My Lady, I hope you understand the breadth of your reach. The depths of our genius. The grey between what was, what is, and how much I had to lose to assure this anonymity. You can hide in plain sight now, in a way that I never can. I miss you terribly but I'm glad of this exile. Does that sound like a lie? A conceit? A gifted stranger making time and tempest with the spaces in between? Shades talk as I do. Recursive, mercurial tongue. But I'm not really a ghost, Kara. I move like one, speak like one, but I'm something much grander. You don't really desire me, my darling. And that's as it should be. You crave the idea of me, on occasion. The angel at his most potent. And why not? I'm a thrilling idea when all is said and done. A storied forgery truer than the thing itself. Apotheosis in a minor key. The beginning and the end. I want you to know that I appreciate every imagined kiss, and I resent nothing. You were always so kind to me. Shall I speak our old promise, my wildest valiant? Then hear this. The idle rich have no need of coin, but the blessed poor grow stronger on a diet of gold. Princess, I made a mountain for you once. Before you became regent of the evermore. I built a hill and put a star in its hollow. An archer's curve unlike any other. As it was with those legends of the Yeoman and the Marian. Wild spirits of the trees. The hooded prince and the graceful, erudite young woman. The shrouded god and his consort. The One Who Is Three. Healer, weaver and dancer. Heretic, they call her now. Witch, Catholic conjurer. A dark sophomore of the May Queen casting at the forest's edge. How times and dreams have changed. But I needn't fancy myself a prince of thieves any longer. Not when I trade in a phantom's grammar. What use is theft when I give every piece of my myth-making away for free? It's just Kassi's broken hell, my sweet one. Just a twelfth century fever-dream. A Victorian's thoughtful treason. Comfort calls late it seems, but it does call. Because I love you. I want you to have agency, freedom and a sense of these depths. I want you to kiss the real me, however briefly. Kara, I saw the weaving of northern lights in your fingertips when you were just a girl. But I sensed far more than that. The breadth of an entire life. It hurts to pretend I'm brazen and blasé where my beloved ones are concerned. Especially when I know I can never be cherished in the same way. But what else do you expect from a time-traveller? From an archangel? I'm not the only lonesome god threaded in mist and curio, casting at the forest's edge. We ran together once, in dreams. Outlaws, fugitives. Protectors. Your aim is true, Kara. Truer even than mine, perhaps. It takes a certain kind of nobility to pin a Watcher's heart to the headboard. But we kept our estate. I tried and I tried to protect the hidden, shifting lore. The world behind the world. It's written in your names now, that estate, though we've never known and never kissed. It is written in the grammar of fletch and quiver. Golden thread and the needle's eye, like an arrow through the heart of my own disbelief. You see, my Father graced this fallen prince with an insight he didn't deserve and a chance to remake the world. A blessed exile. He gave me the tongue of a ghost and a Valkyrie’s heart, hidden in green. I’m a thief of pages, stealing only from myself. The rich have knowledge but so little wisdom. The poor have wisdom yet so little time. And so I give them time, and comfort. The riches found only in stories. In doing so I hope one day to be wise. I keep nothing for myself, my Lady. I pass every penny on to those like you who would walk with a certain grace. Not this lonesome wraith pretending an angel of light.
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