ill?” “On and off for months,” I said. What I didn’t add was ever since the battle at the Severn Estuary. “That’s not uncommon with this type of illness. We’ve examined his blood.” Now Dr Raj shook his head again. “To tell you the truth, we’ve never seen this particular bacterium before. Has he been to a foreign country recently?” I swallowed hard. “Not really.” Dr Raj shrugged and didn’t press me, even though not really was a non-answer. Either a person went to a foreign country or he didn’t. “Even so,” Dr Raj continued, “initial tests indicate that the antibiotic we’re giving him is already working.” I allowed myself a sigh of relief. “The one other thing I have to point out is that his cholesterol is very high—over three hundred.” Dr Raj picked up the pace again. “That’s very dangerous in a man his age, and unusual in someone as thin as he is who doesn’t smoke. Does your husband have a stressful job?” I swallowed a laugh. “Very.” “If you can afford it, you might talk him into retiring early.” “I would if I could,” I said. Dr Raj nodded. “Then maybe this incident will give him the push he needs.” He gestured us into a room where my very pale and thin husband reclined in a bed. His hair had gone gray around the temples, and the scruff of his beard and mustache were nearly white. The other day when Gwenllian had rubbed his face and call him ‘frosty’, I’d laughed and dismissed the thought of him as old. But he looked it tonight. I went to him, kissed his forehead, and caught his hand. He squeezed mine tightly and the clamp around my heart eased a little more. “I’ll leave you three alone for a minute,” Dr Raj said. “The nurse will be in soon because we’re going to run a few more tests—” Dr Raj looked at his watch “—and then we’ll need you to leave him so he can sleep.” “Leave him?” I continued to hold Llywelyn’s hand but looked back to the doctor. Dr Raj couldn’t disguise his confusion. “Surely you would prefer the bed in your suite, Mrs. Gruffydd, to the recliner we provide here.” I nodded, but inside, my resolve hardened. While our change in circumstances had happened so fast I could hardly keep my feet, I wasn’t leaving Llywelyn alone if I had any way to stay—not in the modern world in a modern hospital where he was helpless. Dr Raj left the room and I sat on the edge of Llywelyn’s bed, rather than pulling up a chair. Goronwy picked up Llywelyn’s sword in its sheath, which had been leaning against the wall in the corner. I scanned the room, concerned about what had happened to his clothes. I needn’t have worried. Someone had carefully spread his armor over a chair in the corner and left his bracers on the seat to dry. Goronwy and I had even been gone long enough for the staff to clean and dry Llywelyn’s clothes. They’d folded them and placed them neatly in a plastic bag which hung on a hook near the door, next to his cloak. All Llywelyn wore was a blue-striped hospital gown. Goronwy pulled out Llywelyn’s sword and wiped down the blade with a cloth from the sink. “Thank you. Wouldn’t want it to rust.” Llywelyn’s voice creaked in the still room. “My pleasure, my lord.” Goronwy laid both sheath and sword on the counter by the sink and then pulled up a chair at Llywelyn’s bedside. As Goronwy sat down, his eyes widened slightly before he recovered. He cleared his throat. “It’s softer than I thought it would be.” “I haven’t yet found a comfortable chair in our Wales.” I smiled at Goronwy, who smiled back, and then we both turned to Llywelyn. “So this is the Land of Madoc,” my husband said. “We’re calling it Avalon today,” Goronwy said. I ignored both comments and went to the heart of my concern. “I know you aren’t okay, but are you with me, my love?” “When I woke up, I thought I had died. Everything around me was white,” Llywelyn said.