He Shines Through

Matthew had known that, once Emrys felt he was well enough, he would be punished. He’d never actually expected to be bound by an even more potent spell that the one that had initially been used. The effect of the spell was hard to endure.

He sat quietly by the window, staring out at the scenery. He wasn’t watching the scenery for the same reason that he used to, however. It was because he couldn’t do anything without Emrys giving his express permission. Emrys had left him here, so here was where he would remain.

That wouldn’t be so terrible, except that the spell only affected him physically. His mind was fully engaged. He was fully aware of being completely still in the window seat. He had been like this every day for a week. He flicked his gaze up to the sky and prayed for strength and deliverance.

As he finished the prayer, he heard the door of the room open. Normally, he would have turned to see who it was. That was, of course, impossible now. As hands settled on his shoulders, he closed his eyes. Before the other could speak, he knew it was Emrys.

“Have you learned your lesson?” Emrys whispered.

Matthew sighed. “Yes, Master,” he said, his voice every bit as soft as the other’s voice had been. He looked at Emrys through the side of his eye.

“That spark is still there,” Emrys said, as he sidestepped to look into Matthew’s face properly. “Even now, you’re still defiant. How is that possible?”

Matthew blinked and looked down. “It’s… not defiance,” he said. What was it, then? He scowled and then murmured, “It’s hope and faith.” In his heart, he knew that God would protect him and, in due time, save him from Emrys’s hands.

Emrys nodded slightly. “I release you from the second binding,” he said. He set his hands on Matthew’s cheeks and kissed his forehead. As he turned and walked away, he added, “Stay out of trouble, my little bird.”

A faint smile touched Matthew’s lips. A few months ago, he would have stayed in the window, staring out at the scenery after such a meeting. However, things were different now. Instead of staying in the window, he bounced to his feet and slipped out of the room, heading for the enclosed garden where he used to meet with Andrew.

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