|Chapter 21: Lena's Daughter|
"Are you through?" Covenant grated through the clench of his teeth. "How much more do you think I can stand?"
She did not answer aloud. Instead, she turned toward him. Tears streaked her cheeks. She was silhouetted against the darkening vista of Trothgard as she stepped up to him, slipped her arms about his neck, and kissed him.
He gasped, and her breath was snatched into his lungs. He was stunned. A black mist filled his sight as her lips caressed his.
Then for a moment he lost control. He repulsed her as if her breath carried infection. Crying, "Bastard!" he swung, backhanded her face with all his force.
The blow staggered her.
He pounced after her. His fingers clawed her blanket, tore it from her shoulders.
But his violence did not daunt her. She caught her balance, did not flinch or recoil. She made no effort to cover herself. With her head high, she held herself erect and calm; naked, she stood before him as if she were invulnerable.
It was Covenant who flinched. He quailed away from her as if she appalled him. "Haven't I committed enough crimes?" he panted hoarsely. "Aren't you satisfied?"
Her answer seemed to spring clean and clear out of the strange otherness of her gaze. "You cannot ravish me, Thomas Covenant. There is no crime here. I am willing. I have chosen you."