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was not who I wanted to be. I had to transcend myself.

"And so I began to step out of my cocoon. When you sat beside me in the hall, you, whom I had long watched and admired, I knew that we should be together. I quickly came to love you-more than I knew I could."

And I love you, he thought, but could not say the words. How had she invaded his hiding place? How had she made him feel these feelings?

"When I had the ability to protect only one of us, I knew it must be you. My first thought was no longer for myself. I could not have lived, knowing that I did not protect you."

And how am I to live? he thought. He bit out the words. "Does transcending oneself mean that one has to die, then?"

She gave a weak smile. "I was merely-unlucky." Her neck muscles tightened with pain, and she closed her eyes and let her head fall back. Galen's gaze was drawn to her clenched hands. Against his will, her fingers one by one released their tight grip, grew slack. She had lost control over them. Her inhalations became shallower, more labored. The spike had reached C5.

At last the pain seemed to fade and her neck relaxed, her lips parted. He wanted her eyes to open.

"You said I had to transcend myself in three ways," he said.

She gazed upon him. "Yes. You have opened yourself to another. That was the first. Next you will open yourself to yourself. Finally, you will open yourself to God. To his design."

Galen shook his head. The only design or pattern he could see was one of his own failure. He had wanted to become a healer. Instead, he had discovered a weapon, a weapon that had not even helped him to save Isabelle. If this was God's design, he wanted no part of it. "I don't think that I can," he said.

"I was right about Cadmus. And I am right about you. I know that
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