Broken Hallelujah

What You Need Me to Do

A small and cramped hollow in the crumbling walls of the mine where Anders' clinic was located served as a back room, a place Anders could go when he needed his privacy.

He'd never had anyone to share that cramped space with until now.

The clinic was virtually empty tonight, and its remaining patients were too sick or too worn out to be awake at the late hour, but Anders still had to press his hand, however reluctantly, over Mahariel's lips to stifle her sighs and gasps. He burried his own lips against her neck to quiet himself, pulling them away only after they both had stopped quaking.

Wiping her forehead with her slip before sliding it back over her body, Mahariel said, "I was going to suggest we could go back to my room, but now I'm glad I didn't."

Anders shook his head, blond locks tumbling around his eyes, and he smiled, wiping dust from his elbows and chin.

Pulling back the thin, red linen that served as a door between the small back room and the main of the clinic, Mahariel peered out into the darkness, at the beaten-in cots and their beaten-down occupants. Letting the sheet fall closed, she sighed.

"What is it?" Anders asked her, taking a seat on the bare ground and leaning against the crumbling earth.

Propped against the doorway, Mahariel crossed her arms. "I told the Grand Cleric I could never leave well enough alone."

Even in the darkness, she could see Anders peer up at her, his dark eyes brightening suddenly.

Licking her lips, the Warden-Commander made a reluctant sound. It bubbled up from her heart and was exhaled in her voice. "Tell me what you need me to do, Anders."

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