"No," Rishi said, hugging tight to Shory's back. "Don't leave me. You can't."
The circle of Rishi's arms would have taken him no more than a moment to break. Shory thought he could manage Rishi even without that force. "Let me go or come with me now. That's your choice," he said, cold as he could.
"No. Not yet. It's not the time."
"There will never be a right time. Not if I leave it up to you."
"If you try to go--" Rishi's voice was breathy, desperate as he held on. "If you go, then I'll run from here right now, and fetch Arix. I'll tell him you're running, and he'll catch you, and then he'll never leave you guarded only by me again. He'll leave you with someone else, someone who'll hurt you, or he'll make sure you're tied up, and then you'll never have the chance to run again."
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