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[ okay, this started OUT serious… but honestly, this is the silly self-indulgent crap that happens when the heat makes one drugged and restless and… inexplicably horny. ]
Orsino had never cared for the Chant. It had a certain rhythm, and at times a verse would stand out because of a turn of phrase or use of wording, and often he debated the meanings of particular verses with the knight-commander or the grand cleric… but he never liked it.
It hung heavy around the necks of the devoted and weighted down their tongues. It was quoted sanctimoniously, viciously, used as fuel for damning fires, turned into barbs for lancing the unfaithful. It made devotees soft-minded, sending them running into the oaken walls of the Chantry when crisis struck. They were more likely to clasp their hands together in supplication to an unseeing god than take up a sword and fight for their beliefs.
But one of the most important ways to keep Meredith’s burning eye off him for the time being was to feign staunch belief in the Maker and his Bride, and for that cause only, Orsino found himself slipping into the back pew during the cleric’s devotionals.
Tonight he was much less inclined, his head swimming with the voices of apprentices who would speak no more, his extremities itchy and restless with his forced inaction. The cleric’s intonations grated against him, and the avid expressions of the congregated made him grind his teeth in annoyance. They had their nepenthe, their forget-me drug; Orsino was not given the luxury of drowning his sorrows in empty piety.
He bolted from his seat as soon as the vestals were completed, but a man in Chantry raiment slipped in front of him with the quicksilver grace of a sidewinder.
“First Enchanter. A word?”