Auron muses on the distraction that is Lulu.
Sunrise, then sunset. Chilling rain, then searing heat. Lulu could have engulfed herself in flames and still had an invisible layer of ice across her skin. Porcelain, he imagined, or ivory, yet she was never as delicate as she appeared.
She was mystery personified. Auron had noticed her the moment they met. She had caught his eye as someone different, a sharp contrast against the forced joy of the rest of the group. She was aware of their fate, but not resigned, and her cold demeanor intrigued him. She never awarded him the same blatant deference that the others did. Her apparent nonchalance piqued his curiosity; the clarity with which she observed him was astounding. Her ruby eyes forced their way past the legend to pierce the very core of the man within. She was enchanting, but the extent of her enchantment seemed to remain beyond her comprehension. He longed to pull her from her oblivion and humanize himself in her eyes. Like him, her emotions were hidden deep beneath the surface, and while she sought to understand him, she had yet to find the window into his mind. Auron, against all reason, was consumed with a strange desire for her to sense his lifelessness, feel the breath in his throat that did not sustain him.
Lulu fascinated him. He was not prone to distraction, but his dedication to the task at hand threatened to waver. The silky ribbons of black hair that trailed down her back and twisted in the wind caught his attention in an iron grip. She turned around, braids whipping over her shoulder, and her eyes burned with a fire that he feared was not for him.
He had never been held captive by anyone the way she held him. Even in life, his emotions had been obscure and untouchable. They were hidden no deeper now that he was balanced on the thin wire separating him from the Farplane; if anything, he felt uncharacteristically vulnerable. Auron was unnerved, but not unpleasantly so.
It seems the black mage never strays from her duty.
I have never had cause to stray.
Thus your life becomes your summoner’s.
Auron would not sacrifice the safety of Braska’s daughter for any price, and neither would Lulu. But the thoughts wandered through the darkness of his mind like slow stars. He wanted her to know how often her face appeared among those stars. He wished she could catch him by surprise when her name was hovering on his lips. He needed her to realize that he was in danger of being consumed.
Sir Auron? You seem tired. Let me take the first watch.
She had touched his shoulder, unwittingly sending electric ice through his skin. Her eyes seemed to send none of the secret messages he was praying for, but for a moment he thought he glimpsed a smile hidden in the crimson glimmer.
He could take the plunge. If she could only see him, see him completely, it would be well worth the risk.
“Would you take the chance
Even if I don’t seem real?
I’m always going
Somewhere you can’t follow
And if you look through your doorway
And stand in just the right place
Standing outside in the rain
Staring at you through the shades
Do you know how much I
Want to know the way your
Arms would feel around me?
Can you see me?”