Saren yawned. “Not likely. Go to sleep.”

Brushing aside the soft command like so much Armali silk, Nihlus propped himself up on his elbows. “But it’s possible.”

Saren didn’t answer.

“It is, isn’t it?” he muttered. “Let me guess. It’s going to take a miracle.”

The fold-out cot creaked when Saren finally turned to face him, catching his eyes. “Statistically speaking.”

“Oh yeah? What are those statistics telling you?”

He had that look again: quiet yet intense, weighing the stars with two slow blinks. “That my death is seven years overdue.”

Nihlus opened his mouth, only to have Saren sit up and close it for him, to the vocal complaints of the steel bedframe and the subdued sound of his quickening breaths. Be still, be still. Earn your happy ending, dammit.

“But you see,” he continued, holding Nihlus’ cheek in his hand, “it’s nothing miraculous.”

“Nothing short of miraculous.”

“I don’t believe in luck.”

“So about that other thing…”

“As I said. Statistically unlikely.”

Nihlus reached behind him, grabbed the pillow, and threw it in his face.

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