He smiles sadly. “Now I know my destiny.” “What is it?” “This.” He draws me in to him in a kiss. His lips are warm. He pulls me tighter in his embrace. The roots sigh and release their hold on my waist and the wound in my side is healed. “Kartik,” I cry, kissing his cheeks. “It’s let me go.” “That’s good,” he says. He makes a small cry. His back arches, and every muscle in his body tightens.