Ogres with Good Intentions

The following is an excerpt of content I’m considering for inclusion in my manuscript draft.  In re-reading the manuscript, I found what I think is an unaddressed plot point should be filled to maintain coherence and consistency.  See what you think.

* * * *

Surrounded by an escort of the horsemen of King Alric’s Royal Guard, Larah and Riasean rode for an hour before she broke the silence. “So, you are an assassin?”

Riasean gripped the reins of his horse tighter. Before sending them on their way, Alric had revealed their occupations to each other, much to his annoyance. No point denying it now. “Yes,” he admitted.

“How did that happen – I mean how do you find yourself in the business of killing people?”

Where to begin? Best keep it simple, and as close to honest as he could. “One has to do whatever it takes to survive – in my case, growing up in Tamor, it was simple – kill or be killed.”

Larah remained silent.

He pursed his lips, thinking of a way to break the awkward silence. “Since the subject came up, how did you become a druid?”

“I’ve always been one. I was born in Avalon and have spent my whole childhood training to be a Druid.”

“So you had no choice?”

“I suppose I did, but for me, there was never any doubt.” She paused before looking at him. “Have you considered doing anything else?”

Does a viper ever wish to be his prey? “I never had any reason to, for I am good at what I do, and it pays well.”

She frowned, “But killing people . . .”

He turned away. She didn’t understand and could never understand what he did and why. Taking a life was nothing more than a job, one with little tolerance for failure, for it meant death.

She stared ahead and added, “I could never kill someone.”

He turned and placed a hand on her arm. “I hope you never do because you lose something you can never get back.” So what did that make him? An empty shell? But like a shooting star, the realization streaked across his mind as to why the Caretaker had paired them. He was a knife without a conscience, for whom delivering death or dying, as a result, was inconsequential. Yet in their quest, he was assurance that she could retrieve the Grail without losing her inner light in the process.

She studied him as he thought this. “Why do you stare at me so? What are you thinking?”

With a final squeeze, he let go of her arm. “I was just thinking that maybe you are rubbing off on me. You make me want to be a better person.”

Even as she turned away with reddened cheeks, a broad smile crossed her face.

He felt bad for embarrassing her – for what he said was, for the most part, accurate – but only in the sense that he didn’t want her to become less than she was. Flowers get picked and trampled upon by ogres with good intentions. He committed to the goal of protecting her as best he could from such beasts, but the thought never occurred to consider including himself.

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