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22 November 2005 @ 01:27 am
The Start of Chapter Five  

The shadows had grown long and the sky was streaked with crimson as Viggo crossed the courtyard on his way back to the servant’s quarters. He was thankful to have made it through the day without seeing Guy de Lusignan. The knight did not attend supper, no doubt due to the presence of the young Baron of Ibelin. Viggo supposed that once Balian left Jerusalem to claim his father’s lands Guy would return to the King’s table with all of his strutting and boasting. He thought it was amusing that Guy’s absence from the meal was meant to insult Balian but instead, at least in Viggo’s opinion, it made him look more like a spoiled, brooding child. He was certain Balian could see through Guy as well.

It was not often that a man of Balian’s quality graces the royal court. Viggo thought it a shame for he remembered a time when only the truly righteous were worthy to bear the title of Knight of Jerusalem. That was before Guy and his cohort Reynald of Kerak, men who use their position and influence to insight discord where there should be harmony. They justify their wars by saying it is the will of God. But God does not will the murder of thousands of Muslims and Christians for the sake of stone monuments and buildings. At least not the God that Viggo believed in.

Balian’s father was a man of temperance and reason. He worked side by side with the King to establish a fragile peace with the Muslim leaders. With Godfrey dead, the only hope for sustaining that peace lay in the hands of his son. A man who had, until just recently, never given Jerusalem a second thought. But from what Viggo had seen of Balian, the young man was more then up to the task. He was a kind and compassionate man and did not put on false airs of virtue in order to mask a wicked soul. His heart was true. Viggo could see that much when he looked into the young man’s eyes.

Balian’s eyes. Viggo found himself haunted by Balian’s eyes as he went about his daily chores, many of which were mundane and afforded him with the chance to allow his mind to wander. And wander it did, each time returning to those dark brown eyes and the touch of Balian’s hands as he cradled Viggo’s face in his hands. It had been a very long time since anyone had touched him with such tenderness.
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