Some of them loved too hard.
Robin Llewelyn tracked me down in the winter of ’34 when I was hunkered down on one of my islands. I’d left the running of Blood Farm to a few of the Coffins, who I could trust not to get themselves killed, and I was hunting down the remnants of a band of goblin pirates who were plying Cross River on small ice skiffs. Each day, they’d retreat to Blood Lake, and I finally located the island they were operating out of.
Robin, whom I’d met a year earlier, had become enamored of me and wrote to me now and again. She had pressed the issue of coming to see me, and I told her there was little enough time for it. I was busy.
How she found me on the island, I don’t know.
She never said. Nor did she give me much time to ask her, though I tried. She always made an effort, usually successfully, to pleasanter topics.
After about a week of her living in a small cabin with me, preparing meals and having the fire going when I came back from hunting the goblins, she asked a question I did not wish to answer, ‘though I did.
“Duncan,” she asked coyly. “Will you marry again?”
Anger flashed across her face. “What do you mean?”
“It’s a simple enough answer. No.”
“I came here to be with you,” she started.
I shook my head. “And I told you not to. How you came to this place, or how you found me, are mysteries I’ll no longer inquire about. I made you no promises, Robin. I made it clear when we met that I’d no interest in a marriage. Or anything, really. There is too much upon my heart already.”
She reached behind her back and drew out a long skinning knife.
“Duncan,” she said, her jaw twitching, “we’re meant to be together, either in this world or the next.”
“No. We’re not.”
Robin held the knife up. It was steady in her hand, and the mixture of hate and love in her eyes burned.
“I will eat your heart,” she whispered. “We’ll be together then.”
She rushed me from across the room, and I didn’t bother drawing my Colts. Instead, I caught her arm, twisted it, and drove the blade up and into her heart.
I keep her photo with the others to remind me of the forms love can take.