“Marrin is young. He speaks before he thinks sometimes.” Del smiled again. “But he is a damn fine speaker. He has the fire and soul of the first of us, before the Throne took a hand. Had he been born among us, he would have been one of the greats.”
Jaccob looked at the closed door and nodded.
“They were good days, weren’t they, Del?” Jaccob asked.
Del looked at him. He continued to look at the door. She could sense the age of him now. He wasn’t staring at the wood and metal, but looking back through the long, dusty years. The very same years that Del experienced. It was an odd thought, and she suddenly saw an image in her mind of the two of them sitting in rocking chairs, blankets across their laps as they sipped tea.
Not old lovers, not even old friends.
Just old people who witnessed the same history pass, the same empires rise and fall, the same walls built and torn down.
“No, not good days,” Del responded, and Jaccob turned to look at her. “Days. Days we remember fondly.”
“That’s a little cynical,” Jaccob replied.
“A little? I must be truly getting old.”
“Aren’t we all?”
“No, some of us died.”
“I had meant the question to be rhetorical.”
“It seemed like a good opportunity to show true cynicism.”
“I was a general once,” Jaccob replied. “I had a legion under my command and whole nations fell beneath our blades. The pillars of heaven shook as we marched.”
“A general, eh? Why not a king?”
“Why not indeed? I told you I was never much of a fighter. Strategy, guile, intrigue, those were my tools. But I preferred to operate behind the scenes, moving the pieces. Kings make too good a target.”
“I owned a ranch, with horses.”
“That doesn’t sound too glorious.”
“You never saw the horses.”