|Chapter 22: "Also Love in the World"|
"Covenant." She yearned toward him past the gentle ship-roll swaying of the hammock. She saw him now as the man she had first met, the figure of strength and purpose who had persuaded her against her will to accept his incomprehensible vision of Joan and possession, and then had drawn her like a lover in his wake when he had gone to meet the crisis of Joan's redemption--as the upright image of power and grief who had broken open the hold of the Clave to rescue her, and later had raised a mere bonfire in The Grieve to the stature of a caamora for the long-dead Unhomed. She said his name as if to ascertain its taste in her mouth. Then she gave him her last secret, the last piece of information she had consciously withheld from him.
"I haven't told you everything that old man said to me. On Haven Farm. He told me to Be true. But that wasn't all." After the passage of so much time, she still knew the words as if they had been incused on her brain. "He said, 'Ah, my daughter, do not fear. You will not fail, however he may assail you.'" Meeting Covenant's gaze, she tried to give her eyes the clarity her voice lacked. "'There is also love in the world.'"
For a moment, he remained motionless, absorbing the revelation. Then he lifted his half-hand toward her. His flesh gleamed in the sunshine which angled into the cabin from the open port. The wry lift at the corners of his mouth counterpoised the dark heat of his orbs as he said, "Can you believe it? I used to be impotent. Back when I thought leprosy was the whole story."
In reply, she rolled over the edge of the hammock, dropped her feet to the stepladder. Then she took his hand, and he drew her down into the light.