“How old was he?” she finally asked.
“Around my age at least, mid-thirties.”
I stared at her trying to absorb the strange parallel I had entered. Somehow I had gone back in time and yet it didn’t feel like that. Sareanne didn’t look like the young woman from the painting, she looked older like a mother who had watched her only son grow up, yet here she was with a babe in arms convinced it was Antheus.
“You left the tower with Antheus, Sareanne. Don’t you remember?” I said carefully.
She looked at me with confusion and then looked down at the baby in her arms. It suddenly shimmered and disappeared.
“I remember something,” she whispered looking lonely and afraid.
“Do you know what is happening here?” I asked hoping for an answer, but not really expecting one.
“I remember seeing you at the top of the stairs. You were in the circle, my circle,” she said suddenly. “Who are you?”
I hadn’t expected her to ask me that. I had never had to explain to Antheus who I was he just seemed to know. I opened my mouth to answer, but I heard a strangled noise behind me. I turned to see Antheus accompanied by one of the monsters, probably Tuug. He stared at me and I saw a glimmer of anger behind his eyes.
I glanced over at Sareanne and heard the whisper of words escape her mouth, as she did so I looked at my feet and noticed the white circle of stones appear. I looked up and the glimmer of anger had turned to one of incredulous annoyance.
Several things clicked into place in my head. I finally realized that Antheus hadn’t brought me here, Sareanne had, and she was the one who had been protecting me the whole time from him.
A dark chuckle escaped Antheus’ lips as he read my thoughts.
“Who are you really?” I demanded.
“He’s the sorcerer from Betalth,” Sareanne replied. Her voice was much stronger than before.
I looked over to where she stood and realized she had created a circle of protection for herself as well. Our circles overlapped ever so slightly. She stood tall within the circle her eyes defiant and strong.
More things clicked into place.