on his lap, offered her a flatsweet with cocoa chunks. She bit into it, then he took a bite, looked over to Glyssa. "I agree with your reasoning," he said mildly......