What it was, that froze him all the way down to the marrow of his bones, was that he wanted to protect William forever.

To stay by his side, and have him in a place where no one could hurt him.

Casca told Arjun this was the gift she'd given to their people, the feeling beyond feelings called rae.

This was what separated the Starka from the Sta-re-ilth, what separated the sea from the soil, what separated the soil from the sky.

This wasn't a feeling he'd ever known before.

And somehow, away from the weight of the sun that bore down on him when he so much as breathed, the person that took it from him was William Masterson.

He wondered why it wasn't Kaama, who had told him he'd wait for him forever.

Mordau had even offered, in his desperation to have Nova return home, to accept it.

But maybe it was because they had always been next to him that he couldn't stand the thought of a forever with either of them. Kaama hated him, and he hated Mordau.

He stared at his ceiling and wondered if he could ever bring himself to tell William about Arvyer.

Maybe if he did, William would leave him.