Jubal looked around and saw that it was Benjamin. He should not be seen here in the courtyard of the High Priest.
Benjamin strode up to him with a bright look in his eyes.
“How are you, my friend?” He grabbed Jubal’s forearm in the soldier’s grip and clapped him on the shoulder. “It’s good to see you. How goes the war?”
Maybe it was Benjamin’s obvious pleasure at seeing him. Maybe it was his own sharp remorse at what he had to do but his voice was harsh just the same.
“What do you want?”
“Hey, it’s me, remember. Why the long face?”
The look on Benjamin’s face ignited something in Jubal. He could not talk; he could not even look Benjamin in the eye. His eyes on the ground, he opened his clenched fists and flexed his fingers. Akbar had warned him not to give Benjamin or his grandfather, Gamaliel, any warning. He forced himself to smile and he looked up.
“It’s nothing,” he said, touching Benjamin on the arm briefly. Then he walked away abruptly into the crowds outside the gate, leaving his old friend in his wake.
No, not his friend, old or otherwise. At least, not anymore.
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The Temptations of the Cross by Bert A. Amsing
Copyright © 2012 by vanKregten Publishers. All rights reserved.
Footnotes and references included in original manuscript.