Lark sat up, only to discover her hand captured when she tried to stand. She looked back with a raised eyebrow, but Pitch only kissed the inside of her wrist before releasing her with a sleepy smile. She returned the smile as she stood and began gathering her clothes.
Slipping out of Pitch's room and closing the door behind her, she turned to see Komah stretched out on the floor of the shop below. She peered through the darkness for her other cat, then looked at him. "Tuah?" Home, he replied. He got tired of waiting. Lark chuckled as she let herself and the big spirit-cat out of the shop.
She felt a flash of surprise from Komah when she turned for the Harbor instead of the Mage District, but he said nothing. She led the way to the fountain and sat; when he hopped up and settled next to her she started stroking his back absently.
Lark finally broke the silence. "Do you miss Har'koa?" Komah blinked at her, then turned his head away, a gesture she had come to recognize as his version of a shrug. A little. I miss being with my own kind. But it's not bad, I was never the most... "popular." Lark digested that for a bit. "Did you love her?" she asked, and he turned back to blink at her again. She felt his surprise.
He was silent for a few minutes, and Lark started wondering if she had offended him somehow. Finally, however, he answered. We don't understand "love" as your kind do, he said. But, she was my mate, and I would have died for her. As I would for you, if it ever becomes necessary.
Now it was Lark's turn to blink. Before she could form a reply to that, he surprised her again. Lark, why don't you take Pitch as your mate? She frowned. "I would have thought you'd know by now. I don't want to get him killed." But why are you so sure it will happen? She looked away without answering. He gently butted his broad head against her arm. You can't be sure of the future, he said. It might be that you and he could have a long life together. She looked back at him, then gave a crooked grin. "I didn't know you were paying attention so closely when I spoke to Arvoss." He blinked again, and she felt his amusement.
Her own humor was short-lived. She hugged her knees, resting her chin on them and staring out over the Harbor. "He's asked me about it a few times, you know," she said. "He never presses it, though, just lets it drop when I say no." But then he asks again another time, Komah replied. I know. If he's so persistent, though, why do you keep turning him down? Lark shrugged. "You know why. I just.... I'm not sure how much longer I can keep telling him no." The cat's only response was another slow blink.
Lark sighed to herself, then dropped one hand to his head, rubbing gently. After a few minutes of silence, she looked down at him again. "So you don't have any regrets about joining up with me?" she asked him. Komah seemed unfazed by the change of subject. None, he said. This has been as interesting as I ever could have asked for. I'm content. Lark smiled at the affection he sent through their bond. "Think I'm ready to head to bed," she said. "How about you?" He replied by standing up and hopping off the fountain. After you, he told her. Side-by-side, they headed back to the University grounds.