Excerpt from Chapter 1 of Lord of Horses, Book 2 of The Great Man:
“You should not have saved him, Sahara. He was too far gone.”
“I had to mother.”
The older white woman shook her head as she mixed fresh powder in a small bowl.
“You did not have to. You wanted to.” The woman added three drops of wormwood sap and once again began to mix. “He is handsome, to be sure. I could not blame you for your desire. But child, you shall never know him. He will be forever a dream to you.”
“I will be with him, mother. I know it. I knew it when we were both children, when first my lips touched his.”
The woman looked at her daughter with raised eyebrows. The stunningly beautiful girl before her smiled - a rare event for her.
“He wore my anklet about his wrist. He was the boy who had saved me all those years ago, when I had been captured and shipped away.”
The older woman sighed.
“I cannot explain it well,” the girl continued. “But my life and his are entwined.”
“I felt the same about your father.” The woman sounded sad. “I had seen him only once before the night we had lain together. But my fate was the same as for each of us. He grew older, and I did not. I watched in agony as his life ebbed, even as yours began. He died, and I lived on, my heart sundered. This will be your fate, child, if you pursue this man. He shall die, and you shall walk evermore on this earth in grief.”
“I shall follow wheresoever he may go, even to death.”
The white woman almost dropped her mixing bowl. “Don't say it!” she gasped. “Do you not realise that to him you are only a dream, a wish given life in his sleep? You are not real to him and he shall live his life apart from you. He shall take other women and you, my child, shall be forced to watch as he lives a life you shall not ever be a part of.”
The girl smiled sadly at her mother. “I have seen him in my dreams. I know his fate, and I know mine. He shall live his life, and I shall live mine. But we shall find each other in the end. I am bound to him, my life to his. Even if I wanted to remain, when at last his life leaves him, mine will also depart, we are bound so tightly to one another. I could leave him now and never see him again, and still I will die when his heart ceases to beat.”
“Don't!” the woman whispered. “I cannot hear it!”
“Mother, you know that I love you, but I will not be able to bear this life as you have done. I cannot stand the pain of seeing good men die for no reason. I do not enjoy the visions of their shades. I cannot stand this curse. I do not want this life.”
“You are needed here. You were born to this life for a reason.”
“Yes, I was. And he is my reason. I love him.”
“You cannot go to him!” the older woman said quietly. It was the few times she ever commanded her daughter. “I forbid it.”
“Even if I wanted to obey, I could not. I find myself by his side in waking or in dreams. For however long the moon shines upon him, I shall be beside him.”